Yoido Full Gospel Church
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Yoido Full Gospel Church

  When one thinks of aggressive evangelism and church growth in Korea, Pastor Choís church usually comes to mind. Choís influence on the worldwide church growth movement is indisputable. Beyond his worldwide impact, David Cho has profoundly impacted my own life. Since first hearing Cho present the Church Growth lectures at Fuller Theological Seminary in 1984, Iíve longed to visit his church. That opportunity finally came in April, 1997. My primary interest was discovering the secrets of his cell system as part of my Ph.D. research at Fuller Theological Seminary. But another strong, personal interest was discovering the actual attendance at YFGC, the largest church in the world.

     How many people attend YFGC?  The degree of uncertainty about statistics at YFGC is enormous.  I have heard a wide range of calculations. For example, the brochure for the 1997 church growth conference quotes the figures of 750, 000 active members. Karen Hurtson places membership at 700,000 in her 1995 book.  On February 20, 1993, the Yoido Full Gospel Church was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Largest Church (700,000 membership) in the world. However, one of the big questions is whether or not that many people attend the church. Many churches boast large membership but have far fewer attendees.

    The only person that I know that has attempted to gauge the attendance at YFGC is  John Vaughn. According to a 1996 report on the world's fifty largest churches, he listed  YFGC  as number one with 560,000 people in attendance (360,000 attending the mother church and 200,000 in satellite churches).  Ralph Neighbour recently confided to me that he had heard that there were approximately 150,000 people attending the mother church.  Before I attempt to arrive at an accurate attendance statistic for YFGC, it is important to note the history of registered church membership at YFGC. These statistics are derived collectively from  Cho's book (1981), Karen Hurston's book (1995), and Kannadday's book (1995). 

Table 2 

yfgc: history of cell groups and MEMBERSHIP  

YEAR

MEMBERSHIP

NUMBER OF CELL GROUPS

1963

1800

 

1964

2400

20

1965

2400

20

1966

5, 000

150

1967

7,750

 

1968

8,000

150

1973

18,000

 

1974

10,000

 

1976

30,795

 

1977

75,361

 

1978

102,162

 

1980

150,000

10,000

1981

150,000

 

1982

337,054

 

1984

500,000

 

1985

510,000

 

1986

530,000

 

1987

600,000

 

1988

620,000

 

1990

650,000

 

1991

700,000

 

1995

720,000

 

1997

709,000 [1]

23,316 cell groups

           

Growth of the Church (YFGC)

Official YFCG figures only include membership and not church attendance. While present at YFGC,  I was highly motivated to discover the truth about attendance.   I spent all day trying to attend every worship service, chapel, and class room in the entire complex.  I started my task at 5:45 a.m. and by 8:30 p.m. I was "dead tired."  It was thrilling to see so many people in one place. The hum of thousands upon thousands of active participants in every nook and cranny of this huge church fully met my expectations.  Yet, I also came away with a new sense of realism about YFGC.   

Seating Capacity

As mentioned previously, the 1997 Church Growth Institute brochure says,  "Now this church has over 700,000 active members, and is the largest church ever to exist in Christendom" (Brochure 1997:2).  Since being here, I would be more cautious to make the above statement.  First, there are not 700,000 in attendance and second, it is very difficult to say whether more people passed through the huge Catholic basilicas of past centuries on a given Sunday. [2]  

Actually, the main sanctuary was surprisingly small.  I estimated that main floor and balcony can hold between 10-12,000 people.  No more. In contrast, Cho says, ". . . our church is quite a large church. Presently, we have a church building which seats 25,000 people in the main sanctuary, and with all the area auditoriums; we are able to seat between 40,000 to 50,000 people at one time" (1993:13).  If Cho is referring to the main floor and balcony, he has completely overestimated the seating capacity.  So has Karen Hurston. Speaking about those attending the main sanctuary, she writes, "The reverent hush awakens to a roar of concert prayer. Soon we hear thirty-five thousand voices blend in a mounting crescendo of prayer (1995:161). In my opinion, only one-third of Hurston's 35,000 can actually fit into the main sanctuary (ground floor and balcony). [3]  

Area Chapels

There are  six basement chapels  called: Antioch, Ephesis, Canaan, Jerusalem, Paul, and Solomon.  The smallest can fit approximately 500 and the largest approximately 3,000. [4] Because pews are utilized at YFGC one can only estimate seating capacity.  Out of the seven Sunday services, these chapels are full three of the services,  considerably  well attended  for two services, and empty for the last two services. 

