Welcome to my blog starting on December 31, 2009, the last day of 2009. Very aptly put, we do need to conserve and present wisdom for next year 2010 which starts tomorrow!
I was reading about the history of the church and was amazed to find out that the Jesuits (the most zealous and influential Order of Catholicism) arrived in Japan in 1500 and within 27 months won over 700 Japanese people in their newly founded Catholic church! 700! In less than two and a half years! (And in 30 years, they had 150 Jesuits working in Japan and had won over 150,000 people to the Catholic Church!)
That (the 2.5 years harvest) is more than the combined efforts of the entire North American Hope Churches for the last 15 years! And we’re teaching in a place where the majority of the people are Christians! (Hope North America is now less than 200 people.) Whereas Japan has always been hostile towards the Christian faith. So what are we missing in Hope America? It’s like we haven’t contextualize enough in America. To a certain extent it’s true. But to a large extent it’s wrong!
I believe that pastors need to be further equipped in the American way. To plant a church we need a good team. Though people like Francis Xavier just single handedly started missionary churches in Asia and India. Amazing!
For many years we wish for more local Americans to catch our Hope vision and start planting churches in North America for the Hope movement. The reality is that the vast majority of our church members are Asian immigrants. It seems that culture and race play a large part in drawing the type of people into your church.
There are many models in America. The Calvinist Baptist or reformed Baptist evangelical churches have made great inroad in church growth and plants. Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York reflects a whole lot of cultural teachings that we should learn and improve from. The Exponential Conference featuring the largest church planting conference in America has also a whole lot to offer that we can learn from in contextualized church planting.
May God bless Hope NY & Hope North American Churches.