I continue to reflect upon the amazing growth of the church in
P stands for participative Bible study/worship groups, describing the type of cell group meetings through which seekers are led to faith and new believers continue as church afterwards. O refers to obedience to God’s Word as the sole measure of an individual’s or church’s success. U refers to unpaid and multiple lay or bi-vocational church leaders. C stands for cell churches rarely exceeding 15 members before reproducing into new groups. H indicates homes or storefronts as the primary meeting places for these cell churches.
1) Model, 2) Assist, 3) Watch and 4) Leave. Modeling referred to the act of doing church with the new (or soon to be) believers using the POUCH approach described above. Assisting referred to the act of helping the newly formed church to plant a daughter church. Watching was an important and conscious effort to see to it that a third-generation church was started without the assistance or direct involvement of the missionary. Leaving was the final crucial step of ensuring that the movement was truly indigenous and self-propagating.
No doubt, both POUCH church models, and MAWL leadership training are positive factors related to church growth and reproduction. Also, most assuredly the great groundswell of prayer on behalf of the evangelization of
How do we as Baptists (sorry to all you non-Baptist readers) respond to this? I think the following words of advice from David Garrison in the Church Planting Movements booklet give us a good clue:
The nondenominational context of churches in
meant that there was no denominational tradition that the churches adopted. It remains to be seen whether heretical expressions will emerge within the movement. However, the highly decentralized nature of the China Planting Movement is not conducive to a single individual gaining control over the whole. At the doctrinal heart of each cell church is a commitment to obey the Bible. Since church worship consists of participative Bible study with multiple leaders, there is a natural corrective from within the group itself to misinterpretation or extremes of interpretation. Yanyin Church
When asked about the movement’s lack of denominational identity, the strategy coordinator commented that, even though the government forbids denominational expressions in China, the Yanyin churches are more Baptist than most Baptist churches he has known. He further predicts that their pattern of allegiance to the Bible and commitment to the priesthood of the laity will keep the movement on track.
As further evidence of the positive effects of Chinese Church DNA for the fulfillment of the Great Commission, I invite you to open up the following link and view this amazing 7-minute video on the Chinese “Back to
You can also link to the “Back to
When all is done and said, I wonder if the believers in China have more to teach and offer us as believers in the West than we have to teach and offer them.