There are, however, more chapels in the three large, skyscraper type buildings located next to the main sanctuary.  These buildings also house all of the educational facilities at YFGC (mostly hooked up by video to the service taking place in the sanctuary).   I made it my goal to open as many doors as possible, and I succeeded. I literally spent the whole day Sunday going from the main sanctuary, the various chapels, and every floor of all three YFGC  buildings.  

Departmental Activity on Sunday

Along with the Sunday morning worship attendees, there were many departmental congregations, preparing themselves spiritually as well as logistically for their Sunday activity (e.g., ushers, parking lot attendants, public relations people, and music people). There was no precise way to determine which groups should be counted as worshippers as opposed to Sunday school attendees. [5]    

Educated Estimate of Sunday Worship Attendance

Various factors must be taken into account when trying to arrive at attendance statistics for this church:

1.      At maximum capacity, the main sanctuary holds approximately 12, 000

2.      The various chapels throughout the building hold approximately 12,000 people [6]

3.      Hurston says that 20,000 children are taught each Sunday (1995:163).  Even though this figure appears high, since I did not get a reasonable projection for children, I will use it.  

TABLE 1  

YFGC: STATISTICS AT THE MOTHER CHURCH

1ST Service

Main:    12,000

Chapels:  9500

2nd Service

Main:    12,000

Chapels: 12,000

3rd Service

Main:    12,000

Chapels: 12,000

4th Service

Main:    12,000

Chapels: 12,000

5th Service

Main:    11,000

Chapels: 9,000

6th Service

Main:     9,500

Chapels:  2,000

7th Service

Main:     8,000

Chapels:   0

Total adults in Services

133,000

No. of Children in Church

20,000

Total in Mother Church

153,000

Total in Regional Chapels

100,000

TOTAL BETWEEN MOTHER CHURCH AND REGIONAL CHAPELS

253,000

              The figure of 153,000 for the mother church does not include the myriad of departmental activity taking place in the church. Many spend the entire day at the church. The elders relax together on one particular floor, the senior deacons on another.  Various mission committees gather their workers together. I witnessed drama groups, English classes, a church growth institute, a deaf ministry, public relations groups, choir rehearsals, and much more. Apart from these departmental groups, the twenty-four district offices are buzzing with activity throughout the day.  Hurston writes, "Since Sunday is already the day most members come to church, every church office is fully staffed, often until seven that night. . . .  Many lay-leaders stay at the church, involved in one of a variety of activities, until late Sunday afternoon (1995:125). With these additional activities in mind, I endeavored to count each worshiper only one time.  

Attendance at Regional Chapels

            The greatest difficulty with ascertaining the overall attendance at YFGC  is because YFGC includes various regional chapels in their statistical figures. While I was present in April, 1997 there were twelve  regional chapels that were  considered part of the attendance at YFGC. [7]    Karen Hurston says,  ". . . in scattered locations throughout the sprawling  city of Seoul, others are filling one of YFGC's nearly dozen regional sanctuaries on giant screens. Together these facilities accommodate nearly sixty thousand for a single worship service (1995:160). [8]    Cho himself seems to critique Hurston's figure when he says in 1995, "Most of the branch churches have between 10-15,000 members" (1995:15). [9]

 Since my quest was not to determine membership but attendance, I probed various workers at YFGC. Rev. Song Ho, Lee, district pastor of the Yong San District, told me that most of the twelve regional chapels seat between 500 to 1,000 people (with the exception of the "2nd Sanctuary" which can hold approximately 9,000).  Pastor Lee's observation was confirmed when I observed the picture of one of these regional chapels in Kannaday's book  (1995:84).  Pastor Lee told me that each chapel also holds seven services, just like the mother church.  However, another  Yoido Full Gospel missionary to the Philippines (who could speak very good English) told me that most chapels only held four to five services.

