Evangelism at Yoido has an explicit territorial, geographical emphasis.

Evangelism at Yoido has an explicit territorial, geographical emphasis. Geographical districts of cell networks mimic the old parish system. Evangelism focuses on the immediate geographical neighborhood of the cell leader. The Korean term for cell leader is literally ku-yok jang which means “leader in one’s small geographical territory or area.” These leaders “have spiritual oversight of a specific area and are responsible to visit participants and reach out to non-Christian neighbors.”[1] It is westerners, not Yoido Church, who adopted the word “cell group” in order to emphasize cell multiplication.[2] The cell group identifies needs within the lives of specific people in their micro-mission field and sets goals;[3] the cell group then visits and prays for and with specific people in their neighborhood. Gift giving, ranging from gifts at special occasions[4] to the personal delivery of a copy of the weekly church newspaper[5] and audio tapes,[6] is culturally valued and offers a valid reason to visit a non-Christian. Cell groups focus on ministering to their neighbors in micro-mission fields; they solve small, local human problems through building helpful relationships first horizontally between neighbors and then vertically between those neighbors and Jesus Christ.[7]

QUOTE [1]

NOTE


DISCERNMENT QUESTIONS

RESOURCES

[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through CreateSpace.com.

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.



[1]Hurston, Growing the World’s Largest Church, 72.

[2]Ibid.

[3]Ibid., 101.

[4]Ibid., 74. This is also an expectation within the cell.

[5]The four page Full Gospel News “contains a summary of Dr. Cho’s previous Sunday sermon, notes for the upcoming home cell meeting lesson, at least one personal testimony of healing or salvation, and assorted church news.” Weekly circulation in 1978 was ten thousand copies; the name was changed to Full Gospel Family in 1994. In 1990 the circulation had climbed to 1.4 million copies each week; each week the church gives each staff pastor two thousand copies to distribute through cell leaders. Each copy delivered is an opportunity for conversation. Hurston, Growing the World’s Largest Church, 103, 218.

[6]Hurston, Growing the World’s Largest Church, 100.

[7]Ibid., 104. Yoido’s ministry is massively decentralized through the use of cells working in micro-mission fields functioning as geographical and sociological niches. Each cell functions as a local niche for a crossing the chasmdiffusion strategy. Cf. Christopher P. Scheitle “Organizational Niches and Religious Markets: Uniting Two Literatures,” Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion 3, 2007, http://www.religjournal.com/ (accessed June 12, 2007).

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