I Am Church

One reason I had for starting the house church was to help every church member become a useful member of the body of Christ, the church. The Apostle Paul says that the church is the body of Christ and that we are members of his body. (1 Cor. 12) He emphasizes that no member is useless and that everyone is necessary. But in traditional churches, only a small number of people are active in church ministries. Even churches known for their active ministries have no more than 30% of their members involved in ministry.

Many churches are divided into two groups of people: ministerial staff and their helpers, who provide service, and the rest of the church members, the majority of the church, who receive service. So senior pastors employ many professional staff members to provide services that church members want, and spend most of their church budgets on hiring and maintaining church programs. The church members constantly demand that their needs be met. When they feel that’s not happening, they leave their churches without thinking twice for another one that they think will better meet their needs.

When I came to Seoul Baptist, I decided to not employ professional staff unless it was absolutely necessary to help every church member become a useful member of the body of Christ. I was determined to let lay people do ministries that are usually handled by professionals in traditional churches. This even included the chairman of the board of deacons and ministries that are usually done by an Administrative Pastor.

A few years ago, a pastor known for his successful ministry made the following comment about our church: he had tried to help his church members become ministers like assistant or associate pastors, but Seoul Baptist was helping its members become like senior pastors. His remarks made me very happy; I felt that my efforts had finally borne fruit.

I believe that almost all of our church members have become a part of Christ’s body under the motto: “Two ministries for all: one for the united church and one for the house church.” About 300 members are serving in the children’s department — almost as many people as there are children — because so many people are willing to serve.

The church is not a building. The church is the people. You are the church. So when something needs to be done, don’t expect “the church” to do it for you. It’s your responsibility to do something, because you are the church.

Recently, someone pointed out some problems we had in the fellowship hall. A ministry team voluntarily formed to address the problems instead of waiting for “the church” to solve them.

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