Sunday, April 22, 2018

On leading movements...

On March 22, 2018, The World and Everything In It had a fascinating report on how Christianity is thriving in Viet Nam. At the end of the war in 1975, the estimated number of Evangelicals was about 160,000. Since then it has multiplied nearly ten-fold (1.6 million).

Why? How? Who?

When asked to describe the remarkable growth of Christianity in Viet Nam, the reporter, June Chang, explained that after the war when the Communists took over, churches were closed and a lot of the pastors were put into prison. Some pastors who had connections to the U.S. left on U.S. military planes.

This created a crisis as the remaining Christians in Viet Nam were without leaders. However, Chang says, despite the onslaught of persecution and the lack of leaders, Christianity began to grow in Viet Nam—especially the first ten years when there was no communication with the outside world.

Stop.

Think about this for a moment.

How can a Gospel/disciplemaking/church-planting movement start, grow, and multiply without identifiable "leaders" and "leadership"?

We are told "Everything rises and falls on leadership"—right? That is conventional wisdom these days.

But what about this example in Viet Nam?

Seriously. What do you really think?

No. Don't keep reading. Answer the question above first. I dare you.

Here's a question that came to my mind as I pondered what God is doing in Viet Nam: What if we've missed who the real "leader" is in a Gospel/disciplemaking/church-planting movement?

To chew on this some more, go here and here.

If you really want to get your leadership head messed with, go here.
(I dare you.)

And if you're still puzzling over who is the real leader in any true movement of God, take a moment to ponder the depth of Larry Norman's understanding during the early Jesus Movement of the 60s and 70s...

"A reporter came up to me and asked me if I was the leader of the Jesus Movement, and I said, 'No. Jesus is.' Then they said, 'Well, someone said that the Jesus Movement started in your living room.' To which I responded, 'Well, if it did, I wasn't home at the time.'"
Larry Norman, circa the early 1970s

Hope you're smiling.

For The World and Everything In It report on the growth of the Church in Viet Nam, go here. (It starts at about 20:28).

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