Rick Warren Challenges South Korean Churches for a Third Wave of Revival
Best-selling Author/Pastor Trains 20,000 Pastors; Church Rally Sets
All-time Attendance Record at Seoul World Cup Stadium
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- As demonstrations over a proposed Free Trade Agreement gridlocked the capital city and a typhoon ripped up the western coast towards North Korea, where the stand-off continues over recent missile firings, Dr. Rick Warren, of Saddleback Valley Community Church, visited South Korea this week and challenged churches of all denominations to work and pray for a third wave of revival across the Korean peninsula. "I love the people of Korea," Dr. Warren said at a packed press conference upon arrival in Seoul, approximately one-third of the way through a 35-day tour of 13 countries in Asia and Africa. "It is my prayer that the events of the next few days will bring revival to this great country." Beyond renewal, Dr. Warren emphasized there were four additional reasons for his visit. First, he said he wanted to learn from Korean churches, which have sent out more missionaries than any other nation, and in many ways have served as a model of innovation for congregations in other countries -- including the United States. Secondly, Dr. Warren said he wanted to encourage Korean churches of all denominations to work together. "One church can't do much, but together, we can change the world," he said. Thirdly, Dr. Warren indicated he wanted to encourage business and government leaders to value and cooperate with the church in solving humanitarian issues. Finally, he stressed he came to bring the Good News of the Gospel of Christ that can bring new life for people of all religions. "My message In Korea is the same as everywhere else I go, that there is only one hope for mankind -- a relationship with Jesus Christ," he said. "God has blessed this nation with great material achievement -- my home is filled with electronics from Korea," Dr. Warren added. "But like many other parts of the world, many successful people are empty inside. We were made for more than success, but also for significance. God has a purpose for every life." Dr. Warren and his team conducted a two-day Purpose Driven Church conference for 20,000 pastors -- the biggest they have held in any of the 162 countries where they have provided such training -- at Yoido Full Gospel Church, the world's largest congregation. On Thursday evening, Dr. Warren set an attendance record at Seoul World Cup Stadium, site of the FIFA World Cup finals in 2002, as an overflow crowd of more than 100,000 filled the 65,000-seat facility, with nearly 30,000 watching on large video screens outside the venue. The theme of the week and this message was "Hope for a Wave of Revival." At the close of the service, virtually the entire audience stood with him to confess and commit they will do whatever it takes to bring about revival in their lives, their churches, their communities and their country. On Friday morning, Dr. Warren met with South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun at The Blue House. The cordial meeting -- originally scheduled for ten minutes -- went for 45 minutes, during which the two men discussed a wide range of topics. That afternoon, Dr. Warren traveled to Busan, Korea's second largest city with a population of more than 4 million and over 1500 churches. When word spread throughout the countryside, more than 5,000 rural pastors gathered for an abbreviated training session, followed by an evening rally drawing approximately 15,000 attendees from surrounding communities. Dr. Warren's visit was organized by Dr. Billy Kim, founder and chair of Far Eastern Broadcasting Corporation (FEBC), Dr. David Yonggi Cho, senior pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church, and Dr. Jung-Hyun Oh, pastor of Sarang Church and founder of International Discipleship Agency. "Korea has been in great confusion and troubled socially, economically and militarily -- especially the Christians," Dr. Cho said. "God has used Dr. Warren to renew the Korean Church and Christian faith in Korea. I have never seen so many preachers gathered together in one place, and I am very happy about it." Dr. Billy Kim referred to the crowd jamming the stadium as a miracle, particularly as the typhoon rains cleared just in time for the service. "Rick Warren is a great leader, and we trust that with what he has done here, we will see the second wave of a great revival across Korea." According to Dr. Oh, the meetings this week were historic. "Earlier revivals have emphasized the Holy Spirit and evangelism, and the current focus of our church is on discipleship," he said. "But Rick Warren puts the emphasis on life -- the Purpose Driven Life -- which is the real, timely need of the Korean church today. That is why something is happening." Following pastoral training and meetings with church, government and religious leaders in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia before arriving Seoul, Dr. Warren and his team are scheduled to depart Korea July 18 for Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines and Rwanda, before returning home the first week of August. After a few days rest, he and his wife, Kay will be speaking at the 16th Annual AIDS Conference to be held in Toronto, Canada August 9-18. FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT: Whitney Kelley 972/267-1111-O; 214/457-1398-M A. Larry Ross firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Saddleback Valley Community Church
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