Printer Friendly

Grace Korean Church, Fullerton, California: mission from the margins.

In recent years mission watchers have drawn attention to significant changes in the global Christian landscape, with two of the most important being the southward shift of global Christianity and the rise of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity. These two elements come together as we observe that the majority of thriving churches in the Global South are charismatically oriented. Their exponential growth in both numbers and dynamism contrasts sadly with the steady decline of Western churches. In God's economy, the Southern church may now be called to come to the aid of Western churches. Such a missionary call, however, has not been the main focus of the emerging missionary churches in the South. Instead, I believe that Southern immigrant congregations that are located in the heart of Western societies are the ones that are poised as the conduit of missionary energy from the South. I have therefore been searching for an example that cries out for recognition and perhaps also for assistance in the growth and maturity of its mission thinking and practice. And I found one: Grace Korean Church, in Fullerton, California. It is not perfect, of course, but it strikes me as extremely significant?

An Invisible Giant

Grace Korean Church (GKC) is a Korean-American diaspora congregation. It has never called itself Pentecostal but, like many Korean churches, is extremely Pentecostal in its theology, worship, and ethos. Paul Gi Hong Han, the current senior pastor of the church, characterizes the twofold focus of the church as (1) the work of the Holy Spirit and (2) mission.

With its 6,500 membership and a 26.2-acre campus, the church has a distinct presence in the city, and its missionary accomplishments have become legendary among Korean-American Christians. However, except for a few nearby ministers, some missiologists, and several short reports in the local Orange County Register, the most popular local newspaper, the church's presence and its activities have been largely unknown to mainstream society and the media. This invisibility stems from GKC's exclusive association with other Korean churches in the area and in the country (as well as in Korea). Although the church includes an English-speaking congregation primarily made up of second-generation Koreans, the core group consists of first-generation Korean immigrant believers. The church has simply not produced any English-language literature that would properly introduce the church and its impact on society and mission.

My first acquaintance with the church was through GKC's widespread reputation as a single-minded missionary church during my studies in Southern California in the early 1990s. GKC was not the largest among the Korean immigrant churches, nor was the broadcast preaching of Kwang-shin Kim, its founder, eloquent in delivery or profound in its theological content. Nonetheless, Kim has been widely known for his charismatic leadership and deep spiritual sensitivity. His missionary leadership defies many common-sense missiological assumptions. My visit to the church's rented school facility confirmed all that I had heard about Kim and the church. In my view, they represent a surprisingly new missionary player from a social and ecclesial fringe that has potential to significantly influence Christianity and its missionary work.

This study is first of all descriptive, for the story of Grace Korean Church is not widely known outside of Korean-American Christian circles. It includes a look at Kim, the birth and growth of the church, and the development of its missionary work, particularly in areas of the former Soviet Union. The second aspect of the study is a critical analysis of GKC's mission thinking and practice. The study concludes with evaluations, concerns, and suggestions for the future of its missions work.

It is not surprising that little has been written about GKC. I know of only two books about it, both in Korean. One is a collection of stories, particularly of GKC's mission to places in the former Soviet Union; (2) the second is a book published in 2009 with three distinct components: a synopsis of the construction of the church's new Vision Center, an autobiography of Kim, and an autobiography of Paul Gi Hong Han, Kim's successor. (3) In addition, a mission handbook published by Grace Mission International (GMI), an outgrowth of the church, lists its missionaries with a brief description of their ministries. (4) Also, Tai Choul Yang, GKC's mission pastor, who has completed a doctor of ministry degree, wrote his dissertation (in Korean) on GKC's missionary work. (5) Pastor Han kindly arranged for his two mission leaders to answer my questions and requests for documents. (6) We currently have no way, however, to confirm the objectivity of the presentations or the validity of the data; I should note that some parts of the sources are fairly promotional in nature.

