Monday, September 5, 2011

Churches in China

On Sunday, Peggy and I had "hotel" church. This is certainly not an attempt to create a new movement in China, but I want to take some time to briefly describe what the "church" looks like in this country. It might help explain why I can be so open with my faith here when we mostly hear other stories. And whatever stories you hear, it's probably true somewhere in China.

There are three current major church movements in China. First, there are the underground, unregistered churches that remain as such. Second, there are the official, registered ones called the "Three to Self" Churches. They used to be political, but an increasing number of them are actually preaching truth. Third, the establishment of urban professional house churches is the most recent development in the large cities of China. The number of urban churches is exploding throughout Beijing and other cities. This category is also mix of the first and second types of churches - the church may be unregistered while the pastor is registered.

These house churches are basically left alone. Christian bookstores and tea houses are allowed. The Saturday afternoon workshop was held in one of these bookstores. There is even a Christian bistro called the "Upper Room" that has worship every evening starting at 8 p.m. The first song is always "How Great Thou Art."

Because of a strong connection to a government official, Global Partners is able to teach Christian business and leadership principles, though some care may need to be exercised depending on the venue. In the venues we have scheduled, Peggy and I are free to share Biblical truths and the gospel.

As I mentioned, the number of urban house churches is growing exponentially. There is a huge need for leaders to be identified and trained. It's an amazing opportunity and I am excited to be a small part of what God is doing here.

Next up: Tuesday evening (Monday morning, 4-6 am, PST) is my next scheduled talk on "God's Rest." I appreciate your prayers!

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