Endorsements and Testimonies
“We were pleased to welcome Steve Hong to present at our PD (Partner Development) webinar at Wycliffe Canada on the topic of shame and honour in support-raising. “No longer are these terms relegated to ethnic minorities,” Steve says. “Honour and shame categories are more relevant than ever and apply to all missionaries regardless of ethnic or cultural background.” Steve explored this topic with us drawing from his book Journeying Together – Ministry Support Development in Collectivist Communities, and illustrating with captivating stories. We were encouraged to connect with our own stories of God bringing us out of a place of shame, as well as those of our partners, as part of God’s larger story of redemption. Our staff had many questions, and appreciated Steve’s ideas, insights, and vulnerability as he shared what it meant to him to derive his identity from God instead of from his own abilities and accreditation. One member noted how Steve mentioned other authors, even those he didn’t agree with, without “bashing them”. Steve’s book is an important read for all missionaries and will certainly add value to their PD by understanding and applying these concepts.”
– Robyn Kunz, Partnership Development Coach, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Canada
I love what Kingdom Rice is doing for Asian American Christians. (They are) helping people see and experience a holistic Gospel that reaches into the hidden and shameful corners of a person’s soul.”
– Jon Liu, Executive Director of Asian-American Christian Fellowship (AACF)
“Steve is an expert when it comes to support raising. However, that’s not his greatest skill. He has a unique ability to genuinely care for the people who are raising support and the potential donors. He is a kingdom laborer, who truly has God’s kingdom number one in his heart. His understanding on the psychology of minorities raising support is one of the best I have ever been exposed to. I truly thank God for Steve, his experience, and his contribution to the kingdom of God.”
– Tony Dentman, Speaker, Author, and Diversity Director for Campus Outreach and Executive director for fundingtribe.org/staff.
“We asked Steve Hong to come in and lead a band of disciples through China Town and share the story of this neighborhood as a way of introducing the disciples to the “world” we are called to disciple. What Steve brought was so much more. He exposed them to the back story and cultural nuances of the neighborhood. He engaged all of their senses–sight, smell, sounds, touches, and tastes–in a 3 hour immersion into China Town life; most rewarding was the way he continually held up a missional lens for us to look through. The student-disciples were overwhelmed with the experience.
The outcome was so great that I asked him to lead a group of seminary students for a class on Urban Mission and Ministry through the same tour. We had students from all over the country who participated and found the tour to be the highlight of the class. Several students from San Francisco confessed, that though they had lived and attended church in China Town it was only during that tour that they came to fully appreciate China Town and how much God loves this neighborhood. There were numerous testimonies coming out of this time together. Steve has a unique way of exposing hearts to the Gospel and redeeming the beauty of our ethnicities so that we are free from shame.
I strongly recommend Kingdom Rice and Steve Hong to church groups or individuals wanting to understand the mission of God in Asian American culture; moreover, leaders or interns who want to learn how to minister in a holistic and whole-hearted way in Asian American contexts would greatly benefit from Kingdom Rice.”
Dr. Jeffrey Garner.
Pastor San Francisco Lighthouse Church
Adjunct Faculty Western Seminary
“Steve’s ministry gave me such a shock, in the best way possible. Sitting in class with our missions training students I was learning things I hadn’t heard before. Things like how the gospel relates differently throughout the world, and that when we push the ‘guilt/righteousness’ mindset we are not relating Christ to other cultures. I was woken up to the reality that culture gives others a different perspective, and that it is good. Steve taught how the ‘honor/shame’ culture of Asia depicts a beautiful view of the Kingdom of God. The students learned to step into another culture, to understand their thoughts and what Christ would want to do in the lives of those we would be sharing with. Then the students were given the opportunity to re-write their testimonies so they related to the Asian culture we would be sharing with, and it had such a deep impact. I saw students who had no words to share the gospel before Steve’s teaching able to relate what God has done in them to a culture they never knew before. I experienced a new and deeper friendship with people I had met on previous missions trips simply because I tried a new way of relating to their culture. The best part of working with Steve is that he doesn’t just teach from book material, but he invites others into living out what he shares. He brings everyone into an interactive format that is taught and experienced throughout his ministry. Through Steve’s teaching everyone was better equipped to share the gospel in a culturally relevant way.”
– Kassi Palmer, Discipleship Training School, Youth With A Mission, San Francisco
“My friendship and partnership with Steve has been hugely significant to me in the past few years. As an Anglo-American pastoring a majority Asian-American church, Steve’s perspective and input has shaped me in profound ways as I seek to faithfully bear witness to God’s Kingdom within our community. In particular, God has used Steve in two profound ways within my ministry: 1) to open my eyes to greater degrees the structures of power and privilege within American society, and the way that many in our community experience that; 2) the way that the Kingdom of God subverts the bondage of guilt, shame and fear through the Gospel. Personally, I am so grateful for the ways that God has met us as we’ve committed to mutual submission.”
– Pastor Sean Curtis of The Great Exchange Covenant Church, San Francisco
“I had the distinct privilege of working with Steve over several months, as he provided some consulting work for Epic Movement. When Steve was still working full-time with Epic, he was instrumental in writing an innovative training manual for our staff, which received national attention and was used broadly. As it came time to update that manual, I knew that no one could add more than Steve.
As a contract worker for Epic, he used his time efficiently, and was excellent at consistently tracking his hours. I knew I could trust both his character and his work-ethic, which gave me confidence in his work and the product we were building together.
Steve is a strategic thinker, able to see both the end goal and the path necessary to get there. Even so, when I had suggestions or wanted to make changes to part of the material, he was excellent at listening graciously and integrating feedback into the final product.
One thing that I especially appreciate about working with Steve during this time, was how he brought his own experiences and understanding of the human condition to his strategy. After working in ministry for a number of years, Steve knows how to draw out the best in people and also how to address issues of heart and character alongside organizational goals. More than most, he is able to marry those values in a way that honors people and their stories. He sees how, in order to get where we want to go, people have to be invested in, shepherded and guided.
I would absolutely ask Steve to do additional work for us in the future, and if given a chance to serve with him again, I would gladly take it. I believe he has much to offer in many different contexts and it was a joy to work with him. “
Leadership Development for Epic Movement, Cru (formally Campus Crusade for Christ)
“Steve has been a good friend, a steady support, and invaluable resource to me as a church planter and pastor of InterfaceSF. I met Steve last year through a kids’ playdate arranged by our wives. We moved to San Francisco last May (2013) and was excited to meet neighbors. Little did I know that I was going to meet an incredibly passionate Christian with an extensive background in church ministry. Steve offers a unique perspective of the culture and people of the city, through an Asian lens. His KingdomRice ministry supports Asian American pastors in San Francisco through prayer, friendship, mentorship, spiritual development and networking. Recently, Steve Hong, led a city tour for our church partners. The tour’s unique focus on the history of Chinatown, contextualized an important part of InterfaceSF’s ministry in the city. I am encouraged by his ministry and am excited to see it develop.”
James Soy – Church planter, San Francisco, CA
“Rethinks and restructures paradigms and systems in light of Kingdom values with a prophetic voice…Provides theological and cultural big picture, education and development to every level of the organization…integrates emotional health and theology and cultural dynamics in all aspects of life and ministry…thinks outside the box in many areas”
Various members of Epic Movement’s Leadership Development Team