Let us suppose that each chapel held five services. This would mean that the 2nd Sanctuary would have 45,000 each Sunday (9,000 in five  services) and the additional chapels would have a total of 55,000 in attendance (supposing 1,000 people attended each of the five services in the eleven additional chapels). This would bring the total of people attending the twelve regional chapels to 100,000. Adding this number with the total attending the mother church (153,000),  we arrive at the composite figure of 253,000 people attending the Yoido Full Gospel Church every Sunday morning.

This number is a far cry from the 720,000 promoted by the church. It is also much  lower than the statistics given by John Vaughn (560,000). However,  it is still huge. For example, the mother church (without the regional chapels) at YFGC is more than four times larger than MCE in San Salvador, El Salvador,  and six times larger than MCI in Bogota, Colombia. I continue to believe that YFGC is the largest church in the history of Protestantism and possibly in the history of Christendom. I would also strongly disagree with those who talk about the decline of YFGC. Decline from what!  It is hard to believe that there was a time when more people were attending the Sunday morning worship services at YFGC. [10]   It seems to me that the problem in the past has been inflated statistics, or at least inaccurate statistics. 

            I am still not sure how YFGC arrives at the 720,000 statistic. I was told that when a person gives money to the church, that person is place on the church's membership list. [11]              Obviously, there is a problem with correlating giving with church attendance. A YFGC missionary to the Philippines admitted this discrepancy between "registered membership" and those who actually attend the church. This problem is similar to many churches in the United States, which talk about numerous members, but have far fewer attendees.  

Cell Statistics

The number of cell groups seems fairly accurate in the mother church.  Cho writes in 1995, "The Christians in my church all belong to one of the 23,316 cells" (1995:15).  When I was present I observed close to 1,000 cells in several of the districts that I visited. If there are twenty-four districts at YFGC, then this statistic looks fairly accurate.  However, the above figure does not include cells from the branch churches, nor the independent churches. Kannaday helps to enlighten us here,  

Formerly, the Yoido Full Gospel Church had a network of some 50,000 Home Cells located throughout Seoul City, but this year [1994], there are some 23,316 Home Cells. The reason for this reduction in numbers is due to the fact that many of the satellite churches that were previously included in the count are now self-supporting and independent. Their numbers are no longer included with the Yoido Full Gospel "Central" Church statistics (1995:13).

             It is difficult to say how many people are in each cell. However, one of the district pastors said in a 1994 interview, "The average number of members in each Home Cell is 5-10" (1994:130). Although he was referring to his district, if we were to take an average of 7.5 members in each cell group, it would mean that there were 174, 870 people attending the cells on a weekly basis.  

  General Characteristics

            There is no need here to repeat what others have already written about this church. For example Karen Hurston provides an excellent analysis of the church's doctrine (1995:135-146),  general organizational structure (1995:62-80; 108-123; 124-134), and prayer emphasis (1995:36-61). Here I will only include those areas which caught me by surprise. 

