Creative ways to love our neighbours
Young Nak Korean Presbyterian Church created a neighbourhood community space for weekly language and art classes in North York, Ont. Photo: Young Nak Korean Presbyterian Church
Young Nak Korean Presbyterian Church, Toronto
Connecting with and supporting new immigrant neighbours
Free English/Korean language and art classes
$2,000/month to rent office space for classes
Pastor Minho Song explains:
Our church is dedicated to being missional in our multicultural community of Toronto. Because Young Nak meets in an industrial area, we’ve made it a point to extend our outreach to neighbours outside our physical space. About 20 minutes from where the church is, we have many Korean immigrants and an Iranian population in the Yonge and Finch area. We call it Yonge Centre Plus where we invite people to learn English as a second language, Korean and painting. The classes are free.
We lease an office space. Five to ten people per class meet weekly on Friday and Sunday afternoons respectively for the English and Korean classes. The English class is taught based on a curriculum designed by one of our ESL-certified volunteers. This has been happening for about seven years now.
Our volunteers are the reason these classes are able to happen. Some of our church members have an art background. Some people who come are believers, but some are nonbelievers. The point is to have that shared neutral space, Christians and non-Christians coming together where they get to know each other.
A neutral space helps people not feel pressured or threatened to believe.
Don’t just use your church facility because most people don’t want to come to church. A neutral space helps people not feel pressured or threatened to believe. Be patient. It takes time to develop something like this. We prepared our church with a Bible study on what it means to be a missional church. This type of outreach is a great way to give people a chance to live out their faith. If we can provide an environment where God’s people can express their faith, we have so many willing to do it.
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