Founder Kwang-shin Kim

Kwang-shin Kim was born in Korea in 1935, (7) about ten years before the liberation of Korea from the harsh rule of the Japanese, who had annexed the country in 1910. He evidently spent a few years of his primary school education under the Japanese assimilation curriculum, which denied Koreans their language and culture. His experience with the Korean War as a teenager greatly impacted him. He volunteered to serve in the army, although he was not old enough. We know really nothing specific about his early years, but he must have witnessed, if not indeed experienced firsthand, decades of poverty and political struggle under military dictatorship.

He graduated from the prestigious Seoul National University and served as an English teacher at Sookmyung Girls' High School in Seoul. For unknown reasons, he migrated to Argentina in 1969. Two years later he moved to the United States, where he eventually completed seminary.

Conversion. Kim had a radical experience of conversion at age forty-two, although he had previously been a churchgoer and even a choir conductor. It happened through his brother-in-law, who shared his experience of God's radical healing of a cancer. This triggered a chain of events that eventually led to Kim's encounter with God's reality. He was also baptized in the Holy Spirit. He claimed that several spiritual gifts accompanied this series of events, including seeing a weeping Jesus in a vision. Two years later he began his seminary education at Biola University, La Mirada, California. Upon completion of his theological education in 1982, Kim founded Grace Korean Church. The first meeting had three families in attendance. When the church celebrated its twenty-eighth anniversary in 2010, the membership of the church had reached 4,500. By early 2012 the church had grown to around 6,500 members and had a multitude of ministries. It currently owns an extensive infrastructure on its property in Fullerton.

Missionary vision. Kim's vision of a local church, which continues under his successor, is simply a community of believers empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Great Commission. This mission-centered ecclesiology was born of Kim's vision of a weeping Jesus early in his Christian life. (8) His life's journey as an immigrant in a foreign land may have contributed to this sense of a missional call. (9) GKC's dual theological pillar is articulated by Paul Gi Hong Han, who succeeded Kim as senior pastor in 2004: "From the beginning of GKC, there has been a special anointing of the Holy Spirit. Many are healed, words proclaimed through Kim convict and convince hearts and lives through the power of the Holy Spirit, and many convinced atheists have experienced the presence and power of God as they enter the church. For the past twenty-seven years, through the Spirit's anointing, the consistent calling of GKC has been 'world mission' according to the Great Commission." (10)

Mission priority. The priority of mission for Kim is tangibly demonstrated in several ways. The first is a conspicuous banner that greets everyone in the main lobby of the Miracle Center, the main sanctuary. It reads, "Mission is Prayer, War, and Martyrdom." It shows not only how the church understands mission and their resolution to fulfill it, but more important, mission as the very reason for the church's existence.

The second evidence is the way mission is financed. The church has consistently spent between 50 and 60 percent of its gross income on mission. A key lay member of the Mission Committee has commented, "It is often said that GKC spends 60 to 70 percent of its annual budget for mission, but that is misleading. ... We have never had a certain amount of money set aside for mission. Rather, as urgent mission needs are made known, we take voluntary collections to meet the needs. In this way, by the end of a year, we see that the church has spent a high proportion of its finances on mission." (11) The priority of financial resources given to mission is--or at least has been---demonstrated in how the church handles its overall spending. It has been widely known that the remuneration packages for the senior pastor and other ministers on the pastoral staff are equal. Also, for the first twenty-two years of the church's existence, despite its rapid growth in numbers and resources, Kim refused to have the church own any property. It was assumed that owning property would distract the church's attention and financial resources from mission. (In 2009, however, GKC completed construction of a $40 million International Prayer Center, which has placed an enormous financial burden on the church body.)

