Re-post by Scott Cochrane
Is this your view of the Church in China? A group of Christians are huddled up in their home, curtains drawn, secretly holding a bible study by candlelight; fearful that at any moment the authorities could burst in, confiscate their bible, and toss them in jail.
While there may have been a semblance of truth to that scene in China’s distant past, and while pockets of China still find it a challenge to live out the Christian faith, today the Church in China is experiencing explosive growth.
I am completing the first week of this trip to China, and I continue to be blown away by what God is up to here.
In particular, here are 4 surprising truths you should know about today’s China.
1. There are more bibles printed in, and distributed from, China than anywhere else in the world.
2. There are an estimated 100 million Christians in China; more than there are members of the Communist party.
3. There are more than 55,000 registered churches in China. This does not include the tens of thousands of house churches.
4. The most pressing need for the church in China is for leaders.
With all this growth in the church, there hasn’t been a corresponding growth in leadership development. Therefore the same problem Moses faced in Exodus 18 is hitting these leaders; they’re trying to do it all alone.
In one particular church of 8000 people there is a single pastor carrying out the entire ministry.
But these pastors are hungry to develop leadership skills in order to keep pace with all of this growth. They want to raise up new leaders from their congregations and see their people fired up to provide effective leadership throughout their church and community.
If this need resonates with you, please pray for these leaders, that they would receive the leadership training they need.
And pray for us in the Willow Creek Association, as we go about the task of equipping these leaders by bringing the Global Leadership Summit to more and more cities in China.
We are always looking for churches who can help us in this work; if you think your church is up to the challenge, let’s connect.
There’s plenty of exciting work to be done.
Scott Cochrane is the Vice President of International at Willow Creek Association. Loves Jesus, Nora, Adam, Amy and John. Football and hockey further down the list. Follow Scott on Twitter: @WScottCochrane