Balancing visible and invisible belonging for Korean Migrant Missional Churches in Aotearoa New Zealand
Keywords:Korean church, Mission and missions, belonging, missional, contextual
This paper explores how Korean migrant churches in Aotearoa New Zealand can find a balance between missions (understood as extending the Church) and Mission (construed as participation in the missio Dei), in relation to their sense of belonging. For this purpose, the research uses a qualitative methodology interview method guided by interpretivism. The paper begins by identifying key contextual factors related to Koreans in New Zealand as migrants, Christians and missional beings. The responses of 31 research participants regarding what constitutes a “sense of belonging” are analysed in terms of visible and invisible belonging. Visible belonging is associated with churches that have strong boundaries, and invisible belonging is found in one’s relationship with God; the two can be correlated with missions and Mission, respectively. The analysis suggests that a missional understanding can be a trigger for enabling interaction between visible belonging as missions and invisible belonging as Mission, through three missional concepts: purpose, progress and experience. Finally, the paper suggests practical ways that Korean churches in New Zealand can balance missions and Mission by following three missional guidelines.
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