Stories from the Field

A Multiplying Movement: Church Planting in Southeast Asia

Doctors told Farel* he wouldn’t make it. This husband and father wasn’t yet 30 when he contracted HIV at a tattoo parlor. He was given medication, but wasn’t expected to live.

But, a team of cross-cultural workers and local believers coordinated by Christar workers Liam and Vicki had begun a church-planting movement in Farel’s community in Southeast Asia. This multi-agency, multi-national team was training local followers of Christ to share His love with their neighbors. One these believers, Henry, reached out to Farel.

Henry visited Farel in his home and read Psalms of comfort to him until he drifted off to sleep. When he woke, Farel shared that he’d had a dream: A man in white sat on his bed and told him, “You’re going to make it.”

Against the odds, Farel’s health improved. As it did, he began studying the Bible with Henry, and both he and his wife placed their faith in Christ. And, as they grew in their newfound faith, they caught a vision for sharing the gospel with others as Henry had shared it with them.

Church-planting movement

Now, Farel and his wife are starting Bible studies in their community! So far, they’ve begun four small group studies, and one them is close to becoming a house church.

God is using Farel and many believers like him to bring the gospel to people who have never heard! Liam and Vicki train and coach local believers to lead networks of Bible studies. Although these believers come from diverse backgrounds—including Muslim, Hindu, animist and nominal Christian—they’re working together to bring the hope of Christ to Muslim and Hindus in Southeast Asia.

These believers begin small group Bible studies that introduce people to Christ, and equip them to begin new studies with others. When members of a Bible study group want to share the study with others, they start new groups among their friends and contacts. Then, some of these Bible studies grow into churches. As they do, even more least-reached communities are reached with the gospel.

Since Liam and Vicki’s team began training believers four years ago, at least 100 small group Bible studies have been started. From them, a first-generation house church and two second-generation house churches have been established!

What’s a Church-planting Movement?

Church-planting movements equip believers to plant new churches … and train others to plant even more churches! What makes this method of church planting unique?

  • Ordinary believers—not cross-cultural workers or pastors—start new churches.
  • Churches are planted within the local context.
  • Churches start quickly.
  • Churches multiply exponentially, instead of one at a time.
  • Churches aren’t dependent on outside resources.


How can I get involved?

Pray:

  • Praise God for drawing Farel to faith! Ask God to continue to work through him as he starts new Bible studies.
  • Pray for wisdom for Christar workers as they train Southeast Asian believers to start Bible studies and plant churches.
  • Pray that those who hear the gospel will be willing to follow Christ whole-heartedly.
  • Ask the Lord to continue to give Southeast Asian believers a passion for sharing the gospel.
  • Pray that many of the Bible studies begun among least-reached people will grow into thriving churches.

Give:

Your gift to the Christar Church Planting and Evangelism fund enables workers to share the hope of Christ through a wide range of creative outreaches.