I’m riding on the back of a scooter the wrong way down an alley, running red lights, and cutting in and out of congested traffic. Traffic lights are more like “traffic suggestions” here. This was part of my cultural experience in Taiwan.
Dominating the streets of Taiwan with scooter studliness. Experiences like these help me be humble.
We just finished the first half of a Student CPx (Student Church Planting eXperience) training with 50 students.
I’m sitting here flying over the Pacific thinking what a privilege it has been to work with these Asian students. They were the most faith-filled, passionate, ready to obey students I have ever had the privilege of working with.
Students hit the streets with the Gospel in Tainan
The first day I taught on evangelism, we sent students out into the city to preach the gospel. When I said, “Go!” they practically shot out of the room, full of passion to go tell others about Jesus. What a strategic opportunity to train the future leaders of a nation that is 97% non-Christian! I kept feeling the entire time that these students were the first domino that could spark a church planting movement in Taiwan. Several came back with stories of healings as they preached the gospel and prayed for the sick.
There are over 200 universities in Taiwan. I did not hear of a single campus ministry there working on campuses (I’m certain there are some good ministries working on campus, but I didn’t hear of any. The need is huge.)
By the way, here’s a couple quick questions I just started pondering –
1) Why are there thousands and thousands of campus ministers working on U.S. campuses, yet the statistical percentage of Christians on American college campuses keeps decreasing?
2) Why do we send so few church planters to work on foreign universities? We talk a lot about fulfilling the Great Commission to disciple every nation. How can we disciple every nation without bringing transformation to the university systems of those nations? This is why I love the student church movement – it treats college campuses like a mini, concentrated mission field where you can start small discipling communities (simple churches) which can reproduce on campus and beyond.
OK, back to Taiwan. If every church building in the nation were full to capacity, I estimate they would hold less than 5% of the population. So we encouraged the church leadership to send out multiple student church planters to reach the universities and grow small, reproducible student churches. This last week, my friend Pam and I met with the church leadership to help them devise a strategy for sending out student church planters, mentoring the student leaders monthly, and continuing to grow a student church movement in the nation of Taiwan.
This pastor told our team,
“I don’t care about having a mega church. I want to see a church planting movement of small groups all over the nation, and we are ready to take a risk and send out students to do it.”
His words made me think of one of the tenets of our movement:
We believe “Anyone can plant a church” — from 18 year old students believing God to change their campus for Jesus, to experienced pastors willing to send out their youth to start simple church communities across their cities. With spiritual fathers and mothers to love them and coach them, we believe God is using students mightily to grow movements of student churches.
It is an exciting time to be alive and move with Jesus to reach universities and the nations!