Number of Departments

            Karen Hurston gave me some excellent advice before leaving for Korea. She told me that on Sunday I should try to open every door possible. I followed her advice.  I was amazed to find so many congregations and departments in the church. Everyone has a place.  One reason that YFGC has succeeded is that they everyone is not only involved in a cell but also in a ministry. On Sunday, I wrote, "This church skillfully combines the control of districts, the creativity of a myriad of departments, and the discipline of higher education." I observed several mission organizations scattered around the church.         Ministries seem to have sprung up naturally and Cho has given his approval. Anything and everything seems to be acceptable at YFGC. Cho certainly does not try to "purge out programs" in order to maintain cell purity. No way. All community interactions are good. Here is where thinkers like Carl George and Dale Galloway  fit into the larger philosophy of YFGC. It seems that Cho has tried to make the cells the base while adding on building blocks of specific programs. Karen Hurston adds,

 

Each of YFGC's more than twenty outreach fellowships targets a different segment of society, offering a wide variety of activities. Whether a person has a heart to help struggling churches, is a professional actor looking for a way to spread the gospel through drama, or is concerned for the homeless and disabled, an outreach fellowship invites involvement (1995:125).

            The church is in the process of building a huge multi-million dollar skyscraper for their daily newspaper. I hear that they now make over 1,000,000 copies of this daily paper. It both covers secular news as well as religious news. Three full pages are dedicated to religious matters. The goal is to include as many denominations as possible.  About this paper, Cho writes,

 

We [the church] have power within the society, with the government, and throughout the world. We are really shaking our nation through the publication of our daily newspaper. . . . In the daily newspaper, we publish four pages for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Every day those Christian tracts added to the newspaper are given to a million people. What an influence we have.  Government and business people all read our paper and are touched by the Christian message (1995:19).

The "newspaper outreach" is another example of the variety of programs promoted at YFGC.

            Another outreach ministry is the Elim Welfare Town, a village for both the elderly and delinquent young people. This facility is considered the largest welfare facility in the Far East. Delinquent young people are trained with practical skills and the elderly gratuitously find housing.  YFGC also spawned off the Soon Shin University. As of April 1997 there were 1,600 under graduates and 800 graduate students studying at this university.  

Worship Service

            I found that the worship service was very user friendly, high tech, and well-organized. In other words, I was impressed. There are numerous  seats for visitors who speak foreign languages. There are simultaneous translations for English, French, German, Chinese, and Japanese in three of the seven Sunday services.  I have never seen a communion service performed so quickly and efficiently. 12,000 people were served in a matter of minutes. Real wine and rice cakes for bread are passed simultaneously down the pews. Members sip the wine while with communion trays in hand, thus making it easier to immediately return the empty cup. [12]  

            As expected, the worship service was a beautiful combination of fervor, traditional hymns, fully dressed choirs, and sound preaching. There is a different choir for each service--fully dressed in bright, elegant, and matching  robes. A conductor leads both the orchestra and the choir.

            Cho's preaching was soundly Biblical. He called the church to repentance over and over, specifically rebuking superficiality in the congregation. Cho boldly spoke against corruption in the Korean government, even to the point of naming the current Korean president and the scandal taking place.  Concerning Cho's preaching, I wrote, "Cho is one of the best preachers that I know. He gave a very clear illustration of the political corruption in Korea. He goes from the Word to illustrations. His preaching is big. He talked about Achan being in Korea." 

            For years I have heard that YFGC prays together simultaneously.  What a joy to finally hear so many voices raised in one accord to the throne of God! It reminds me of the practice of MCI at the end of a morning worship service. Diligent prayers (often in tongues) ascend to the throne in unison. A bell  rings to silence the worshipers. After the bell rings, silence fills the room.

            The early worship services cater to the adult population at YFGC. However,  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the afternoon worship services minister to the young people.  The ushers and choirs come from the youth as well.

            Workers at YFGC are clearly distinguishable. Women ushers dress in bright blue and white Korean dresses. Elders who serve communion wear white gloves while serving. All male workers wear white coats. All of them wear badges, distinguishing their role.  

The Use of Close-Circuit T.V.

            YFGC has perfected the use of close circuit T.V. The entire service is projected on a huge screen on the main floor of the sanctuary. Projections of the entire congregation, clips of Cho's current crusade (when he's away), Scripture reading, and words of the hymn can be seen on the large screen. These pictures are transmitted simultaneously to hundreds of T.V. screens throughout the complex. Particular services (especially when Cho preaches) are transmitted live to the various chapels throughout the church. At other times, one of the 700 pastors might preach at the separate chapels, while another pastor is preaching in the main sanctuary. At all times,  there is someone in charge in each of the chapels.  

