[Series I] The Growth of the Yoido Full Gospel Church

The Growth of the Yoido Full Gospel Church:
Its History, Factors, and Future Tasks

Written By HONG, Young-Gi (Ph.D.)
The Senior Pastor of the Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

 

As a cradle member of the Yoido Full Gospel Church, the largest local congregation in the world, I have seen the dynamics of the church closely and want to share the picture of the growth of the church with you. I will briefly introduce the growth of the Korean Church as a background for the growth of Yoido Full Gospel Church (referred to as YFGC hereafter), and describe its history and growth factors, and then talk about some problems the church faces today and tasks for the problems in the future.

 

A. Background: Understanding the Uniqueness of the Korean church

1. Uniqueness of its beginning: The church in Korea was started by the Korean people. They translated Bible with the assistance of missionaries. In the early years of the 18th century, some of our enlightened youths went to China and met some missionaries. In the face of persecution and deaths threats, they set out the task of translation and preached the Gospel before the Protestant Western missionaries came to Korea.

2. Unique relationship with Western missionaries: Western missionaries came not as church planters but as helpers to church planting which was already started by Koreans. Church buildings were built in the style of traditional Korean houses. Western missionaries directed their efforts to the teaching of the Bible and the fostering of local church leaders. The relationship between the missionary and the local church has been neither one of master and servant, nor of father and son, but one of true fraternity.

3. Uniqueness of its growth rate: The growth of the Korean Church has been striking. The Protestant Church growth of Korea, compared with neighbouring Japan or Taiwan, as well as with most of the world, is a striking phenomenon. One of the most famous evangelists of the twentieth century, Billy Graham said: "the growth of the Christian Faith in Korea during the past 100 years is one of the most remarkable and inspiring stories in the church's history." The Christian population in Korean society has increased especially since the 1960s.

Source: Ministry of Culture and Information and Kidok Kyomunsa    
(Christian Publishing House), Kidokgyo YÔngam (Christianity Almanac).

Source: Ministry of Culture and Information and Kidokkyomunsa,
Kidokkyo YÔngam (Christianity Almanac).

 

The growth of the Korean church may be exceptional in the sense of rapid quantitative grown and the development of many large congregations. My church is the largest local congregation in the world but the Korean church has also many large churches and mega-churches. Now I will introduce you the history of my church.

 

To be Continued…

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