Looking back this year, I am grateful to God’s grace for plenty of fruits in our church this year. First of all, we have been blessed to see many souls saved through our ministry. 170 people received Jesus as their Savior, and 162 people received baptism. I am truly grateful when I think about the joy of Mokjas, other people around them, and especially God when these people received Jesus and baptism.
Up to last Sunday, 250 new people enrolled in our church, but we don’t have big difference in Sunday attendance because many of these new people stay for a short sojourn. But Sunday attendance seems to grow a little bit; we had about 1000 people every Sunday for past few years, but nowadays we sometimes have more than 1100 people. And lots of people took Life Study courses, one of axes for house church: 149 people finished Living Life Bible Study, and 490 people finished other Life Studies. This year, we began offering a Life Study Course for Singles. I am glad to think that this course will benefit many singles.
Our passion for mission remained the same, too. The total number of people who went to mission trips is smaller than last year’s because a couple of teams could not make it, but 146 people (13 teams) went to mission trips to 9 countries. As before, many parents went to mission trips with their teenagers, and they gave great testimonies. For our church members, mission trips are now natural parts of Christian life. We are now thinking that it is time to shift our focus from short-term mission trips (a week or so) to mid-term mission trips (6 months to two years of prime time of our life). This year was very meaningful because we sent our first mid-term missionaries, Taeho and Yunyoung Kohes. In our October Mission Festival, lots of people as before committed themselves to short-term mission trips, and quite a few committed themselves to mid-term mission trips. I am glad to think that we will have more mid-term mission trips from now on.
We also did well in hospitality. We served 130 guests in the House Church Seminar for Pastors in April, hosted Korean Southern Baptist Convention in June, for which event 800 people came from all around the country. We held Mokja Conference in July, and in October, House Church Seminar for Lay Leaders for 150 people. Besides these events, we had 10 Days Three Strand Prayer, the Anniversary Service, a Revival, a Mission Festival, a Christmas Musical, and the End of the Year Party. We could host these big events almost every month without much trouble only because of dedicated service of all of our church members.
For me, I had served my first year as the senior pastor, had a short family vacation, went to China, and participated in the Nicaragua mission trip. I was busy, but I think I now know how to serve as a senior pastor. I feel fulfilled to undertake my job even though there were lots of things to take care of. Seeing fruits of my labor is more than worthwhile. We will have new challenges next year as well: more changes and new things to try and develop. I hope all of us become more sensitive to the leadership of God so that our church can undertake more works for Him.
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