English Ministry (EM) – ministries in a Korean-Immigrant church for the English speaking Koreans.
Do churches benefit from being homogenous?
I guess that’s the bigger question under the question, “Are EMs necessary?”
Many of EM congregations are made up of only Korean-Americans.
And some EMs only target English-speaking Koreans.
Our parents’ generation’s church remained homogenous because their services were conducted in Korean. And most Korean speakers are, well, Korean.
Language barrier is no longer a problem for us Second-Generation folks.
So, then, are we operating out of self-preservation of the Americanized-Korean culture? Or driven by the comfort of being surrounded by others who look like us and think like us?
And, from my experiences, it’s hard to break the homogeneity of a Korean gathering. It’s not as outsider friendly because we are filled with inside jokes, stories, and experiences that are fiercely unique to the Korean-American experience. Simply, if you’re not Korean, you just won’t get it. And only a few will slow down to try to help you catch up.
I know this may sound like an attack on EMs.
It’s not meant to be.
Many of my mentors and colleagues serve in English Ministries — people who I respect immensely.
It’s just something that I wrestle with, here and there.
Last year, I really prayed to see if God will send me to an EM. I did miss being around what I described to you up there — the unique Korean-American culture. Correction — I still do miss it. Here and there.
Obviously, that wasn’t God’s will for me. But, during that time of discernment last year, I was wrestling with this same question, too.
And I wonder if there are others who wrestle with this question as well.