How Missionaries Used The Olympics To Gain New Members

Different Groups Have Different Techniques

Religious groups gathered in large numbers at the Winter Olympic Games in Gangneung and Pyeongchang, South Korea to take advantage of the golden opportunity at hand. It’s estimated that over three thousand missionaries from varying countries were in attendance, who reached out to the multitude of Olympic spectators in different fashions.

There were roughly two thousand missionaries working in Gangneung where indoor Olympics were held while the other one thousand are in Pyeongchang where the outdoor Olympic Games were held.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The church constructed a blue, two-story building named The Mormon Helping Hands Center that was positioned across from the new bullet train station in Gangneung that transports spectators to the Olympics. The center hosted spectators, volunteers, media representatives and even athletes who would like to warm up with a cup of coffee or even charge their phones. The church’s main aim was to show people the Gospel of Christ in the eyes of its missionaries and members.

Somang Presbyterian Church

This local church was actively engaging the Olympics spectators in activities like free food, drink, and Christian literature. It also showcased a live orchestra with its church members wearing traditional costume. The church was one of the 29 local churches in attendance with an Olympic outreach.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses

Jehovah’s Witness churches collectively sent roughly one thousand missionaries to the Olympics, a far larger number than to previous Olympics. Some missionaries intend to remain in the area even after the games.

A popular tool for the ministry at this year’s games as in previous Olympics was lapel pin trading. Mission groups gave away a lapel pin that said “More Than Gold”, a statement borrowed from Psalm 119:27 that declares God’s commands are loved “more than gold.” The Olympics will continue to present a platform for religious groups in their missionary work for future games.

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