YouTube reaches South Korea’s Lost Generation

YouTube is a major media platform for young South Koreans.

“You have your cell phone and you also have your YouTube channel,” said IMB missionary Kesiah Morris, of South Korean teens and young adults. “When exchanging contact information, a person will say ‘check out my YouTube channel.’”

Morris explained that this demographic watches YouTube instead of television. The use of this medium marks a distinction between young Koreans and their elders. YouTube is a way young people converse.

YouTube was not an integral part of youth culture when Kesiah last lived in Korea, her homeland. She returned in 2019 with her husband, Andrew, and their young daughter after a decade away.

Last summer, the Morrises launched Tree Church—the first generation of what they envision will multiply into small, reproducing churches. The Morrises long to reach the “Lost Generation”—young Koreans turned off by the traditional church’s professional ethos and a hierarchy that reflects the very structures that chafe young adults at work and in their extended families.

Mina, a college friend of Kesiah’s and part of Tree Church, suggested the church join the YouTube conversation.

Kesiah has a background in theater and Mina has experience with filming documentaries. However, they opted not to professionalize their videos, but to feature casual dialogues that address questions young Koreans have about the Christian life but dare not ask in traditional church.

Questions have included:

“How far is too far in physical intimacy for an unmarried couple?

“Do I have to tithe?”

“Can a Christian have a tattoo?”

“Is Catholicism bad?”

The informal nature of the videos accurately reflects the informal nature of Tree Church.

Mina and Kesiah post videos to reveal what the Christian life and church community are about, to proclaim the gospel, and to grow their church plant. May God be glorified in the conversation and bring the Lost Generation of Korea to Himself.

Visit their YouTube channel and share with Korean-speaking friends.

Jennifer Waldrep is an IMB missionary and contributing writer.

Read more about Tree Church and how this church plant found a place to meet in a local cafe.

This article was originally published by The International Mission Board at imb.org

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