By American, I mean an Anglo church.
it’s a whole new world. I’ve been serving Korean churches for 5 or so years and been part of one for all my life.
There are some things that I really appreciate about the American church, especially this one, and though I am critical of the Korean church, there are some things that they do that I appreciate very much.
The first thing I noticed here at my new setting is that I feel a little more sense of freedom. It’s a nice and strange and I can’t really describe it.
No matter what my setting is, you can’t take out the Korean that is innately me. And I can’t just erase the years of experience and lessons I’ve learned serving at Korean churches. As painful as some of those lessons were, they have taught me valuable lessons.
What I am trying to do, especially with the wonderful and lively youth kids at this new church is to find a hybrid model between the “average” American youth group and the “average” Korean youth.
Most Korean youth groups are a separate driving ministry of its own. We have our own worship, our own liturgy and our own practice. Every Sunday, we have a contemporary worship. Besides Sundays, we usually have another day of the week set aside for Bible Studies. It’s a ministry of its own.
But American churches run their youth programs differently, even from all the books I’ve read about youth ministry (which was sometimes difficult to put into practice, because they didn’t fit our model/context). So, through trial and error, I think I’m going to work hard at making youth programs more than just activities and games (which are great things for youth).
My goal is for the youth at this church not just be active at church, but active Christians in our community and society. And not just by name or association, but by action and love. And of course, this is done through God’s grace and love.
I want them to not only ask for blessings from God, but to be a blessing to God and God’s people.
It’s going to be a long journey, but I am excited to be on this journey with this church and am anticipating all the things that God has in store for us.