OPEN MIND

“A Dream about Multicultural Church” – Pastor Young Joo Lee

These days, there have been many more occasions to meet and socialize with other pastors. Through those interactions, I share my thoughts on mission works here in London. Probably that’s why I’ve been thinking a lot more about the future of our church these days. Traditional missions are missions to visit countries with different languages and cultures by plane, while new missions that began to emerge around 10 years ago can be described as “front-yard missions” to all nations that flock around large cities. In the next 30 years, 70% of the world population will live in cities. As such, the main mission is not Africa or a jungle, but the city. If you think about the UK, you should be more interested in London than in Wales, and the flames of revival should go from London to provinces.

The reason cities are important for mission work is that those are places where various races with different languages and cultures live together. Therefore, a strategic approach to the city can pave the way for missionary work around the world. However, even if they live together in one place, it is difficult to communicate with other ethnic groups due to language and cultural barriers, and those barriers lead to people with similar cultures and ethnicities to live together. Younger generation has broken down this barrier and is living in the UK as if they are living in their homeland. As such, a new missionary era should be led by them. However, an issue that, people who can support the younger generation in doing so, is the first generation who is living in isolation. Unless the first generation, who has the power and resource, provides a meeting place and support, it would be difficult for younger generation to do it by themselves.

An easy conclusion is to establish a multicultural church. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, too. However, I have a slightly view on a traditional multicultural church that it should not be used as the main point of urban missionary work. The reason is that, there are still many people in the UK who are not comfortable with English service, and even the younger generation who are more comfortable with English is often connected to their parents’ generation that they prefer to worship with people from the same culture. Moreover, most of the countries that are in dire need of church development in London actually need more churches. For example, there are around 140mm people from China and 500k people from Bangladesh in London, but there is no independent church led by them.

So, if the Lord gives us the opportunity to build a multicultural church in our church, we will run the character of a seedbed church to build churches in each country. There are already many existing British churches, but the passion and culture of Korean churches can be more influential than British churches. Moreover, non-westerners who respond easily to the gospel may be more homogeneous with us than with the existing churches in the UK. As such, when various people gather in the multicultural church that we established, I would like to support anyone who wants to pioneer developing a church of his/her own country.

I want to our church to be a multicultural church that supports the establishment of many monocultural churches of all nations in London. I pray that our Lord will give us an opportunity to establish a multicultural church where the second generation of Koreans, non-westerners who account for half of the population in London, and young people from Western countries interested in Korea gather together to worship together. I hope our prayer of “completing missionary work in our time” will be fulfilled.

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