Original Research

A Korean perspective on megachurches as missional churches

Cornelius J.P. Niemandt, Yongsoo Lee
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 36, No 1 | a1421 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v36i1.1421 | © 2015 Cornelius J.P. Niemandt, Yongsoo Lee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 February 2015 | Published: 31 July 2015

About the author(s)

Cornelius J.P. Niemandt, Department Science of Religion and Missiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Yongsoo Lee, Department Science of Religion and Missiology, University of Pretoria


Both the megachurch and the missional church are on-going global phenomena. Working from the premise that the church has to be missional, this article operates from a Korean perspective and researches whether a megachurch can be missional. The megachurch is not simply a very large church in terms of membership or the physical size of its building(s) – because of the influence of the interaction between socio-cultural, historical, and theological backgrounds, the megachurch has its own missiological and ecclesiological perspectives. The megachurch understands that the growth of an individual church implies the expansion of the kingdom of God, which means that the individual church has a responsibility to be both functionally and structurally sound, in order to ensure the efficient growth of the kingdom. This is an influential tendency that is found not only in larger size churches, but in all churches who are trying to achieve the quantitative growth of the church by way of evangelisation. The Korean megachurches, represented by the Poongsunghan Church, display these characteristics. The missional church is not simply a mission-driven church, sending many missionaries to other countries; the missional church believes that all churches are sent to the world by God, who wants to reconcile the whole universe with himself. The implication of this is that the church has to restore its missional essence in order to be able to participate in the mission of God. Thus, the missional church is a reforming movement that witnesses to God’s rule by recovering its apostolic nature. The characteristics of this movement are clearly visible in one of the case studies – the Bundang Woori Church. The importance of the missional movement for Korean churches is emphasised.

Interdisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The research is a case study of Korean megachurches from a missional perspective. The research represents a critique of practises in Korean megachurches and a contrarian view of the mainline discourse in terms of the popularised view of Korean megachurches. The research may result in new insights in the missional possibilities open to megachurches.


Korean megachurch; missional church; missional ecclesiology; missional movement; missional megachurch.


Total abstract views: 4080
Total article views: 6211

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.