Dr. Lee Young-Hoon shared with City News his key to personal spiritual growth and growth of the church.
By Dawn Seow
Dr. Lee Young-Hoon, Yoido Full Gospel Church’s second senior pastor, succeeded church founder Dr. David Yonggi Cho in May 2008. Having joined the church at the age of 10, Lee has spent most of his life serving God there. He has seen the church go through different seasons over the decades.
Born in North Korea, Lee was brought to South Korea by his grandfather who was a Presbyterian preacher. A fourth- generation Presbyterian, Lee was fascinated by the vibrant worship when he attended his first service at YFGC. This fascination kept him coming back to church where his walk with God grew deeper.
After graduating from Yonsei University and Full Gospel Theological Seminary, he joined YFGC as full-time staff; in 1982 he was ordained as a pastor.
Today, Lee is the general superintendent of the Assemblies of God of Korea and co-president of the Christian Council of Korea, an evangelism-focused group that includes 80 percent of Korea’s churches. He was in City Harvest Church on Aug. 28 to speak at the School Of Theology and the weekly leaders’ meeting. City News spoke with the minister about his ministry in Korea.
Can you share with us your journey of salvation and how God led you to where you are today?
When I joined Yoido Full Gospel Church, I had the assurance of salvation but didn’t have the confidence. At that time, I didn’t know about the Holy Spirit or speaking in tongues, but Dr. Cho would always talk about Him. Everyone in the church spoke in tongues, so I prayed to God and ask Him for the Holy Spirit even though I didn’t know who He was. I prayed for two years before I received the Holy Spirit. I knew I’d received the Holy Spirit because I felt my tongue go loose and a new language came out of my mouth. After I received the Holy Spirit, my life totally changed and I dedicated my life to Jesus again.
After that, I prayed at least an hour every day and meditated on the Bible. It is very important for my life, it’s the foundation of my faith. Day by day, God speaks to me in my heart (and tells me) what I have to do for the Lord, and (how to) pastor the church.
What is your vision for the church at this point of time?
I find the answers in (the book of Acts). You can clearly see all the visions and dreams for the church in Acts. So if we follow and imitate the church in Acts, our church will be blessed.
The main work for the early church is helping other people; they spent a lot of money on relief work. So our church also spends a lot of money on relief work, helping the poor and the disabled. Another part of our ministry is world missions: Jesus’ last command for all His disciples is the Great Commission. If the church focuses on missions, God will bless the church, but if we stop missions, God will stop the blessing. For example in Europe, many churches do not know about missions, so European churches are not growing because they don’t do missions. But a lot of Asian churches are growing because they do missions. If we are focused on missions, God will bless us for His glory.
How does Yoido Full Gospel Church reach out to the next generation of Korea?
We put our efforts into increasing the population of the younger generation (in the church). They are the future of our church, and we have to increase the (number of) young people. One of our main services is for the youth. It caters to 8,000 to 9,000 young people.
What season is Yoido Full Gospel Church currently in?
A new season of spring! Our church is growing with many new members and we see many new things for the Lord, in all dynamics of the church. The mission department is very active now and we want to establish a worldwide network for missions. Everything is changing, and I think God is going to use Yoido Full Gospel Church for His Kingdom.