This morning, my family and I attended church at Yoido Full Gospel Church in the heart of Seoul, South Korea.
I don’t think that I can possibly sum up my experience in mere words.
There have been few times in my life where I have entered a situation and nearly been moved to tears, but upon entering the main sanctuary, I was blown away.
See, standing in the sanctuary were nearly 20,000 people, almost entirely South Korean, all singing and praising God at the top of their lungs.
Apparently, Yoido Full Gospel Church is the largest church in the world, and this Wednesday, only 3% of the church’s 800,000 members attended the service that the Logeman family also attended.
I attached a picture at the bottom of the post, and let me tell you, you can only grasp a fraction of the size and grandeur of this Church.
But as amazing and spectacular as the church and its people were, I was blown away by the message.
At the beginning of the service, for nearly 5 minutes, the entire congregation prayed for North Korea. For wisdom, for guidance, for gentleness, and for peace. The church was echoing with the prayers of the people so loudly that it seemed like a sports stadium.
I was struck down amazed. If anyone has the right to hate another group of people, I think the North and South Koreans have earned that right. Yet, here is this church, 20,000 people were praying for peace.
Then, later in the service, the entire congregation, all 20,000 people, stood, and each person was individually prayed for. A Korean man who I had never seen before placed his hands on my head and prayed individually for me. He didn’t know who I was. He knew that I probably didn’t understand a word of the prayer he was praying. However, he knew that I was in that service for a reason, and so like every other person in that church, he prayed for me.
I could go on and on about the service we experienced, but the rest of the day, I was left with one thought.
I have no clue what the body of Christ is actually like.
I grew up in the church, I still go to church, I am a Christian. But I have vastly underestimated what the body of Christ can do.
This morning, for the first time in my life, I saw Christ through non-American eyes.
See this Christ is a beacon of hope in the face of constant oppression.
This Christ is immediately transforming and captivating lives.
This Christ was present for 20,000 people simultaneously, with the Holy Spirit whipping through, stirring up hearts on fire.
I think that all of those things are possible and do happen in the churches in America, but I don’t think we expect them.
I admit it, I have an incredibly Americanized view of the Church. I think it is so easy to take our traditional view of a church and apply it to the rest of the world: an hour long, cookies and coffee before and afterward, and going to see people that you want to see, friends, colleagues, and elders.
But today, I have seen that the Church can be and IS so much more. Who am I to limit what the Church can do? Who am I to close off the potential of the Church?
Listen, I am not saying that this super mega church is the correct way to worship, nor I am saying that this church and their message is infallible.
But today, I realized that the Church of Christ is far more than I had ever imagined it to be, and thus, holds the potential to change the world in ways I could never conceptualize.
Perhaps nothing could sum up my feelings than a classic Newsboys song, “He Reigns.”
“The song of Asian believers
Filled with God’s holy fire
It’s every tribe, every tongue, every nation
A love song born of a grateful choir
It’s all God’s children singing
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Today, I saw a small glimpse what of what God’s choir actually looks like, and I am so glad that I am a part of it.
We are truly One Body.