The third evidence of the priority of mission in GKC is the extent to which the congregation has adopted Kim's view that giving oneself to missionary service is the very best way a Christian can live his or her life. Most church members have participated in several short-term mission trips. When Kim suggests that a member consider a full-time missionary career, no matter how fearsome that possibility might at first appear, it is taken as the eventual climax of one's Christian life at GKC. (12)

Peter Wagner has given a brief, glowing commendation of Kim and of his powerful leadership impact on the whole church, with its unusual commitment to, and achievements in, mission. Referring to mission heroes such as William Carey, Hudson Taylor, and David Livingstone, Wagner commented, "I believe David Kim is one of the most significant missionaries and apostles to be counted among them." (13)

GKC Mission Successes

Mission to the Soviet Union. Kim reportedly wept in prayer for five years for the Soviet Union, although he had little direct knowledge of or contact with its member republics. (14) Eventually he focused his prayer on the 450,000 ethnic Koreans scattered widely throughout the U.S.S.R. In 1990 the church organized a thirty-three-member missionary choir, including many youth. With very little missionary experience of any kind, GKC's first missionary team sang a mixture of Christian songs and Korean folk tunes in concerts throughout the Soviet Union. With the grip of Communism still strong, and despite challenges from local and national bureaucracies, the choir gave presentations in Sakhalin, Khabarovsk, Moscow, Tashkent (Uzbekistan), and Almata (Kazakhstan). Throughout, the group faced the government's strong suspicion of their motives, not to mention a medical emergency and a tight schedule and budget. Challenges were always overcome through total trust in God's intervention, the sheer determination of Kim and the team, and, more important, a mind-set of martyrdom. Each formidable challenge proved to be merely a stepping-stone for spiritual and emotional breakthroughs in each place. Evangelism was glowingly successful. (I should note, however, that information about this effort comes only from GKC's publications.)

This trip had several immediate results. First, in almost every city where the choir held a Gospel concert, a local congregation was eventually established. Second, all the participants experienced a deep sense of missionary commitment, with many of them eventually becoming career missionaries. Third, the church itself entered into a new era, with an intensified awareness of mission. Their experiences were repeatedly shared through preaching, debriefing sessions, small group prayers, and the like. In the same year, ten members were officially appointed as missionaries to Soviet cities, while GKC's "Soviet mission plan" was soon expanded beyond ethnic Koreans in the U.S.S.R. Later the church chartered a jumbo jet from Los Angeles to Russia for a follow-up missionary trip. Throughout the flight the team devoted itself to fasting, prayer, and praise.

Mission to Tajikistan. The church in this Muslim country, which gained its independence in 1991, began in 1992 during a period of civil war. (15) The initial contacts were among 500 ethnic Koreans in Dushanbe, the capital, a city of 600,000 people. Yoon-sup Choi was one of the early GKC missionaries who helped found a congregation, the Dushanbe Grace Church. The new church launched an aggressive evangelistic program, using various approaches, including a martial arts studio for the city youth, in which high-ranking government officers and police eventually took part. This program typically attracted between twenty and one hundred participants daily. As with all the church's programs, it began with a time of prayer followed by a fifteen-minute presentation of a Christian message before every tae kwon do session. The church also began a daily feeding program for an average of 300 people, and conducted thirty or forty short-term medical service projects, drawing on Korean American and Korean Christian medical personnel from within GKC circles. On average, each short-term medical service project lasted about six weeks. No matter what means were used to draw interest or meet human needs, prayer and a straightforward presentation of the Christian message of repentance and salvation lay at the heart of the evangelistic campaign.

At the beginning of this mission, an average of seventy members spent about five hours daily in prayer for the evangelization of the city of Dushanbe and the entire nation. Choi trained about fifty members for personal evangelism two-by-two throughout the region. Great results were reported, particularly in rural villages, where in many cases Muslim leaders accepted the Christian message and their entire village turned to Christ. It is claimed that an estimated 150,000 in Tajikistan have heard the presentation of the Gospel, although this number cannot be verified. By 1999 the church had grown to over 1,000 worshippers, with a host of daughter churches throughout the country.

In 2000 the church was bombed during a Sunday worship service, killing ten people and injuring around a hundred. This event made it clear that the church's rapid growth and its impact were perceived as a threat to Islam, the state religion. Against the intent of the perpetrators, however, this incident only strengthened the convictions and commitment of the church members, whose numbers continued to grow. This attack provided an unusual opportunity for GKC to deepen its commitment to and support of the mission, as it called special prayer sessions, dispatched support groups to the site, and mobilized resources for the treatment of the injured and support for the families of the dead.

