Small group leaders trained for Korean churches


      The Korean National Plan has kindled the movement of small group ministries. About three years ago when the Korean Church of AtlantaUMC hosted the national gathering of the Korean UMC leaders, Reverend James Chongho Kim, pastor of Korean Church of Atlanta, cast the vision of 1,000 churches by 2020.
     One of the attending panelists questioned him, “Are you crazy?”  Although many attending did not verbally raise this same question, the same thought was on other panelists’ minds as well. 
      The following year, the leaders at the national gathering gladly adopted the vision that has now become a nationwide movement within the Korean United Methodist community. 
     The Korean National Plan developed a training manual for small group leaders, “Longing to Meet You,” as a way of fulfilling this vision of 1000 Korean churches by 2020 and providing training for small group leaders nationwide.
       On the last two Saturdays of July 2011, 100 people, including pastors from several Korean churches in North Georgia, gathered at the Korean Church of Atlanta UMC and the Candler School of Theology, respectively, to be trained as small group leaders.  As a result, these trained leaders were certified to serve small groups in their churches.
       For most of the participants, it was their first time to receive leadership training in a classroom from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Although some pastors graduated from Candler, this was their first time to sit in this new classroom, because they studied in Bishop’s Hall—the old Candler building. 
      Indeed it was a new and special feeling for everyone who was in this large, new classroom to receive the small group leadership training.
       However, the new feeling was not just about the classroom where they received the training, but about the excitement of forming small groups to eventually fulfill the vision of 1,000 Korean churches by 2020 in striving to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.