Field School of Evangelism in Korea

From August 5 to September 2, 1967, seventy workers and students participated in the first field school of public evangelism to be held in the Korean Union.

-Ministerial Association Secretary Korean Union Mission at the time this article was written

From August 5 to September 2, 1967, seventy workers and students participated in the first field school of public evangelism to be held in the Korean Union. Brace Johnston, chairman of the religion department of Southern Missionary College, joined forces with Dean L. Hubbard, secretary of the Korean Union Ministerial Association, to provide this in-service training for our workers in Korea.

Largest Attendance in History

In conjunction with the field school, Pastor Johnston conducted a series of pub lic evangelistic meetings. These meetings, which were held in the Seoul Academy Auditorium, drew the largest attendance ever to attend a series of meetings con ducted by our people in Korea. The auditorium, which has a seating capacity of 1,400, was filled every evening, with from 200 to 400 people sitting outside. Fifty percent of the average attendance was non- Adventist. Of the 413 who have made decisions to date as a result of the meetings, 150 (or 36 per cent) were from non-Christian backgrounds. Of this group 23 were Buddhists, 21 from other cults, and 106 claimed no religious belief at all. This latter group represents by far the largest segment of Korea's population. To date 99 of this group have already been baptized, with several more baptisms planned for the future. Apart from the decisions for baptism, the area pastors have nearly 2,000 interests to follow up. It is hoped that within a year's time 500 baptisms will be realized as a result of this campaign.

In planning for the campaign it was decided to single out one suburb and thoroughly organize and cover it rather than try to reach the entire city with one effort. Not only was this plan less expensive but it proved to be very effective. Ninety-five per cent of the people who came to the meetings lived within a one-and-a-half-mile radius of the auditorium. With at least eight other similar residential suburbs in Seoul a continual program of sectional evangelism appears to be very promising.

Church Organization

Because of the lack of street names and consecutive house numbering, personal visitation has always been a very difficult problem in Korea. In order to overcome this handicap a unique program, which combined the work of the laity and the ministry, was inaugurated. Upon checking with the local authorities it was discovered that the entire city is divided into many divisions, subdivisions, and sub-subdivisions. In fact, this dividing continues until ten to twenty homes form a single unit. This dividing is done by the city in order to provide adequate police protection and also facilitate the delivery of mail. It also proved to be an excellent method of organizing our people for the effort. The entire church territory was divided along these prefixed lines. Next, the membership was divided into bands following the same pattern. A band leader was selected and given the responsibility of knowing who lived in every home in his district. These bands not only worked effectively when it came to visiting every home in the territory in preparation for the meetings, but when it came time to visit in the homes of the interests the band leaders were able to accompany the workers to any home they wished to visit. In this way it was possible to carry on extensive visitation, and many decisions were claimed in the homes.

The Ministerial Association in Korea has outlined an extensive program of field school evangelism for the future, with the goal that every worker will have had an opportunity to participate in one of these schools within the next three years. With a ministry trained to do effective evangelism, it appears that the greatest days for the advancement of the work in Korea are yet in the immediate future.

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-Ministerial Association Secretary Korean Union Mission at the time this article was written

January 1968

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