Analysis

Theological assumptions. I have found hardly any articulated theological reflection on GKC's mission engagement. Yet Kim's sermons and the mission policies and practices of GKC reveal a clear mission theology. Three aspects of this theology are noteworthy.

First is Kim's extremely functional ecclesiology. The very reason for the church's existence is to carry out the missionary mandate; spiritual formation and pastoral care are not ends in themselves but merely means for the building of a missionary community. Kim believes that the size of the congregation, which in only three years grew to about 1,000 members, is a natural outcome of the church's mission orientation, representing God's equipping to fulfill the missionary mandate and expand the church's missionary enterprise.

A second aspect of the theology is Kim's missionary pneumatology, which is strongly Pentecostal in orientation. (16) Prayer for, and with expectation of, supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit--including healings, miracles, and the hearing of God's voice--is an integral part of worship and spirituality at GKC. However, the church's view of pneumatology in mission is very different from the popular "health and wealth" theology of modern charismatic Christianity. The empowerment of God the Holy Spirit is to be used to adopt a lifestyle that is willing to surrender to, and thus suffer for, mission. This attitude toward "charismaticity" contrasts sharply with the triumphalism often evident in Pentecostal mission. It is very consistent with Jesus' own lifestyle, as well as that of the Suffering Servant (Isa. 42:1-4; 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12).

A third aspect of GKC's mission theology is the church's subtle eschatological orientation. It is not a millennial kind of urgency, which drove early Pentecostals to mission, but a sojourner imagery of human life in this world. The unique social makeup of this immigrant congregation perhaps has contributed to this orientation. Things of this world--health, possessions, opportunities, even life itself--are all viewed as part of God's providence for fulfilling his mission mandate. No sacrifice is too great if it promotes God's mission.

Mission focus. We can understand Kim's and GKC's understanding of mission by noting several characteristics of their mission activities. The first is the primacy of saving souls, the typical trait of evangelical mission. At the core of their missionary activity is the presentation of human sinfulness, the atoning work of Christ, and the need to accept him as personal Savior. The presentation, however, can be indirect, as we saw in the church's first missionary campaign, to various places in the former Soviet Union. The choir's repertoire included old Korean folk songs, which it used to connect emotionally with its audience. At the climax of any gathering, however, was a straightforward presentation of Kim's simple message of salvation through Christ. In retrospect, we can see that such large-scale gatherings and well-planned cultural presentations using music and drama filled a social and emotional vacuum left by the collapse of Communism. GKC's missions used this cultural "packaging" to initially attract people to a presentation of the Gospel, but the overall goal of the mission has always been evangelism, which arises from the theological conviction that sin is the fundamental root of all human and social problems. The church's missionary approach is extremely spiritual, including intercessory prayer, belief in supernatural manifestations of God's power through healing and miracles, seeking the Spirit's guidance, and the like. Any social component, such as relief work, social services, and cultural interests, is simply to facilitate the work of evangelism and church planting.

Also noticeable is GKC's strong orientation toward "foreign" mission, that is, mission that involves the distinct element of "going," preferably crossing geographic, cultural, and religious boundaries. The churchparticularly favors mission to "unreached people groups." (17) The bigger the gap between "home" and "over there," the more need there is for commitment and sacrifice. I have seen no mention of a possible mission to the large His panic population in Southern California. We can imagine that, as first-generation Korean immigrants, with harsh memories of the Korean War and the ensuing Cold War era, the church members have felt a natural concern for mission to the former Soviet locations. This sense of needing to go "over there" has deep roots in the Great Commission, along with the notion that one should go to "the ends of the earth" in order to reach "all nations" (Matt. 28:19; Acts 1:8).

GKC thus defines mission very narrowly, which helps explain its focused energy in mission. My quick survey of the Orange County Register noted several brief reports about GKC, yet I saw no evidence that the church, even with its enormous membership and huge campus, had any impact on the city of Fullerton or its highly concentrated multiracial communities.

