The Modern Trend of World Missions

By Rev. John Kao

Praise the Lord! I have been thrilled to serve in ACEM Churches over the last 27 years. Since inception of our churches, we have strong commitment and vision towards world mission. Recently our co-workers of Missions Department plan to re-evaluate our priority and overall planning. What is our urgent task before us?

The Global Consultation on World Evangelization was held in Seoul, Korea, May 1995. The reasons for our enthusiastic participation were to learn more new development of world missions and to learn the key of success in Korean churches in the area of world mission. It was eye-openers to us. Let me share with you what I have learned from the meeting.

1. A Genuine Cooperation

We arrived Seoul at late evening. It was amazing to see that there were lots of crosses solemnly standing on the top of churches. To testify God’s glory and symbolize cooperation between churches, all the crosses are in same color and same outlook. It also tells us that the churches are cooperative.

The next day, about 4,000 delegates from 200 countries attended the Opening Ceremony. What a big reunion! All delegates came from different races, nationalities, sex, ages, denominations and organizations. The largest team was from Brazil where they sent out over 500 representatives. The Russian team was so outstanding and they witnessed God’s enabling power. While singing and marching into the sanctuary, we all the delegates praised the Lord of the harvest that He sent workers to all nations to reap. We all clapped our hands when the Indian delegates were singing.

All the sermons and seminars reflected unity in co-operations between denominations, countries and leaders. We are all serving one Lord, spreading one Gospel and outreaching to the same lost world. We all dedicate ourselves for world evangelization towards AD2000 and beyond.

2.  A Distinctive Objective

To group all Christians to work together, a distinctive must be set up. The objective of the Consultation is “A church for every people and the Gospel for every person by AD2000”. There are three elements in this objective:

a. Timing - We cannot defer as time is so short. We have to achieve the objective before AD2000.

b. Strategy – A church for every people, not just every country. For example, there are numerous minority groups in Mainland China, each of them has its own language and culture. As the Book of Revelation shows us that standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb, He had purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. In order to maintain the continuity of evangelization, to establish a church for every people, to train disciple perpetually is the best strategy.

c. Scope – It is possible for every person to have a chance to listen to the gospel, through literature, mass media and one-to-one discipleship training. Our focus is on the 10/40 Window (from Morocco, Africa, to the east coast of Taiwan) where 95% unbelievers are located, such as Muslim, Hindu and Buddhism etc. It is an area where 85% of the poorest people are located as well. We endeavour to evangelise there unreached people groups.

3. A Global Mobilization

With this great challenge before us, how can achieve the objective effectively and efficiently? We have to nurture and equip our local Christians to Soldiers of Christ, to spread His Gospel locally. All Christians become His Ambassadors to witness in their own professions, for His glory. The growth of Korean churches is marvelous. Nearly half of the world’s largest 10 churches are now in Korea.

On Sunday, I and other delegates attended one of the seven Sunday Worship Services at Yoido Full Gospel Church. The attendance of each service was around 50,000 people. Before concluding the sermon, about a thousand people stood up to express their desire to follow Christ. These people, in fact, were attending small group meetings with their hearts already prepared to accept the Lord.

4.  A Concert of Prayer

Korean churches put much effort and emphasis on prayer. Prayer was much emphasized at GCOWE as a major driving force for world missions.

Prayers make a significant contribution to individual Christian life, church revival, evangelism and unity of the church. Prayer would enable us to conquer ourselves and the world. With prayers, we can promote world missions, understand God’s plan. It was demonstrated in the New Testament church, and it is still essential for the churches today.

On one Sunday afternoon, I and other Chinese pastors went to a prayer mountain. In fact, many Korean churches have their own prayer mountains. We arrived at a Prayer Hall where hundreds of people sat on the floor, knelt down etc., they waited on God in prayer day and night. Some devoted to fasting and prayer for several days or several weeks.

On Tuesday, I and other Chinese pastors attended a 5:00 a.m. morning prayer meeting at Myung Sang Presbyterian Church. This church was founded in 1980, with less than hundred Christians. At present, they have nearly 30,000 members. The success of its growth is due to the practice of prayer. Except Monday, three prayer meetings are scheduled every morning, i.e. 4:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Several thousand people attend each morning’s prayer meeting. There were about 20 minute sermon and 40 minute singspiration and prayer. Their strong commitment to prayer is quite amazing. Are we willing to pay the cost?

5.  A Whole-Hearted Dedication

We ask the Lord of the harvest to sent out workers into His harvest field. Prayer can lead us to know God’s will clearly, how we should contribute our money or our talents to the mission work for the sake of God’s kingdom.

The earnest prayer of Korean Christians also brings them the thorough sacrificial dedication to world missions. According to some survey statistics, there were only 93 Korean missionaries in 1979; but over the past 15 years, they have increased the number of missionaries to 35 times! In June 1994, there were 3,272 Korean missionaries and the number has been grown rapidly. In the past, it was a monopolized privilege for the western churches to send out their missionaries, but now the Third World Conuntries like India, S. Korea, Brazil and Myanmar are catching up in sending out their missionaries.

On Saturday evening, we attended a “Student Mission 2000” at Olympic Stadium. About 80, 000 young people dedicated themselves to missions work.

Besides becoming missionaries, Korean Christians are willing to support missions work financially. Many of the Third World delegates’ airfares and accommodation were subsidized by Korean Christians. They contributed almost 70% of the expenses of the Consultation. Korean churches have sent out many missionaries as well as a large sum of money to support world missions. “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.

6. A Through Utilization of Gifts

World missions is the duties for every Christian. Someone said so correctly, “If you are not a missionary, you must be mission filed”. It is to say that a born again Christian must bring the gospel to someone else or otherwise, he should accept others to bring the gospel to him. Whether locally or globally, full-time career or tentmaker, short-term or long-term mission experience, we must all obey the will of the Lord of harvest at His appointed time, place, and manner to carry out Great Commission of world evangelization.

7. A Prioritized Task

The slogan of the last Lausanne Congress was “The Whole Church Take the Whole Gospel to the Whole World”. There were 12,000 unreached people groups at that time. At present, only 2,000 remain unreached. We have to grasp any minute to spread His word in the remaining five years. Our Lord urges us, “Now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.”

“As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” The Lord will come again soon. We have to dedicate ourselves for world missions. In order to fulfil the Great Commission, in our day and age, we must earnestly offer our prayers, our financial contributions and our life commitments.

Last modified on Monday, 01 April 2019 08:53


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