Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rural Church Planting Plans

When we go back to Taiwan later this year, the Lord willing, we will focus more time on recruiting and training Taiwanese pastors and church planters as well as beginning church planting works in small town and rural communities which often have few or no churches. Though many missionaries focus on the big cities, if you read about the history of the growth of the church in Korea in the 20th Century, you will notice works like Operation Lighthouse that did extensive surveys and analysis that showed the benefit of rural church planting -- even to the big cities. I hope to write more on this in a future article.

Here is an example of the type of small town where we would like plant churches when we go back to Taiwan. This happens to be the home town of Carol Huang, a Hakka Christian who became a Christian and joined New Hope Church - Taipei in 2009. You can hear her testimony here or click on the following:

You can read more about Carol in a November 2009 post on this blog.

This town is a Hakka speaking town, but the Taiwanese speaking towns we target will be very similar -- with one small church or no churches at all. Please also pray that we may be able to recruit some missionaries to focus on Hakka speaking communities.

Our church plant in Chidu in north Taiwan also used the approach of outreach to the children that the church in the video talks about. In the short term, it can connect with a few parents. From our outreaches four of the moms in that community became Christians. But in the long term the parents may look at church as either 1. a useful child-care charity or 2. a thing for children and not for adults. That certainly is what happened with many families in Chidu. The children would come for several years, but then as they got older they did not come back. Either they got involved with gangs or they got involved with studies. It was hard to get moms to come to any events and almost impossible to get dads to come. We think that for the long term -- reaching the parents, particularly the dads, will be the most effective, although trying to reach the dads with the Gospel is a seemingly much slower way to get something going and will not immediately show fruit in the short term.