Maryland pastor Dennis Manpoong Kim, one of three people to be nominated for Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president in June, responded to six questions Baptist Press posed to each candidate.
Kim’s nomination was announced May 20 by Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas.
Kim has led Global Mission Church of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, Md., for 23 years. The congregation, which has a predominantly Korean membership, is the largest church in the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. Global Mission Church has produced more than 50 International Mission Board career missionaries and has planted churches in four U.S. states and South Korea.
Among Kim’s leadership roles in the SBC, he is a member of the Pastors’ Task Force on Evangelistic Impact and Declining Baptisms, a national task force convened by the North American Mission Board to address the continued decrease in baptisms among Southern Baptist churches. He also served on the SBC Resolutions Committee in 2012 and 2013 and has taught courses at Southern, New Orleans and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminaries.
He is the author of Pulpit Counseling, Answer with the Bible! and other books. He has translated more than 60 books from English to Korean.
Kim holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Korean institutions; a master of arts in theological studies with a concentration in pastoral counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, Mass.; a master of divinity from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky.; and a doctor of theology in pastoral psychology from Boston University in Boston, Mass.
The new SBC president will succeed New Orleans pastor Fred Luter of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, who became the first-ever African American to lead the SBC when he was elected in 2012.
Dennis Manpoong Kim
Q&As with the other two nominees, Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd and Kentucky pastor Jared Moore, appeared in the May 22 edition of Baptist Press.
Dennis Manpoong Kim’s answers to BP questions
BP: What influence on the Southern Baptist Convention do you pray to have during the two consecutive one-year terms that an SBC president typically serves?
KIM: If God gives me the opportunity to serve as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, I will endeavor to accomplish the following for the glory of God:
1) To promote fellowship among all Southern Baptists of different nationalities and ethnicities so that we may show the world true unity within diversity.
2) To accomplish the Great Commission by mobilizing the whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world.
3) To empower the church to prepare the way for the second coming of the Lord by equipping believers with practical and effective tools of evangelism and discipleship.
BP: If elected as SBC president, in what ways do you envision calling Southern Baptists forward in seeking to fulfill the Great Commission?
KIM: I will humbly remind all Southern Baptists the vision that our predecessors proclaimed in First Baptist Church of Augusta, Ga., on May 10, 1845: “Men who see the invisible, hear the inaudible, believe the incredible, and think the unthinkable.” In a time when about 1,000 churches close their doors every year, I believe that the need of the hour is an evangelistic tool that is simple enough to train all church members, effective enough to ignite believers’ passion for evangelism and engaging enough to captivate the hearts of the present generation. I will partner with all leaders of NAMB, IMB, Lifeway Christian Resources, WMU, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and all Baptist seminaries to equip Christians with an evangelistic training that is simple, effective and engaging to reach this generation for Christ.
BP: Describe ways you have led your church to be involved in Great Commission outreach through Southern Baptist cooperative missions and the Cooperative Program.
KIM: I believe in the power of collaboration. That is the reason why I have always led the Global Mission Church to be faithful in its participation in Cooperative Program. In the year 2013, the Global Mission Church gave $93,600 to the Cooperative Program and $16,900 to the Montgomery Baptist Association. In addition, it has given $13,061 for Lottie Moon and $11,396 for Annie Armstrong. The Global Mission Church is also active in its involvement with the Council of Korean Southern Baptist Churches. Last year, it contributed $3,900 for international missions, $2,600 for North American missions, $3,900 for the Cooperative Program among Korean Southern Baptist Churches and $20,000 for Nicaraguan missions. Our church invested $25,520 last year to send our short-term mission teams around the world including Mexico, Thailand, Philippines, Peru, Nicaragua and Kyrgyzstan. With a steadfast commitment to world missions, our church is training and sending more than 10 short-term mission teams every year and it has produced more than 50 career missionaries working for the International Mission Board. The Global Mission Church has also planted five churches in various locations: Baltimore (Md.), Fairfax (Va.), Seattle (Wash.), Cary (N.C.), and Bun-dang (South Korea).
BP: In what ways do you see the SBC president coming alongside leaders of the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, GuideStone Financial Resources and the convention’s six seminaries to undergird and encourage their respective ministries?
KIM: First of all, I would like to seek opportunities to (1) meet personally the leaders of the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, GuideStone Financial Resources and the convention’s six seminaries, (2) listen to them, (3) learn from them, (4) understand each others’ roles and (5) endeavor to positively undergird and encourage their respective ministries as one great team for the Kingdom of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I will not play a lone ranger in this matter.
BP: If elected as SBC president, how do you foresee speaking to the next generation of Southern Baptist leaders to be involved in expanding the convention’s Great Commission work?
KIM: My vision is to challenge and train the next generation of Southern Baptist leaders so that they can truly mobilize the whole church for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Whereas Christians generally agree that it is imperative for all believers to share the gospel, only few Christians actually evangelize in their daily lives. The glaring question is “how can we mobilize the whole church to witness Christ?” For the purpose of equipping my whole congregation to fulfill the Great Commission, I have devised a tool of evangelism and discipleship called Anothen Training. As a result of this training, the church has witnessed amazing results in evangelism. From May 2013 to March of this year, church members have presented the gospel to 3,125 people through personal evangelism. Among the people who heard the gospel, 1,078 people accepted Christ and 802 others received the assurance of salvation. This year’s vision is to produce four generations of disciples (G1 – Senior Pastor, G2 – Associate Pastors and Key Leaders, G3 – Lay Members, G4 – New Believers). The Global Mission Church is pressing on towards the goal of turning this vision into a reality by the end of this year. I am currently using Anothen Training to equip the next generation of Christian leaders around the world so that they may also mobilize their whole congregations to fulfill the Great Commission. I have challenged and trained Christian leaders in more than 10 cities across the United States and other countries including Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and South Korea. I pray that God may continue to use me to challenge the next generation of Southern Baptist leaders to mobilize their local congregations to win souls for Christ.
BP: What do you see as the key moral issues of our day and how the SBC president can represent Southern Baptists as America increasingly moves away from Judeo-Christian values?
KIM: Religious pluralism is one of the greatest epidemics of our day that erodes Judeo-Christian values in America. A practical indication of such erosion can be easily detected in the prevalence of the bumper sticker that says “COEXIST” with pluralistic connotations. I take an active stance against the views and values of religious pluralism. I give my wholehearted consent to the Baptist Faith and Message that acknowledges the Bible as the infallible and inerrant Word of God. I indeed believe that only the Word of God provides the ultimate standard and guideline for our lives. I recognize the dignity of human life that starts from the very moment of its conception (Ps.139:13-16). I believe in the biblical view of marriage of one man and one woman (Gen.2:24; Matt.19:4-6). The values of this world pertaining to various moral issues may change in the passage of time. But I will always remain steadfast in supporting the biblical values regarding our spirituality and morality. As a Southern Baptist, my allegiance to the biblical standard will always remain the same.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by Baptist Press chief national correspondent David Roach.)