Mission practice. The above comments support my conclusion that GKC conducts its mission work strictly as a "faith mission," in the fullest sense of the term. The church steps into the unknown with a confident expectation of God's presence, guidance, provision, and intervention. It assumes that prayer plays a key role both for the church as a whole and for its missionaries in the field.

GKC's understanding of a missionary call is striking. Most of the church's missionaries have received no formal training in either missiology or theology. Many of them are former businessmen who were deeply committed to mission, whom Kim personally "called" to go to mission. They have taken this word as God's own call on their lives. In some cases they have sold their business, put their house on the market, and left for a mission field even before the rest of their family has been able to join them. Other members in mid-career, whose children's education is complete, have seriously contemplated a missionary career. Missionaries such as these go through an unimaginable change of lifestyle, leaving the comforts of North American prosperity to go to a social context where one's very freedom of speech and faith cannot be taken for granted. The level of perseverance and sacrifice needed to fulfill such a calling requires the deepest conviction and commitment. Hong, who often accompanies Kim on mission trips, likens GKC's modus operandi to bungee jumping: missionaries must give up everything, but yet they bounce back. (18) Although no data are available, one can assume that many of GKC's missionaries are first-generation Christians who experienced an adult conversion, often characterized by a radical encounter with the reality of God. This conversion is typically reinforced by an experience of the Holy Spirit, often called baptism in the Spirit.

The church's administrative structure is extremely agile and flexible, not only for the support of deployed missionaries and their ministries but also for swift decision making and immediate response to demands arising from the mission fields. The mission structure is not supported by a large budget, but voluntary contributions are made as needed (such as in response to the Dushanbe bombing), both to the church and also directly to missionaries on the field. The deployment of human and financial resources is often spontaneous. As military language is frequently used in the promotion of mission, so is Kim's role as the "field general" for GKC's "troops" overseas. Not surprisingly, such an operational structure lacks stability and predictability and makes long-term planning impossible.

Changes have occurred since GKC's first mission work in 1990. Kim retired in 2004, when Paul Gi Hong Han, a homegrown leader, assumed the helm of pastoral leadership. The process of leadership succession was extremely smooth, which many viewed as a reflection of Kim's unselfish attitude. Kim, now "retired," has relocated to Korea, where he has established a daughter church of the GKC.

The missionary structure has expanded with the multiplication of daughter churches. In 2008 the missionary resources of the GKC gave birth to an international mission network--Grace Ministries International (GMI), which now functions as a corporate clearinghouse for missionary work of all the congregations in the network. Kim serves as the chairman of GMI. In reality, therefore, Kim continues his mission leadership over GKC and its affiliate congregations, even though he has ceased to exercise pastoral leadership.

A 2010 report claimed that GMI was currently sending 270 missionaries (compared with 246 in 2009) and that it had established 1,500 congregations in the former Soviet Union. Its mission field has also expanded to include China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, East Africa, Japan, Europe, and Latin America. Again, such claims cannot be independently verified.

Evaluation and Suggestions

My immediate aim in this article is to publicize the missionary story of Grace Korean Church, which is not a typical immigrant congregation, even by Korean standards. Among Korean-American churches throughout the United States, GKC stands out as one of a kind. Kim has been genuinely revered both inside and outside the church for his incredible work ethic, sheer dedication, and unorthodox creativity. His simple lifestyle and missionary vision have attracted a large number of gifted and committed Christians to the church, which over the years has contributed to the growth of the GKC congregation and its mission enterprises. In this concluding section I look at the future of this incredibly gifted mission church and offer three suggestions.

Publicize GKC's story. The "hiddenness" of Grace Korean Church to the outside world suggests that mutual efforts are needed, both by the church itself and by mission watchers. The church has produced only one English-language mission resource, one that communicates very little about either GKC's unique mission program or the spiritual dynamics that underlie it. This internal deficiency is compounded by the almost complete lack of interest among mission watchers. The only one I know to have commented on GKC is Peter Wagner, whose short statement, mentioned above, appears somewhat patronizing. Nonetheless, it is a beginning; the world of mission badly needs more of Wagner's mission mind, able to unearth hidden works of God. This hiddenness seriously deprives churches, both immigrant and "native," of the chance to learn about fresh new models of missionary success.