Areas of Strength in the Church

            There are so many areas of strength in this church. It seems that there is something for everyone in this church. Those who emphasis spiritual warfare discover a kindred spirit here. The more programmatic church growth technicians find justification at YFGC.   Cell-based gurus quote this church frequently. [13]   Perhaps G. L Johnson sums up the sentiment of many when he introduced the 13th annual church growth conference at YFGC, "Dr. Cho's life and ministry have touched the whole world for Jesus Christ. He has inspired more people to fill great churches than any other man alive" (1994:11).  I wholeheartedly agree.

            Because Cho and the YFGC is so diversified, I believe that it is best to place this church in the "church growth camp" rather than into a strict cell-based model. Here were a few areas of strength that I noticed.   

Cell Groups

            According to their recent 1997 brochure promoting their 16th annual church growth conference,   

In 1980, Dr. Cho inaugurated the annual Church Growth International Conference introducing to the pastors and lay Christians from around the world the principles of church growth and the home cell. Since then, thousands of pastors and lay Christians have been trained and a multitude of churches have experienced similar church growth in their local churches (brochure 1997:2). . . . You will become a believer in this new way of evangelism, care, spiritual maturation, and fellowship. We are talking about a totally different church based on the home cell. The home cell has been the backbone of Yoido Full Gospel Church. Any church that wishes to implement this concept has to be completely reorganized into a cell-based church. . . .  On Sunday, you will also attend one of the main worship services, an experience that will convince you of the power of the home cell. . . .  Home cells are run by lay people, through training is provided by the pastor  (Brochure 1997:2).

            My initial impressions about cell ministry were positive. Approximately twenty-four districts operate throughout the day on Sunday. These districts are clearly geographical. The desks of the paid sub-district leaders surround the desk of the district leader. [14]   Each district has between twelve to twenty-three sub districts and each sub-district contains about ten to fifteen sections. Each section contains between five to fifteen home cell groups. Each cell has approximately five to ten households.

            The vast majority of cell groups are led by women. Hurston writes, "But the most prevalent groups--in 1993 numbering twenty-eight thousand--remain the women's groups (1995:91). [15]   During my extensive interview with Rev. Song Ho Lee, district pastor of the Yong San District, he told me that nine out of every cell leader is female, and that the females only minister to other females. 

Spirituality

            YFGC excels in this area of spirituality. The church can be summarized in the phrase "A spiritual church."  Members wrestle in prayer. Spirituality is taken seriously. The imagery of solider and warrior  best describe this church. What a thrill to walk by the grottos at prayer mountain and hear the cries and pleas of Korean saints ascending like incense to the throne of God.  I was told that 1,000 prayer warriors pass through prayer mountain every day. So many of these dear saints of God are dedicated to personal prayer as well as corporate prayer. There are daily corporate morning prayer services and evening worship services.  At 5 a.m. in the morning I witnessed approximately 2,000 to 3,000 people in the main auditorium fervently praying.  In fervent pleas to God, these believers rock back in forth while seated in the pew.  Loud cries can be heard throughout the auditorium as the believers pray in unison. This church is alive with spirituality.

            Although spirituality is clearly the emphasis at YFGC, this is not to say that there is no place for scholasticism.  There is a four year theological institute for those desiring to enter the ministry and a Pentecostal Training School for all members.  Normally, the early morning prayer begins with a time of reflection upon the Word of God.  

