As I wrote before, we gave much thought to the successor of Pastor Sam Oh since he was leaving. It is not easy to find the right candidate. Especially, due to the unique dimension of sharing with English speaking congregation, our youth ministry has its challenges which in turn demands special qualifications for the ministry worker.
First, the person has to be bilingual. This is important not only to communicate with parents but also to deal with many VIPs who are coming from Korea. Second, the person should know about house church. Since both congregations are involved with house church ministry and as a continuation the minister of youth should be knowledgeable of this system as well as its spirit.
Another crucial element is other conditions that support the ministry work along with a passion for the youth ministry. Youth are quite easily influenced by passion. Therefore, it is important for the youth minister to have the passion to lead them as he is involved with them in their level. In that sense, the role of the spouse of the minister is also important. We need someone who can be fully dedicated to the ministry work as a couple. It is not easy to find such a person who satisfies all these requirements. Unexpectedly, as we were making inquiries, we found a person in our congregation.
They are Heejun and Jung Ah Kim, leaders of Gurutegi house church. They are both bilingual in Korean and English. Their passion for ministry is well known in and out of church. It has been 5 years since they have become leaders of the house church and during that time period, they multiplied twice. They serve more than 10 singles every week and have many great results. The two different backgrounds where they grew up may produce a synergy effect. Shepherd Heejun grew up in a difficult family background, dropped out of college and met Jesus during his years of soul searching. He worked in many different walks of life as a manager in Radio Shack, car salesman, etc. On the other hand, Jung Ah, his wife, grew up in a traditional Christian family as an honor student and had a great career. Because of that, they can serve and be connected with both groups.
I was not sure whether they have a passion for youth ministry, especially Jung Ah who was promoted as the youngest director in Texas Children’s Hospital after she received the leadership award around Thanksgiving last year. In such a situation, I was not sure whether they would be open to this idea. However, contrary to our expectation, they both reported their passion for ministry work after taking two weeks of prayer. They saw many wounds in singles and they believe it is such a privilege if they can work and influence the youth before such scars set in. Pastor Eric and I both had official interviews with them and Pastor Eric also agreed that it was not possible to find better qualified persons.
A meeting and Q&A session with parents and interested parties is scheduled at 2 pm on April 10th for SBC and April 24 for NLF. After the Q&A session, they will work with Pastor Sam Oh to transfer duties for two months of May and June. Shepherd Heejun will register at Southwestern Seminary in August since he did not complete his bachelors degree program at UT Austin. Since this program is not very different from a Master’s degree program for ministers, he will be working as an evangelist while he is studying and will be ordained when he graduates.
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