What can Europe learn from India?

Victorjohn“He spoke about multiplying disciples by making them disciple-makers as soon as possible and through that process, they become leaders and church planters. Something that most church planters would agree to, right? However, as we studied Luke 10 (the sending out of the 72 leaders), this key principle emerged. God uses simple, uneducated, unresourced & unafraid men to prepare the way for God to plant churches among new people groups. God can do this with anyone who is available and willing to loose his life and renounce his ambitions.” Anthony Testa on Victor John

This weekend in Netherlands is a special training for the Jesus Freaks from all over Europe. I was invited to be there but alas am still busy getting our truck ready for the road. Victor John is the teacher. He has helped start a church planting movement in India that now numbers 80,000 house churches and 3 million people. I am really excited about this weekend. Jesus Freaks came into being in the 90’s when some German punk and goth teenagers found Jesus and then started nearly a hundred churches across Germany and beyond. The growth later slowed down, possibly because they listened to Western teachers who told them how to do it [my opinion] but I really think the Indian church movements could point them in the right direction.

What can Europe learn from India? A heck of a lot. The importance of discipleship, the simplicity of starting house churches, the priesthood of all believers, the place of personal sacrifice, faith in the Holy Spirit. And a lot more? Anyone have thoughts?

Another leader from India who is teaching us Westerners about church planting is Victor Choudrie. I have some thoughts from Victor in a post entitled Slice of Nicolatia and in my article What Did You Go Out To See?

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name “Precious” :-)

9 Comments

  • I totally agree. Been to India and other places like it, and seen the “simplicity of Christ” demonstrated in power, not in “wisdom of words.” It was humbling to those of us who have allowed types of thinking to take us from that simplicity, from those illiterate, oppressed people who ended up turning a whole Empire upside down.
    I tend to think that’s how it will happen again.
    Appreciate your blog as always, brother.
    Peace.

  • I am very thankful for how God’s Spirit has moved in India and other places church planting movements (CPMs) have occurred. The emphases you mention are important: discipleship, simplicity, priesthood of believers, sacrife, and faith. These are powerful ingredients, but they don’t guarantee a movement.
    I think it is also noteworthy that traditional and unhealthy forms of church exist everywhere, including India. While missionaries primarily from the west were largely responsible for the unhealthy church practices that exist globally, it would not be fair to label all church planting from the west as suspect and church planting from India or another place as mimic-worthy. We can learn much from all over the world. But we must also do the harder work of applying those lessons for each context.

  • Hello Andrew, interesting post. We are a couple of persons from a house church in Paris thinking of going to India this september because I believe God tell us to. One one hand to get to know and pray for the country, on the other it would be awesome if we could meet/stay with some people there to learn from them. If you have any ideas please contact me.

  • Hey thanks for sharing this. It is so easy to get caught up in western thinking that we know it all. It is time for us (me) to learn more humility and take time to learn from others.

  • Glad to see our Jesus Freaks friends engaging others non-Europeans to learn and be stretched. I love this humble spirit and I personally know that it is genuine. Thank God that His Church is growing larger and deeper all over the world.

  • It is not religion but people that decides the level of happiness or success of a race.
    In many cases, religion has ruined what was once vibrant.(Read Iran).
    In many cases, religion has not helped the society improve itself (read africa).
    In many cases, religion has resulted in wars. (no examples required here).
    India as a society, as a civilization has survived without any form of organized religion.
    Various forces have come and gone but the Indian spirit has remained the same.
    Do me favor. If you want to pray, pray for your own people as I am sure, not everyone in your country is happy and prosperous. Spare us.

  • Untouchable, who is talking about “organized religion”?
    surely a discovery of something beautiful and helpful carries with it an obligation to share with others who desire it, and resists a nationalistic longing to hoard it for themselves. In this spirit of generosity, I hope Indians who are discovering life-giving truths will be open to share them with others, especially Europeans who are seeking.

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