developing next gen Korean UMC churches

May 24, 2007

A Task Force on Korean American Ministries was called for by General Conference of the United Methodist Church denomination. In their report from March/April 2000, their findings are consistent with what L2 Foundation has noticed among many ethnic Asian immigrant churches:

A main concern among both laypeople and clergy is that the traditional styles of leadership that worked well for first-generation congregations may not serve the second generation equally well. The Korean American United Methodist community has experienced tensions within its membership over such issues as the role of clergywomen, the role of the laity, the need to develop either Korean-language resources or bilingual and English-language resources, and the need to develop leaders who can minister effectively to the next generation of Korean Americans.

The Korean American National Plan was established by the United Methodist General Conference of 2000 to strengthen Korean ministries. Since I don’t read Korean, I was not able to readily learn about how this National Plan at the Korean-language website proceeds to empowers new styles of leadership for the second generation Korean/Asian Americans and English-language resources.

I did learn of a conference called the TG Convocation on August 1-5, 2007, hosted by the English Ministry at Arcola Korean United Methodist Church in New Jersey. Its theme this year is missions, both in the local context and overseas. The keynote speaker is Reverend Dr. Minho Song, senior pastor of Young Nak Presbyterian Church of Toronto. He is an experienced English ministry pastor with a passion for teaching and missions.

I’ve contacted the conference organizers to learn more about how the UMC is developing leadership for next generation Korean/ Asian Americans. Will report here what I find.

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May 24th, 2007

Having grown up in Korean UMC churches I always appreciated their work in the community and am encouraged by their efforts in reaching out to the 2nd generation. In addition to the points stated in the March/ April 2000 report I think another major issue many 2nd generation KA’s may have with 1st gen. KA Methodist churches are differences in theology, with most UMC churches being more liberal and many 2nd gen. KAs being more influenced by evangelicalism.

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