Vision, Dreams, & Goals

            YFGC is the result of the dreams and vision of one man of God--David Yonggi Cho. As I strolled along the Han River and looked at at the towering structure called Yoido Full Gospel Church, I felt compelled to praise God for the vision that God placed in this one man. Cho is a dreamer. He lives in visions and dreams. He has personally lifted me to a higher understanding of vision and leadership. His flaming  vision has now been passed on to 1,000s of leaders.  Cho writes,  

Everything starts from visions and dreams. Before you worry about giving birth to a child you must first become pregnant. So as a cell leader, you must become pregnant about your cell system and about soul winning. . . . So a clear goal and goal-led visions and dreams are very, very important.  When people do not have visions, they do not believe.  They do not work (1995: 22).  

Incredible Organization

            Cho writes, "If you don't get organized, then people will not work" (1995:18). The organization of this church is outstanding.  Although these people are "Spirit-led" they also are exemplary planners. Flow charts hang on every wall--complete with photographs and colors representing positions. Computers and other high-tech equipment are utilized with great effectiveness.  Everything is modern at YFGC--the elevators, the vending machines, the furniture, the buildings. Goals are posted in most district offices. [16] Buses run almost every hour (precisely on time) from the church to the prayer mountain. Those at YFGC are not afraid to take advantage of modern technology to enhance the work of God.  

Missions

            YFGC takes missionary work seriously. There are over 300 missionaries sent out from YFGC-166 in North America (Kannaday 1995:139).  YFGC supports these missionaries until they can become independently stable. Along with their world mission department, I noticed a mission agency (from YFGC) to Red China, and various other missionary organizations in the church. One entire skyscraper building is entitled "Administration and World Mission Building."   

Weaknesses of the Church  

            In a church so powerful and influential, it is hard to point out weaknesses. Yet, there are a few.  

Cell Groups

            Cell group ministry at YFGC has both its strengths and weaknesses. Although this church was the forerunner of the modern cell movement, this ministry seems to have lost some of its early momentum.  

Lack of Male Cell Groups

            YFGC has not sufficiently penetrated the male population of the church. The vast majority of cells in this church are women's groups (one district pastor told me that nine out of ten cell leaders are female).  An ever-increasingly reality is that women are no longer staying at home in Korea. As Korea continues to develop as a modern nation,  more women are joining the work force. Many women who at one time  could both lead and attend a daytime cell group, now can do neither.  

Lack of Creativity in Cell Model

            The writings of Cho today about cell ministry appear very similar to what he wrote in 1981. In some ways, stability is a plus. Yet, in the case of cell ministry at YFGC, I believe it is a weakness. There seems to be a overall lack of creativity and new ideas in the cell ministry at YFGC.  Rev. Song Ho Lee told me that cell ministry has remained static for quite some time. It seems to me that the new, exciting energy at YFGC today is directed toward the newspaper, the mission outreach, the men's outreach, Cho's crusades, and other similar endeavors.  

Size of the Main Sanctuary

            The sanctuary at YFGC is huge in comparison with the average church building. It seemed, however, comparatively small for the largest church in the history of Christianity. When I first saw the Yoido Full Gospel Church I wrote,  

The outside structure of all four main buildings is very impressive. They are modern, well built structures. Yet, I was disappointed by the seating capacity. I can judge the size. The bottom floor seats no more than 6,000. The balcony might seat 4,000. I believe that I am being liberal.

 Many sanctuaries throughout the world are larger (both Catholic and Protestant). The main sanctuary  of Elim in El Salvador is as large as the main floor at YFGC.  

Membership Methodology

            I do not understand how the church can promote a membership of 700,000+ while having only 250,000 in attendance (1/3 of "membership").  Although at this point I'm not certain how they count "tithing members," they certainly do not count active tithing.  This discrepancy should be addressed.

IBLIOGRAPHY

Brochure

  1997     "The 16th Annual Church Growth International Conference."  CGI: Seoul,     Korea.  

Cho, David Yonggi

  1993     Church Growth.  Manual No. 6.  Church Growth International: Seoul, Korea.  

  1995     Church Growth.  Manual No. 7.  Church Growth International: Seoul, Korea.  

Colvin, Richard Lee

  1997     "Why Tiny Singapore Is at the Top of the Class."  L.A. Times (Sunday, Feb  23). 

