KP Stories: Austin Site – The Reverberation of Praise in the Trembling of Theology

Hyung Joong Kim (Austin Site Director) (한글 Click to read in Korean)

I arrived early at the Austin branch church to participate in chapel. When I arrived, my ears heard the phrase, “Look only to the Lord.” I stopped because I wanted to experience each verse of praise lyrics. When I entered the chapel filled with the Spirit of the Lord, I was astonished because the students were practicing praise. I thought it was a church worship team practice, but it was praise coming from the singer, piano, keyboard, and drums, who were all our students.

Austin site praise team

The worship team at the Austin site began during the Fall semester of 2015. The enthusiasm of some students who were hungry for praise led to the development of the group. The worship leader, Mrs. Lee Eunhee, majored in vocal music and is currently pursuing a M.Div. at our school. She has been serving as a kindergarten minister at Austin Korean Presbyterian Church. She applies the theology learned from school in the field of ministry. She is presently leading a worship team to share the talents God has given her. Those who serve with her are as follows: Jasoon Ahn (singer/guitar, M.Div.), Hyunjoo Yoo (piano/keyboard, diploma graduation), Seungjun Chae (drum, M.Div. leave of absence), and Youngsoo Kim (video/sound, M.Div.). Sometimes, Professor Hyung-Joong Kim, a director of the Austin branch, participates as a guitarist and singer.

Austin site chapel in spring 2019

The primary activity of the group is to lead praise at the beginning and end of each semester worship service. They meet twice a semester and four times a year, but the practice is more enthusiastic than the actual services. Lee, the worship leader, selects a song according to the theme of the sermon or prepares a song at the request of the preacher. She confesses, “Because it is a praise with the seminary students, I pray more and select with my knees, and in the process, I experience the powerful guidance of the Holy Spirit.” They practice songs not only on the day of worship, but up to 2-3 weeks in advance, while considering the busy lives of the other members.

Austin site chapel in fall 2019

The grace given by God on the day of worship is also great. The worshipers arrive at the branch school early in the morning and begin with prayer because the members of the praise team stand before God with passion. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, most of the students sing praises to the Lord. Sincere praise fills the chapel. Sometimes, members of the local church join the worship team. This is an opportunity to experience the guidance of the Holy Spirit through chapel and share the ministry of the school with the local church.
The worship team of the Austin site has never stopped worshiping. Worship was possible because of Lee’s leadership and the dedication and enthusiasm of the praise members. Through this precious ministry, I hope that the theological trembling and the sound of praise will continue to echo in the Austin site and Central Seminary.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hyung Joong Kim has many words to deliver and is sometimes forced to speed up his words because of the lack of time. Unless the words “Preach the Word” disappear, his words will increase in speed. He is the senior pastor of Austin Woori Baptist Church and teaches Homiletics at Central Seminary. He is known as “Chadalnam” (a man running on a chart) among students because of his efforts to teach through charts. He serves as a Director of the Austin site.

 

EDITORIAL NOTE:
This is the first in a series of featured articles on the “KP (Korean Programs) Stories.” Various contributors from within the Korean Programs at Central Seminary will participate in the blog, including Younghyeok Yoon, Hyung Joong Kim, Kyu Shuk Park, Misong Kim, Gyoung Hee Lee, JinGyu Kim, and Joe Kwon. Readers may submit their feedback to spark@cbts.edu.

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