Many years ago my experience in China taught me that if our object was to establish in that country a church which might spread over the six provinces of North China, that object could only be attained if the first Christians who were converted by our labors, understood clearly that they could by themselves, without any further assistance from us, not only convert their neighbors, but establish churches. That meant that the very first groups of converts must be so fully equipped with all spiritual authority, they could multiply themselves without any reference to us. Even while we were there, they might regard us as helpful advisers, yet our removal should not at all mutilate the completeness of the church, or deprive it of anything necessary for its unlimited expansion. Only in such a way did it seem to me to be possible for churches to grow rapidly over wide areas.’
Notice the key principles:
- The first Christian converts in a people group can convert their neighbors.
- They are equipped with all spiritual authority (The Holy Spirit).
- They can do this without referring to those who brought them the gospel.
- Removal of missionaries does not change their “completeness” in Christ.
- This is the means of rapid church growth over a large area.