Crowther, Geoff and Choe Hyung Pun

  1991     Korea.  2nd ed.  Lonely Planet Publications: Hawthorn, Australia. 

Egli, Jim

  1993     North Star Strategies  Special Report #5.  Urbana, Illinois.  

Johnson, G. L.

1993     "Greetings to the 13th Annual Church Growth Conference."  Church Growth.    The Last Frontiers.  Manual no. 6.  Church Growth International: Seoul,  Korea.

Kannaday, P.L., ed.

  1995     Church Growth and the Home Cell System.  Church Growth International:    Seoul, Korea.  

Keating, Kevin

  1997     "Land of the Morning Calm."  International Travel News.   March.  

Yoo, Cheong-mo

  1997     "DMP Kang trying to restore image of Korean economy in APEC meeting."   The Korean Herald.  (No.13,525; April 7).


                [1] This is the number that Peggy Kannaday recently sent to Charisma Magazine (April, 1997).

                [2] Nor should it be assumed that Cho is taking Sunday attendance figures when he talks about 700,000 people. Rather, he is referring to people who have tithed at FGYC. At this point, I can only surmise that this listed is not updated to determine whether the person who has tithed is still tithing or at least attending the church.

[3] I repeatedly counted people in various sections and then multiplied by the total number of seating sections on the main floor to make sure that my number was not too conservative or too inflated. My Ph.D. research led me to the largest cell-based churches in Latin America part of my research involved counting those present in the worship services.

                [4] I'll never forget the glorious experience of discovering one of the chapels filled with 1000s of people. I wrote, "           I feel like the queen of Sheba--blown away. . . . What a feeling of discovery when I walked into the bottom floor chapel. I felt like I was in the early catacombs--people packed between posts, worshipping Jesus while watching close-circuit T.V."

                [5] In order to obtain a completely accurate worship attendance figure, I would have to know this distinction. However, this is impossible because YFGC does not take attendance statistics.

                        [6] The six chapels underneat the main sanctuary hold about 9,000 people while the chapels held in other buildings hold about 3,000 for a totsal of 12,000 additional people.

                [7] I disovered that there were about twenty independent churches that Yoido Full Gospel Church has planted and those churches are not included in the statistics of Yoido Full Gospel Church. However, these twelve continue to be counted. However, Rev. Song Ho Lee told me that there were plans under way (1997) to make these regional chapels independent entities. He told me that David Cho was aging and when he dies these churches will not have the same attraction to belong to Yoido Full Gospel Church. 

                [8] Again, this number seems high. Although much of Hurston's information is very helpful, it was not a critical study. She worked for Cho for years and follows the membership statistics provided by the church throughout the book. 

                [9] The fact that Cho talks about membership here probably means that attendance is much lower (for example, 700,000+ are supposedly members of YFGC).

                [10] After experiencing the excitement of jammed packed services at 1 p.m., it seemed irrelevant to try to determine if there when more people attended the church. And if there was such a time, any decline might have been the result of lack of room. YFGC lacks space.

                [11] Peggy Kannaday, the managing editor for the Church Growth International magazine, also mentioned that there was some sort of membership class, but she herself was also unclear about the process.

                [12] I found it interesting that no compromise is made for the cup. Real wine is served! At the same time, rice cakes are substituted for bread.

                [13] I'm reminded of the influence of St. Augustine. He was so deep and sound theologically that both Protestants and Catholics look to him for support.

                [14] For some reason, YFGC does not call use the term zone pastor and district pastor. They simply call them sub-district leaders. I was also told that YFGC tries to minimize the distinction between district pastor and sub-district pastors.

                [15] I don't know where Hurston got her figures. Perhaps she is counting the branch churches. Hurston also mentions that only five percent meet at the work place as opposed to the home. I will discuss the weaknesses of a cell system based on women's groups at another place.   

                [16] We were told during the "debriefing time" after the morning worship service that YFGC has an annual budget of $100,000,000.00