While new research is encouraged, it is important for many existing studies on emerging mission experiences and models from the Global South to be made widely available through publication. Resources on GKC, as I have noted, are in Korean, but even Korean mission researchers have generally been unaware of them. I see university presses as more likely to respond to such a challenge than commercial Christian publishers. We need studies at all levels--academic, popular, and practical.

Strengthen the foundations. I think readers will agree that GKC represents a powerful example of a new missionary possibility. But how long can it sustain its initial level of missionary zeal and commitment? Since beginning its missionary engagement in 1990, the church has manifested several important new mission paradigms and has maintained a remarkable missionary impetus, all of which has the strong potential to empower many others. At the same time there are several alarming signs that require deep critical reflection if GKC's missionary achievement is to continue beyond the first-generation congregation, as well as beyond its Korean confines.

The first foundation block I would suggest for a sustained mission of the church is the construction and explicit articulation of its mission theology. I cannot shrug off a lingering impression that GKC's mission has been planned, executed, and maintained by extremely pragmatic ad hoc guidelines, all arising from its charismatic decision-making process. Its achievements can be attributed to this flexible and responsive management structure. Nonetheless, while its missionary structure and engagement have grown rapidly, consistency and long-term planning are lacking. The processes of accountability and evaluation have not found a place. There is a great need for theological reflection on all aspects of mission.

The second fundamental need is for a critical and evaluative analysis of its brief mission history. A good history not only will reveal strengths and weaknesses but also will place the church and its mission within a larger historical and social context. GKC's missionary work so far can be compared to a sprinter, with a sprinter's focused energy and determination. However, the church now needs to plan for the marathon, the long haul, which requires everyone's help. A third-party research project is one way to meet this need.

Ask hard questions. If fundamentals are solidified, the model of GKC can have a huge impact on U.S. Christianity, both immigrant and mainstream. The church's dynamic "primal spirituality," its single-minded dedication to mission, its mobilization of the entire church, and its equally outstanding achievements on its mission fields are impressive. However, this exceptional picture can continue only insofar as the missionary motive of the church remains as pure as it was two decades ago.

The most basic questions to ask are theological, such as, What is mission as we understand it? What has motivated the way we have been doing mission? What is the meaning of doing mission together? What areas of mission has the church not paid attention to? Also, What motivated GKC's change from a previous policy of owning no property to one of purchasing property and constructing a multimillion-dollar facility? If this is viewed as purely a management decision, the missionary legacy of the church will have little to offer the next generation and the world.

Practical questions include, What expenses are included in the 60 percent of the budget devoted to mission? Who are included in the published number of missionaries? and How many of the congregations the church has planted continue to remain vibrant? If there is the slightest sign of inflation of these figures, then GKC is already beginning to fall into the success trap. It is not easy to resist such a temptation. With the changing circumstances of the church, including new leadership, the rise of a new generation, and the challenging financial picture, the church urgently needs to rethink the mode and motives of its missionary engagement.

The very elements that made GKC's mission an incredible success can also cause its downfall. The resolute first-generation determination cannot continue indefinitely. After two decades of its missionary enterprise, the operation remains strictly first-generation led. Unless the new generation, most of whom were born in the United States, successfully inherits the church's mission conviction and vision, the future will hardly be as bright. A proper training mechanism, evaluation process, and structure are necessary to ensure transparency and accountability. Since its mission has been completely dependent upon the leader's charismatic vision and commitment, the new leader will inevitably now shape the mission theology and praxis of the church. He will have to make clear how GKC will take the next significant step in mission.

