Taiwan churches have grown rapidly in recent years, but has become more and more enterprise-oriented. A pastor couple from the United States recently came to Taiwan to share the experience of church planting.
Mr and Mrs Tony and Felicity Dale, U.S. Simply Church Movement leaders, attended the "2018 Church Planting Movement Conference" on May 2nd to 4th and shared about the concept and practice of home churches.
The Core Concept of Simply Church: Disciple Training
Dr Donald Dale, father of Tony Dale, is a medical missionary sent from the United Kingdom to Taiwan. He made a great contribution to the churches in Taiwan. Tony Dale was born and raised in Taiwan and he feels great calling for evangelizing in Taiwan.
Tony Dale is currently the head of a medical service company. He has established over 100 home churches in 20 years. He pointed out that the model of home churches was inspired by the Southern Baptist Church in China, which developed the core concept of "disciple training" under persecution in a perilous environment. Such concept is about how to train disciples and teach believers to solely follow God.
Tony Dale explained that "disciple training" is like when Jesus was living with his 12 disciples, He taught them the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven and they loved, confessed their sins and prayed for one another.
How Home Churches Operate
During home church gatherings, believers can follow the "four marks". Tony Dale said that the first one is "question mark", which means to ask questions. Everyone shares their opinions according to the Bible. The second is "light bulb". Believers can share new ideas and thoughts. The third is "bow and arrow", which guides believers to the core of life and changes their lives, like a hunter hitting the bullseye. The fourth is "ears". Believers write down the ideas and insights they hear in the gathering and share with others, especially nonbelievers.
Felicity Dale, the wife of Tony Dale, shared the example of a church in the center of an American city. The company is a church. When new employees join the company, they receive trainings based on the values of the Bible and are being influenced by them. That church even carries out 25 outreach ministries, which bring influence on many people in the work place in the city center.
The characteristic of home churches is to "multiply simple churches". In recent years, Pastor Tony and Felicity Dale promote simple churches and disciple training movements to help church pastors break away from the structure of traditional churches in church planting and enter the society and workplace to reach out to people who are not easily accessible through traditional church models.
Taiwan Promotes Home Churches
Pang Chih-chin, who is working with the 153 Horn Ministry, said that he plans to promote home churches in Taiwan and to accomplish the goal within three years. He pointed out that there are 7,853 villages in Taiwan and each village will have at least one home church. After three years, he hopes to have over 20,000 gathering places to conduct one-on-one disciple training, Bible studies, other equipping courses, etc.
(Translated from Chinese.GospelHerald.com)