Missionary and Pastor Identity - Boaz Ko 

at 2023-06-17 09:46:42.0 / 241 Hits

  I immigrated to New Zealand in 2001, and this year marks my 22nd year as an immigrant. As of 2020, there are more than 7.32 million Korean diaspora in the world (foreign citizenship: 4.81 million & expatriates: 2.51 million). Among them is my family.

  Our two sons, aged 5 & 3 at the time, are now grown up and living their own lives. He was called to be a pastor, settled in New Zealand, was sent as a denominational missionary to Korea, and fulfilled his mission as a pastor of an immigrant church with a missionary spirit in an immigrant church.

  After 14 years of ministry, I entered my 15th year of ministry and needed to organize my thoughts about my identity as a missionary and pastor. "Am I a missionary or a pastor?" What is the difference? I spread my wings, looked up resources, and thought about it, and that's been going on since January. The answer to folding my wings came from a senior pastor and missionary I met casually.

  He has been a living witness to New Zealanders and the church since he immigrated in 1993. Among the few Korean-American pastors at the time, he said he was called to serve the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Rim. He spent the next 30 years on a roller coaster ride of indigenous ministry. The story of his ministry was familiar to me from the book "Baeni Suhsunga" (Holy Sacrifice).

  Now over 70 years old, his confession was blessed to me because of the message given by the Holy Spirit. In his ministry, which has been widely publicized on CBS's "Renew," his present-tense insights have shed light on my thinking and identity. To summarize briefly 

  Korean Diaspora church ministry can be said to be a ministry of gathering people and nurturing saints (perfecting saints). Missionary work, on the other hand, is about gathering, teaching, training, and eventually scattering. When he says this, I can see the sincerity and purity of his eyes and the resolute spirituality in his spiritual stream. In fact, he said that he prayed countless prayers to the Lord as he sent the ministers he had evangelized, nurtured, and trained to the ministry field as they were.

  At present, our ministry field is graded by how many people we attract, how well they grow and mature, and how many members we have. I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all. However, I want to have a missionary identity, saving souls to experience new life, and teaching sacrifice and service in the process of nurturing. I expect spiritual growth and maturity in the process. 
I hope and pray for a missional ministry where such saints are sent out into the home, workplace, and society.