A Critical Appraisal of Korean Missionary Work: Challenges for Western and Global South Missionaries.

Author: Dr Julie Ma, Research Tutor in Missiology with OCMS.


I. Introduction
When we read the Bible through the eye of mission, it soon becomes evident that God established his mission in a unique way. The fundamental element of mission was accomplished by God himself through the death of his Son Jesus on the cross. Thus, the author of mission is God and the history and the entire world are the theatre of his mission, where he selects actors and sets the whole plot. But this mission was to be wrought jointly by God and his people, so God raised up various Christian communities of men and women to fulfil his mission. It has flourished over two millennia through the work of the Holy Spirit.
We can safely say that the Lord of mission has used, in particular, the western church in the last millennium. If western missionaries had not come to our land to share the precious Word of God, there is little likelihood that any of us would have heard the good news of God’s salvation message. Therefore, I want to acknowledge the critical missionary contribution of the western church not only to Korea, but to other Asian countries.
It is observed that in the last quarter of the century, God has granted his spiritual and physical blessings in a great measure upon the Korean church. It is also encouraging to observe that Korean Christians have received them with missionary consciousness. Since the late 1970s, the Korean missionary movement has grown rapidly. After a generation, Korean leaders of the church and mission communities began to reflect on various aspects of the Korean missionary movement with critical eyes. In this study, I plan to outline the scope of the Korean mission movement, study key features of Korean missionaries’ engagement and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. I will keep my eyes open to the western missionary movement for any mutual benefits to be learned.

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