By James Choi
DOVER, Del.—On Nov. 6, 2018, Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) Executive Director Kevin Smith and BCM/D Church Planting Catalyst James Choi met with Young Yi Choi, senior pastor of Dover Korean Baptist Church serving as 2018-19 President of the Council of Korean Southern Baptist Churches of America (CKSBCA). Young Yi Choi is the 37th president of the CKSBCA . They met to discuss a potential partnership for planting and strengthening churches. James interviewed Pastor Young Yi Choi during the meeting.
What does your new role as the president of CKSBCA entail?
Mainly to serve the CKSBCA — to lead and direct CKSBCA churches to be faithful to the Great Commission and to the CKBSCA scripture theme, Acts 5:20 — particularly in the areas of church strengthening and church planting.
How many churches are affiliated with CKSBCA and how are they doing?
About 880 Korean Baptists Churches are affiliated with the SBC. Most Korean Baptists Churches are faithful to their calling.
In what ways do you see God working in the churches CKSBCA? What are some of their biggest struggles?
God is working through CKSBCA churches through global missions. About 200 International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries are Koreans and commissioned in the Korean churches. CKSBCA also supports and commissions missionaries — about 60 of them.
In addition, its five departments (International Missions, Domestic Missions, Education, Pastoral Ministry, English Ministry) and five committees (general meeting preparation committee, Women’s Ministry Committee, Men’s Ministry Committee, Seminary Committee, and Executive Committee) faithfully serve churches of CKSBCA.
About 75 to 80 percent of the Korean Baptist churches are struggling or not self-sustaining. As a result, Korean Baptist churches are experiencing difficulties in raising the next generation and also in cooperating with the larger Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) at a local level, national level or, sometimes, both.
What is your vision for the churches of CKSBCA?
My main goals are to strengthen weaker churches with the assistance of bigger churches through church revitalization and re-planting as well as raising up the next generation through church planting.
What are some ways the first generation churches can raise up the next generation?
First generation churches need a Biblical vision for church planting and a vision for raising leaders for those plants from within. They also must give the second generation Koreans opportunities to grow and partner together.
How can first generation churches be more involved in church planting?
First generation churches need a vision and commitment to Biblical church planting. They also need to be open to multi-ethnic and multicultural ministry.
In what ways can the CKSBCA build up the SBC? In what ways can BCMD support and help CKSBCA and your ministry?
Korean churches are well-known for their commitment to and dependence on prayer and perseverance in suffering. God has called Korean pastors and churches for a special purpose in modeling this type of prayer — dependent perseverance to edify churches in America.
BCMD can support and help CKSBCA by offering training and partnership (prayer and financial assistance) in helping raise up the next generation.
What can we pray for you about?
Please pray for me as I lead CKSBCA in the two-fold vision to help strengthen smaller or weaker churches through revitalization and replanting. Also, pray for me as I cast a vision to raise up the next generation for multicultural church planting.
Pastor Choi has served as the senior pastor of Dover KFBC for seven years. He desires for his church to serve the community and welcome people of all ethnicities. He is leading in that effort by holding service in Korean and English, and offering live translation for his main Sunday gathering. Also, DKFBC hosts an annual Korean Festival, inviting people of the community through food, entertainment, and fellowship. Finally, Pastor Choi and the church, at Choi’s 13-acre land, have a persimmon fruit farm, where they will use the profits for global missions and community outreach.