I know that India is a big place but how can I keep running into her in Kentucky? My new office is next to a fabulous ministry called “Fishhook International” which does work in India, a medical student who recently visited our simple church just returned from India, another couple I’ve recently met recently shared with me about their travels to India, and I recently learned that two other young men involved in simple church desire to travel to India in the coming years. Then yesterday I receive this email that originated from a couple working with others to plant simple churches in Northern India:
I am writing to you from the eastern reaches of the state of Uttar Pradesh, north India. The mercury topped 110 degrees today and, even though it’s late in the evening as I write, it’s only cooled by a degree or two. When India gets HOT, it’s seriously and unremittingly HOT! Please pray for me between now and the end of May as I work on following up with the groups who have set the challenging goals to plant over 5000 new churches in the next three years. Their focus is on the many thousands of villages in north and central India where there are unreached cultures and zero churches. We’re trusting God for many thousand new converts who will become the new fellowships of believers in the new churches that will be started.
Yes. They said 5000!
I was speaking with a friend who has worked with others planting churches in Easter Europe about this “goal” of planting 5000 new churches in three years. He observed that in America, where resources abound, we often have very low expectations of what God can do. However, in places like India, where resources are extremely scarce we often find people who are trusting God to do great, God-sized, things! Our surplus of resources often create a church culture where many extra-Biblical ideas define what is necessary for a valid church to exist. Those in resource strapped societies often have a church experience that is much more simple and organic–which makes rapid multiplication a possibility… and in may places a reality (for more on this visit www.churchplantingmovements.com)
Perhaps your simple church community would be encouraged to hear about faith of our brothers and sisters in India? Perhaps you could join them in prayer this week and discuss the following questions:
* What is your simple churches “goals?”
* In what ways is your simple church community trusting God to do great things in your midst?
* Are you willing to trust “God for many thousand new converts who will become the new fellowships of believers in the new churches that will be started” in the coming years?”
* What is standing in the way of this kind of faith?
Father, grant us the faith to believe that You can do immeasurably more than we can even ask or imagine. Show us what You are doing and give us the faith to join You in Your great work of redeeming a lost world!