Invitation to Lead: Guidance for Emerging Asian American Leaders, By Paul Tokunaga

Invitation to Lead

Guidance for Emerging Asian American Leaders

by Paul Tokunaga

Invitation to Lead
  • Length: 214 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: February 10, 2003
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 2393
  • ISBN: 9780830823932

*affiliate partner

The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.

This Japanese expression characterizes the attitude of many Asian Americans.

We are often taught not to put ourselves forward--not to stick out. But the Western concept of leadership is all about stepping up and standing apart from the group. Is that appropriate for Asian Americans? Or can we lead out of our own cultural strengths rather than being pressed into the Western mold?

Paul Tokunaga has been a leader in Asian American, white and multiethnic contexts for many years. He has been active in ministry and in his community. In Invitation to Lead he offers, with surprising transparency, lessons from his own rich experiences--both successes and failures.

Many of us aren't sure whether we can or should lead. We are waiting for someone to ask. Or we are just beginning to take on new roles and responsibilities at church, at work or in our neighborhoods.

Here, at last, is our invitation to lead.

"Paul Tokunaga challenges us to be a part of what God is doing. Invitation to Lead is a clarion call to rise above our fears, cultural tradtions and stereotypes and lead! Tokunaga passionately encourages us to lead in a new global village that welcomes Asian Americans to the table of servant leadership."

David Gibbons, Social Entrepreneur, Lead Pastor, NewSong Church, Irvine, California

"This book provides wonderful insight and commentary about the intersection between Asian American leadership issues and cultural values within the context of Christianity and mainstream society."

J. D. Hokoyama, President and CEO, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP)

"In writing this book, Paul Tokunaga has provided a compelling and comprehensive training resource for Asian American Christian leaders. Using his Japanese/Southern wit, his keen eye for observing Asian American cultural tendencies and his own journey as an outstanding leader in many different and challenging settings, he has found ways to coax more of us also to step forward and contribute in ways that affirm who we are and that will bless countless others."

Rev. Dr. Ken Uyeda Fong, Senior Pastor, Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles

"Weaving personal reflections with practical guidance, Paul Tokunaga provides up-and-coming Asian American leaders with invaluable insights on how to reach their full potential. This book offers candor and wisdom from an experienced ministry leader who shares both the ups and the downs of his own leadership journey. Read this book and accept his invitation!"

Helen Lee, co-founder, Best Christian Workplaces Institute, former publisher, re:generation quarterly

"With insights from the Bible, Asian American experiences and his own personal journey, Paul Tokunaga has produced a work that will serve as an invaluable resource for Asian American leaders as well as for those who serve alongside them. The Asian American and the wider Christian community have needed a book like this for a long time."

Peter Cha, Assistant Professor in Pastoral Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Paul Tokunaga has hit a grand slam. All throughout this book I found myself repeatedly saying, 'That's me. . . . That's exactly how I feel. . . . That's exactly how I am.' Paul has captured the pulse of the Asian American leader: competent, highly skilled and gifted, with tremendous potential and possibility yet in need of encouragement, mentoring and hope. Paul provides for us the possibility of being ourselves and being effective leaders."

Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Assistant Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, North Park Theological Seminary

Tokunga?s book is very informative, biblically sound, and even inspiring.

Step by Step blog, October 14, 2007



Introduction: All for you, Jack Zogg

Section One: On Being a Leader
1. Building the Spiritual Foundations of an Asian American Leader
2. Understanding Our Asian DNA
3. Are We All That Different?
4. Becoming a Pretty Good Leader I: Who They Are
5. Becoming a Pretty Good Leader II: What They Choose to Do
6. Jesus Beats the Warlords
7. New Biblical Paradigms for Leadership: Moses and Esther
8. Becoming a Really Good Leader: Keep Doing Five Things; Quit Doing Three Others
9. Becoming a Great Leader: Asian American Level 5 Leaders

Section Two: Developing and Deploying Asian American Leaders
10. The Unique Mission of Asian American Christians
11. Big Numbers That Breathe and Bleed
12. Different, Sometimes Way Different
13. Telling the Truth About Asian American Secrets


Appendix: Demographics from Census 2000


Paul Tokunaga

Paul Tokunaga (Master of Christian Studies, New College, Berkeley) is vice president and director of strategic ministries for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. He started with InterVarsity as a student at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and has also worked with 2100 Productions and as Southeast Regional Director.