Displaying items by tag: Church growth
A church that was formed from a WhatsApp group during lockdown now meets every fortnight. Lay pioneer minister Venessa Pinto distributed postcards during lockdown to her neighbours, inviting them to join the group as a way of staying in touch during the restrictions. ‘Within a couple of days we received many messages, mostly from young adults.’ Venessa said. ‘We started engaging on questions of spirituality and faith and out of that we began meeting on Zoom for social activities and to talk about faith. Gradually that transformed into something more formal and into an intercultural worshipping community that we call Roots.’
Technology is a powerful tool for light and life in this pandemic. A surge in Google searches around the theme of hope and faith plus a phenomenal increase of people searching Christian websites means that more are hearing the Gospel. Global Media Outreach registered a 170% increase in clicks on search engine advertisements about finding hope. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Campus Crusade (Cru) created special internet tools for ministry in the pandemic. Cru’s student page is expected to receive 20 million more visitors than last year, and BGEA’s outreach had 191,000+ online visitors and 11,000 decisions to accept Jesus as Saviour. See also Intercessor Focus: praying for the local church.
Get your copy of this amazing story of love and courage! - published by Joel News
About this mini e-book
In the light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, how can Christians respond effectively in times of crisis? Church history can teach us an important lesson - to keep calm, to care for others, and to focus on God’s Kingdom.
How was this in the early church? In the first centuries the tiny Christian church didn't grew as exponentially as some house churches in China today. Their average growth was around 40% per decade (4% per year). But there were two periods in which this catalyzed: during two devastating epidemics with a 30% mortality rate. Today's coronavirus is actually a minor concern compared to that. The way the early Christians responded to this existential crisis made all the difference. They became contagious themselves.
Interested to read the whole story? We compiled it for you in a mini e-book (pdf) that you can download. And yes, you can freely distribute it to others who might be blessed or challenged by this amazing story of love and courage.
Church history can teach us an important lesson - to keep calm, to care for others, and to focus on God’s purposes.
Download the E-Book HERE
About 750 Christians from the Yao people group gathered recently for fellowship, worship, prayer and mutual encouragement. The believers, who spread across three different countries, had never gathered for worship in such a large group. Though many of them were very poor, they had saved up beans and maize to contribute to meals during the conference. Some of them made their own instruments and incorporated traditional dance into the worship. ‘It was beautiful,’ an observer said. A group who had experienced a lot of persecution in their village decided to take their village chief, a Muslim, to the conference. Afterwards, he decided that he and the whole village would follow Jesus. The Yao people have been predominantly Muslim since Islam’s introduction in the early 19th century. Malawi has the highest percentage of Muslims in southern Africa.
A Muslim-majority country of 41 million, Algeria depends on fossil fuels for its export income. It struggles to provide jobs and homes for its people. Democracy and human rights exist on paper, less so in reality. A movement to Christ is happening in Algeria. Most new believers come from a Kabyle Berber (non-Arab) background, but faith is growing among Arabs and most other people groups as well. New fellowships have begun throughout Algeria, partly because Berbers have moved into Arab areas to share the good news. Persecution is a fact of life. One Christian woman wrote: ‘Women who convert to Jesus Christ face new challenges, which sometimes cost them dearly. They face rejection by their families. Others are repudiated by their husbands because of their faith. They can even be deprived of their children.’ Pray for new hope for Algeria’s youthful urban population and its rural poor.
Albania was once the poorest nation in Europe, but poverty has been cut by more than half and the economy continues to show positive signs of growth. Despite having well-known gangsters, it has made notable steps in combating drugs, weapons and human trafficking. Last year the European Commission said that it had shown enough progress towards implementing the required reforms that accession negotiations can begin. Under Communist rule, no religion was allowed. Now, Islam claims twice as many followers as Christianity. Christian believers enjoy worshipping openly in a country that once restricted religious freedom, although most who claim Christianity are reported to be nominal in their faith. Praise God that children’s ministry is drawing whole families into church and multiple generations are coming to faith. Pray for isolated believers to find safe ways to meet with others, and for believers from Muslim backgrounds to be protected from pressure and attack from friends and family.
