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Global Mission Church: a mosaic abounding in ministry, missions

SILVER SPRING, Md. (BP)–In addition to starting five more churches and sending out 50 missionaries, Global Mission Church plans to build a new facility by 2010 on the 120 acres of land it recently purchased.

Pastor Man Poong “Dennis” Kim also envisions 5,000 members at the Silver Spring, Md., church — up from the current 2,000 attending Sunday worship services — and 500 lay leaders who will take care of believers and seekers.

“We are not trying to be a mega-church but a meta-church in which we enjoy the close fellowship like a family in church, so we may address all the needs — spiritually as well as socially,” Kim said. “We want to train and provide spiritual needs, what they need in their daily lives to imitate Jesus and actualize all the biblical ideas in their day-to-day lives, and share the love of Jesus and the Gospel of Jesus Christ so they may be effective disciples of Jesus, so we may go into the whole world and preach the Gospel.”

Global Mission Church, with its predominantly Korean membership, is the largest church in the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. Started in 1974, it is located just outside the Washington, D.C., beltway.

Kim, who is also president of the Korean Council of Southern Baptist Churches in America, a fellowship group, was called as pastor of Global Mission Church in 1992.

“We have 1,300 adults average, sometimes more than 1,500, and 450 children and youth,” Kim said. “Eight services. I used to preach six of them; now I preach at four.”

Church leaders include 11 ordained and five yet-to-be-ordained pastors.

“We train them and give them opportunities to serve the church members,” Kim said. “We encourage them to go to seminary to get an M.Div. [degree] … and then we ordain.”

The church’s three mission congregations were started by men who had gone through Global Mission’s training, the pastor added: Light Global Mission Church in Fairfax, Va.; Baltimore Global Mission Church; and Seattle Global Mission Church.

Church members include two main groups: first-generation immigrants and a melding of second-generation Koreans, mixed-marriage couples and people from other Asian groups.

“We like to be a cultural mosaic, so we respect each one’s language and culture, and we want to blend them but still keep them,” Kim said. “We like to enjoy oneness in variety, and that will be the heavenly church when Jesus comes again.

“I see the commonness among them, which we enjoy, and the differences, so I approach carefully, respecting every aspect of them,” the pastor continued. “Ignorance of differences causes problems, but clear understanding of the differences will help us to enjoy them and blend then into oneness. We want to make a mosaic rather than a melting pot.”

Cell groups are the primary method Global Mission Church uses to build understanding.

“I believe cell group is idea from what Jesus taught,” Kim said. “We’d like to turn all church members into cell groups.” Global Mission Church at the present time has more than 110 cell groups.

The small group accountability encourages Christian growth, the pastor said. That growth manifests itself in missions endeavors. In the 14 years that he’s been pastor, Global Mission Church has sent out at least 990 short-term missionaries to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Mexico, Italy and other European nations.

“We have trained them in Bible study and Evangelism Explosion, so they like to share the Gospel,” Kim said. “They really enjoy the travel and the ministry projects and the soul-winning experiences and food and fruits and variety of ethnic groups. They enjoy the fellowship and, when they come home, they feel boosted in their spiritual lives.”

Among its many local ministries is a huge bazaar of good used clothing in April, some of which finds its way overseas. Several social programs meet at the church, such as classes for English as a Second Language and for American culture.

“We are supporting a hot soup kitchen, pregnancy center and medical services to the needy people in the community, and many other things to serve them,” Kim said. “In the process of doing these projects, we would like to share Jesus’ love and His Gospel. We have received from the Lord first, and the Bible encourages us to share what we have received, so our motive is from the Lord.”