The 40th anniversary of missionary work held by UBF was held at Namseoul University in Cheonan in Korea and in Chicago during the same period (July 24-28). Such a separate missionary convention has never happened before in UBF history. What was the reason why UBF, which was created in Korea in 1961 and has been a unique missionary organization for the past 40 years, has opened a missionary conference separately. It is the UBF, which is called one of the most closed missionary groups, as the wind of reform that is gradually blowing on Korean society and Korean churches.

Last spring, the UBF began reforming itself and it is now spreading enough to separate missionary contests this year. Chicago is where the founder of the UBF and the current world governor, Missionary Samuel, is located. The so-called “Headquarters”, headquartered in Hyoje-dong, Jongno-gu, and the corporate board of directors, called the missionaries dispatched to Chicago, and the so-called “reformers” held a competition in Cheonan.

The missionary conventions held in Cheonan clearly confirm the meaning and direction of UBF reform. UBF outside instructors took the lead in the 40th anniversary event, which was held under the theme of “College Mission 21, New Start”. Past missionary conventions were dominated by the ambition of encouraging UBF missionary missionaries to report and encourage their work in each area. This year’s Chicago Mission Conference does not go far. However, in the case of Cheonan, Dr. Robert Coleman, an American evangelist of Trinity, who is not related to UBF, and Rev. Kim Sang-Bok, president of Torch Trinity New University College, took on the role of principal. Jung Ho-jun Lee Tae-woong Lee Jong-wook Yoon Kyung-ro Kim Hyung-tae Kang Young-aan Jung Chang- Some of them have a very negative perception of UBF. Two UBF graduates, including Professor Lim Su-soo, Hannam University, and Peter Chang, Of course, the Bible was strengthened by the inner shepherds. It is really an exceptional class of teachers.

▲ Pastor Ahn Byung-ho, who gave his first lecture on the first day. He
was the victim of the UBF First Reform Movement
in 1976. ⓒ News & Joe Kim Seung-bum

Above all, Pastor Ahn Byung-ho, who is the co-president of the Gyeonggi-do, and ESF chairman, is the first lecturer on the first day. Pastor Ahn was a key figure in the UBF reform in ’76, but was effectively removed from the organization. Is not the ESF a missions agency created by reformers who have split from UBF? Pastor Ahn repeatedly said in a lecture about the voices mentioned above that “I did not think I would meet again like this in 25 years” in various places of the lecture. He said, “Though it is not forgiveness yet, but God works, someday God will forgive all things and one day may come,” he said.

Inviting outside instructors demonstrates a humble attitude of opening the mind and ears and listening to the voice outside UBF. In the meantime, UBF’s contribution to the mission history of the institute has been negligible, but it has been increasingly unbiblical and impersonal in an overly closed and authoritative atmosphere. However, the new style of leadership, which can lead the ministry of the institute in the 21st century on the biblical and theological basis, has been demanded relatively steadily.

In fact, this kind of atmosphere has appeared in various forms since the beginning of this year. In the case of the Seoul Myeongryun Center, Pastor Chung Caleb delivered a message criticizing himself inside the UBF at the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the center last spring. He also invited a missionary who was known to be an outsider, and he heard the voices of outsiders about the UBF. In addition, in June, we held college student retreats nationwide for the first time. Also inviting outside lecturers such as Pastor Kim Jin-hong of Dooree Church and Dr. Kim Jin-kyung, President of Yanbian University of Education is also part of the open flow. Also, joining the Academy Evangelization Council and participating in the Christian Ethics Campaign after a long effort is a phenomenon that makes it very unusual for those who are familiar with the closure of UBF.

On the first day of the missionary meeting, shepherd Kim Yoan, the chairperson of the conference, instead of presenting the opening message to celebrate the 40th anniversary, reflects on the past 40 years, while also introducing new paradigm, new community, new faith confession, new mission strategy and theology, “I have to say that it is time to take a step forward.” Kim emphasized new leadership in particular. He described this as “incarnational leadership.” The emphasis on incarnational leadership in the opening message implies that there has been a significant problem with UBF leadership so far. In a closed structure, unbiblical, impersonal, non-autonomous, and unfamiliar leadership solidified as a result, and as a result, they are contents that are naturally exposed to various evils.

▲ This mission conference has great significance for the healing and recovery of wounds . Ⓒ News & Joe Kim

Another characteristic of this tournament is healing and recovery. Many have been hurt in the flow of the UBF reform, which was the third time following the reforms of the seven-member senior groups in 1976 and the US reform in 1990s. Although they participated in the reform work, they were individually exiled or the organization was separated, but the stubborn framework was still unbroken. In this process, the devotees who put all their faith and life into UBF were confused and deeply wounded in conflict and anguish. There are a few people who have found a lot of problems in the UBF that they believed so thoroughly and felt a sense of betrayal. The contest also implies the desire to recover the hearts of the union and unity by reconciling with their broken brothers by embracing and comforting their pain.

In fact, the measles that UBF is suffering now are not the only ones. There are many Korean mission agencies in Korea, but each has its own limitations and limitations. The pain and limitations are another aspect of the Korean church. For example, there are negative cases in which a leader who enjoys absolute power while demanding the absolute authority of leadership privatizes public funds by using this power as a weapon or privately operates public organizations. It is also used as a means to consolidate the power of absolute power, apart from their theological discussion, by making a church and worshiping and operating a seminary independently.

▲ It is a gesture but it welcomes foreigners and overseas missionaries with Korean hip hop (?).
Ⓒ News & Joe Kim

In this respect, the reform work of UBF is not so small as the message that many Korean missions organizations and the Korean church as a whole send. We will closely observe how UBF’s reform work is going and how it is developed and how it is developed. First of all, we will pay attention to how faithful the contents of the reform are. It is because the slogan of ‘college mission 21, the new beginning’ is not solely for them now.