My wife and I visited Kyomoonri Adventist Church on the first Sabbath of 2017. When we arrived at 9:30 a.m., most of the pews were occupied, and about 200 people were singing at the opening of the Sabbath School program. We approached a youth member of the church and asked if this situation was due to this being the first Sabbath of the year. “No,” he said, “it’s been like this for the last year.” A few others arrived after the Sabbath School program, and the church with the capacity of 350 seats was almost full. Our first impression was that most of the members come to church on time.
When we arrived at the church, there were some deacons who were directing the parking of the vehicles, making sure that all who came to the church had a parking space for their cars. Two ushers welcomed us at the front gate of the church. Going upstairs to the worship hall, we were greeted by 4 or 5 ushers and guided to our seats. We received a piece of paper and were asked to give our names, phone numbers, and addresses. Later, during the Sabbath School program, we were introduced to the congregation. Our second impression was that the church is a caring church.
During the Sabbath School program, all the small group leaders and teachers were invited to the front for special prayer by the church pastor Kang SoonGi. The small groups are arranged based on the residing locations of the members. The names of the small groups, their leaders, and members are posted on the church bulletin board. Our third impression was that the church has made small groups as their basis for ministry and activities.
During the Sabbath School programs, the small group leaders noted if the members of their groups were there. If they missed some members, they would call them and check to see whether they were coming or not. If they did not come on that Sabbath, their names were reported to the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries (SS/PM) secretary of the church. Amazingly, 30 minutes after the worship service was over, the SS/PM secretary was able to print out the list of the absent members, according to their small groups. Our fourth impression was that the church is concerned with the retention of the members.
In addition to the Sabbath School classes, adult and children sections, there is a special Bible class for baptismal candidates and a special Bible reading and Bible doctrine classes for those who are newly baptized or those who need more study on the doctrines. Our next impression was that the church cares about the spiritual growth of the members and is passionate about soul winning.
Every Sabbath, the small groups leaders at Kyomoonri Church have a meeting at 1:40 p.m., right after all members and visitors have lunch together. The agenda is always to discuss those who did not come to church that Sabbath. The Sabbath that we were there, we attended the meeting with the small group leaders. To each small group leader was distributed the names of the absent members. A plan was arranged to visit those members. According to Pastor Kang, because of these activities, the church was able to reclaim 10 missing members in 2016. Our last impression was that the Kyomoonri Church pays great attention to and puts much effort into reclamation of missing members.
Driving back home, we could not stop discussing and expressing our excitement about our visit to Kyomoonri Church. Kyomoonri Church is not a perfect church, but it has tried its best by involving all members to fulfill the mission God has entrusted to them. We believe that this church is not the only one doing all these things. Many other local churches are also very active.
Article by Richard Sabuin