The most challenging and immediate threat to GKC's two-decade-old missionary legacy comes from a least expected front: the construction of the multimillion-dollar international prayer center and consequent financial struggles. The heavy burden of its debt service has the potential not only to significantly affect its missionary activities, but even to threaten the very existence of the church. For me, however, the more serious question is, What caused Kim to change the church's celebrated insistence on no ownership of property? Was it a well-thought-out theological conviction, or was it simply a business opportunity? This brings us back to the fundamental question of the theological basis of GKC's mission.

Grace Korean Church--a well-kept mission secret hidden in plain sight--is now revealed. In many ways, this church has provided critical clues for how a vibrant missional Christianity could be restored to North America. It also shows how a pragmatic decision can take the church into turbulent waters. Its mission, as that of any congregation, is far from perfect. In fact, it has many unsettling problems, real and potential. Nurturing and strengthening its missionary success is in everyone's best interest, and ultimately for the sake of God's kingdom. To this end I am passionate about bringing GKC's story to light.

Notes

(1.) A longer version of this article appears in Mission Spirituality and Authentic Discipleship, ed. Wonsuk Ma and Cathy Ross, Regnum Edinburgh 2010 Series (Oxford: Regnum, 2011).

(2.) Hee-sung Park, Gara Ganda: Mission Story, Expansion of the Kingdom of God (in Korean) (Seoul: Gwang-ya, 2001). In Korean, gara is an imperative form "go!" and ganda is a response form meaning "(yes, I) am going."

(3.) Seung-hwan Baek, ed., Traces of Jesus: The Miracle Story of Grace Korean Church (in Korean) (n.p.: Yechan, 2009).

(4.) Grace Mission International, To the Ends of the Earth (Fullerton, Calif.: GMI, 2008).

(5.) Tai Choul Yang, "A Study of the Mission Strategies of Grace Korean Church in the Light of Five Selected Modern Missions Strategies" (in Korean) (D.Min. diss., Midwest Univ., St. Louis, Mo., 2009).

(6.) I am grateful to Tai Choul Yang, mission pastor, and Steve Hong, a member of GKC's Missions Committee, for their help in gaining information about GKC's mission program.

(7.) I have not been able to learn Kim's exact place of birth, though his Korean accent strongly suggests Kyungsang Province, in South Korea. He was in Seoul, however, when he was fifteen years old.

(8.) Kwang-shin Kim, "Rev. Kwang-shin Kim: Passionate Apostle of the Gospel," in Traces of Jesus, pp. 153-54. This and all other translations from the Korean are the author's.

(9.) Kim's sermons give us an important window into this sense of call.

(10.) Kee-hong Han [Paul Gi Hong Han], "The Story of the Construction of the Vision Center," in Traces of Jesus, p. 21.

(11.) Suk-koo Hong, an untitled reflection in Traces of Jesus, p. 172. In 2008, $10 million of a total budget of $19 million was spent on missions.

(12.) "Award-winning Christian" is Kim's term for a full-time missionary. See Park, Gara Ganda, pp. 24, 26.

(13.) C. Peter Wagner, an untitled contribution to Traces of Jesus, p. 167.

(14.) A detailed account appears in Park, Gara Ganda, pp. 41-70.

(15.) An account of this amazing ministry appears in ibid., pp. 230-53.

(16.) GKC is officially affiliated with the Bosu Hapdong Presbyterian Church in North America.

(17.) Yang, "A Study," pp. 14-23, identifies unreached people groups as GKC's first priority.

(18.) Suk-koo Hong, an untitled reflection in Traces of Jesus, p. 174.

Wonsuk Ma, a Korean Pentecostal mission scholar, currently serves as Executive Director and David Yonggi Cho Research Tutor at Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, Oxford, United Kingdom.--wma@ocms.ac.uk
COPYRIGHT 2012 Overseas Ministries Study Center
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Ma, Wonsuk
Publication:International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Apr 1, 2012
Words:5501
Previous Article:Korean Protestant Christianity: a missiological reflection.
Next Article:The Shepherd: A Publication of the Orthodox Archdiocese of Nigeria.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |