Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | January 11, 2006

Church growth transformed

In the magazine Christianity Today, Philip Yancey reported on the growth of the Chinese church despite the state’s best efforts to contain it. The article quotes one former Time magazine correspondent who estimates that the number of Christians may be as high as 80 million.

A quotation from one of the many missionaries expelled from China in the 1950s is very revealing about the why the church should grow so vigourously:

We felt so sorry for the church we left behind. They had no one to teach them, no printing presses, no seminaries, no one to run their clinics and orphanages. No resources, really, except the Holy Spirit.

This is the key to why the church should grow so vigourously. Here in the West we may have an overflow of resources, materials and ministries but clearly there is something we are missing. As Chris mentioned in a comment to a post I made earlier in the week, let’s look for 2006 to be ‘Year of the Anointing’ on each of our churches.



  1. Amen! Fantastic post.

    Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

  2. One of the things that I remember jumping out at me from reading the Heavenly Man was that the churches were fairly united in their cause when the only handbook they had on building a church was the Bible. It was when well meaning westerners started supplying them with literature and other christian books that fractions started to occur.

  3. Ian – thanks for your observation. When I spoke to Brother Yun at a conference, he highlighted that was indeed their reliance on Scripture and the Holy Spirit that allowed their churches to flourish. He was extremely cautious about inviting any Western input – however well meaning it was intended!
    PS. Great work with Trevor to get “bibletour” underway.

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