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Missions Incredible South Korea sends more missionaries than… 
11th-Mar-2006 06:19 am

Missions Incredible
South Korea sends more missionaries than any country but the U.S. And it won't be long before it's number one.

Has anyone seen this article in the current issue of ChristianityToday? I saw the cover of the magazine but I haven't read the article yet. Here is the link: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/003/16.28.html

If you read it before I get around to it let me know what think. If other Koreans have a tendency to be like UBFers this could be a scary prospect. What does this say about the state of Christianity in America? Why are Koreans so anxious to go out as missionaries? Conversely, why are Americans so reluctant? Look forward to seeing what the article actually says and hearing your comments. Wonder if it mentions UBF?
12th-Mar-2006 07:44 pm (UTC)
South Korea today sends out more missionaries than any other country except the United States. In terms of missionaries per congregation, Korea sends one missionary for every 4.2 congregations, which places it 11th in the world. (The U.S. does not rank in the top 10.)

This rocketing rate of growth is historic. When Kang returned to his home in 1991, South Korea had sent more than 1,200 missionaries, up from 80 just 11 years before. Today, almost 13,000 South Koreans are serving as longterm missionaries in countries around the world.

Here the author assumes that the numbers and the statistics he has accurately reflect the reality of Korean mission work. The author does not say where he got all the numbers and the statistics for Korean mission work. I can tell something about the numbers and the statistics that come out from UBF. First recall that Samuel Lee doctored the picture appeared in UBF News by faith(?) to exaggerate the number of the people who attended the MSU world mission conference a few years ago. Next UBF's weekly report on 1 to 1 Bible study and Sunday worship service. When many UBF Korean missionaries report their weekly one-to-one bible study, they consider it a one-to-one bible study by faith(?) even to talk to a person on a street or on a campus or on the phone. When they have a group bible study with 3 people in the group, they count it as three one-to-one bible studies by faith(?). They don't seem to have a guidline for what to be considered one-to-one bible study that could be included in their official report. It is the same story with their Sunday worship service report. They include an infant who cannot understand the message in their official count by faith(?). So the numbers and the statistics from UBF do not accurately reflect the real activity of many Korean missionaries. Literally everything is possible by faith(?) in UBF. I suspect that this kind of mindset was originated from Samuel Lee. It is a possibility that any Korean church postored by someone from Samuel Lee's generation could have had the same mindset as Samuel Lee's. That generation needed this kind of mindset to survive the difficult national situation induced by Korean war.

It is well known among other nations that the Korean government is notoriously inaccurate with its annual and quarterly report on many economic indicators. Many Korean corporations do not follow general guidelines when they report quarterly or annual earnings.

It is important to consider the general environment and the culture of a church or a country or a corporation or any other organization when the numbers and the statistics are presented for consideration because the numbers and the statistics don't tell the whole story. Even if the numbers and the statistics from Korean churches are accurate, we do not necessarily know if the numbers are the result of the atmosphere of Korean churches and their congregation in general or if the statistics is the result of the work of only a few authoritarian church leaders as is the case with UBF.
12th-Mar-2006 09:26 pm (UTC)
You're right, one should always question how accurate claimed numbers are. Also, how comparable are such numbers? Who is counted as a missionary? How good must one be educated to be called a missionary? How many hours a week must one spend on the mission field to be called a missionary? How good are the missionaries supported spiritually and financially by their home organizations? Does somebody with no Biblical education who does more harm than good, and practices mission in his spare time (as UBFers do) count as "1" just as a fully educated, fully supported, full-time missionary? I fear that even UBF "missionaries" are counted as missionaries in that statistic.
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