The persecuted Iranian Christians belong to what is said to be the fastest-growing church network in the world. The core of their theology is that all roads lead to Jerusalem, which is why they are praying for the salvation of Israel. They feel that it has been prophesied (Jer. 30:7; Zech. 14:2) that in the days approaching Jesus’ return to Jerusalem as King, there will be trouble for the Jewish state. The Persian people (as many Iranians still prefer to be called) blessed Israel in the past. King Cyrus freed the exiles so that they could return to the Land and rebuild the Temple; Queen Esther saved her people from extermination, so that Iranian Christians might stand in the gap for the Jewish people. What Satan has meant for evil, God can turn for good.
Iran has world’s ‘fastest-growing church,’ despite no buildings - and it's mostly led by women: documentary | Fox News
A new film tells the story of the "fastest-growing church" in the world, an underground, persecuted Christian movement in a country known for exporting radical Islamic terrorism -- Iran.
But the Muslim-majority nation's citizens are reportedly fleeing Islam in droves, as believers bow their knee to Jesus, and become aggressively pro-Israel.
“What if I told you Islam is dead?” one unidentified Iranian church leader says in the film, which was directed by Dalton Thomas and produced by Frontier Alliance International Studios.
“What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran?" he continues. "What if I told you no one follows Islam inside of Iran? Would you believe me? This is exactly what is happening inside of Iran. God is moving powerfully inside of Iran.”
The pastor adds: “What if I told you the best evangelist for Jesus was the Ayatollah Khomeini? The ayatollahs brought the true face of Islam to light and people discovered it was a lie...After 40 years under Islamic law — a utopia according to them — they’ve had the worst devastation in the 5,000-year history of Iran.”
The documentary, "Sheep Among Wolves Volume II," directed by Dalton Thomas and produced by Frontier Alliance International Studios, a non-profit group "dedicated to disciple-making," highlights the untold story of the persecuted church in Iran.
Thomas calls the movement "the Iranian awakening."
"It owns no property, no buildings, no central leadership, and is predominantly led by women," he said in a statement.
Praise God - for the many testimonies to people finding Jesus through natural and supernatual encounters.
Pray: for those for whom renouncing Islam comes at a huge personal cost.
Pray: for this 'church without walls' to continue to grow and nurture those young in the faith.
Pray: for the Supreme Leader of Iran – using this videofrom PrayerCast
220 younger leaders from China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong gathered from 25-28 March in South Korea, for the first-ever Lausanne East Asia Younger Leaders Gathering. Young leaders from every region of East Asia found friendship across and within dividing lines and rediscovered the power of faithful communal witness, focusing on ‘The Essence of the Gospel - Unity in Diversity’. Nearly a quarter of the world’s population live in East Asia, with its full spectrum of political, cultural, geographical, and religious diversity. Their history is fraught with longstanding animosity between nations; but Christianity in the region is full of cross-pollinating friendships. The Korean translation of the Bible was born in China and one of the first leaders of the Korean church was discipled by a Japanese Christian. Today the East Asian Church is utilising the hands and feet, ears, brain, mouth and heart, to bring the gospel to East Asia and beyond - no matter the cost.
Due to the influx of roughly 10,000 Chinese-owned companies into Africa, up to one million Chinese are hearing the gospel from African Christians and bringing their newfound religion home. While new religion regulations are in place in China to ‘block extremism’, African churches are reaching out to Chinese workers by incorporating Mandarin into services; the Chinese have welcomed the sense of community and belonging that Christian churches offer. Also, missionaries from Taiwan are targeting Chinese nationals in Africa, preaching with a freedom they would never be allowed in the People's Republic. When evangelised Chinese Christians return home, they bring their new faith with them. There are an estimated 93 to 115 million Protestants currently in China. If current growth rates continue, the nation will soon have more Christians than any other country in the world.