"Don't Be Afraid to Empower Women"
"Don't be afraid to empower women," says the pastor of the world's largest
church. Churches are wrong not to let women become spiritual leaders, David Yonggi Cho told church leaders at a "Discipling a Whole Nation" conference in
Italy. "If you ever train the women, and delegate your ministry to them, they
will become tremendous messengers for the Lord."
Most leaders at Cho's Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, Korea, are women. The
700,000-member congregation is divided into 50,000 cell groups that meet in
homes, and about 47,000 cell leaders are women, he said. Of the church's 600
associate pastors, 400 are women. "In ministry they are equal with men," he
said. "They are licensed. They are ordained. They become
deaconesses and elders."
Cho adopted the cell church principle in 1964 after he collapsed from exhaustion
trying to minister to his then 3,000-member congregation. His male leaders
balked when he told them to divide the congregation into cells that meet in
their homes. "They said, 'Fine, but we are not trained to do that and we are not
paid to do that. Why don't you have a long vacation?' This is the Korean way of
saying 'Why don't you resign from the church?' "
When he asked the women leaders to do it, they said, "Teach us, pastor. We will
do anything for you," he said. The church grew from 3,000 to 18,000 in the next
five years. The cell churches started new cell churches and more lay leaders got
involved in ministry, Cho said. "It is the will of God to have a growing
Source: Dawn Ministries through JOEL-NEWS-INTERNATIONAL-329 * 16 AUGUST 2000