Chinese Baptists set church planting goal

HOUSTON (BP) -- During the Chinese Baptist Fellowship in Houston, Chinese Southern Baptists discussed ways to create disciples and reach their church planting goal of 600 churches by 2020. This goal encompasses Chinese Baptist churches in the United States and Canada.

"It sounds like impossible, but ... it's not that difficult by the grace of the Lord," said Abraham Chiu, president of the Chinese Baptist Fellowship, to about 80 attendees June 10 at the Chinese Baptist Church in Houston. "With your support, we can achieve this mission."

Galahad Cheung, executive director of the fellowship, said if Baptists in each of the 50 states in the U.S. and each of the 10 provinces in Canada established one church each year, the fellowship's goal for 600 new churches in 10 years would be reached.

Cheung added that 32 Chinese churches have been planted since the initiative launched in 2010.

"It's very exciting to see God's work among us," Chiu said.

But pastors also want church members to be well-equipped disciples of Christ, resulting in a trend of leadership ministries that Chiu said is catching on at many churches -- Chinese Baptists included.

Chiu said the church he leads in San Jose, Calif., uses a one-on-one discipleship training program to help church members grow in their faith. The program mirrors the guidance that the apostle Paul gave his young co-worker Timothy.

Chiu said the goal is for members to become more mission oriented.

"You have many people coming to church, but not everyone wants to be a leader," Chiu said. "Not everyone can be a leader of a small group ... but everyone can disciple one."

Chiu will be hosting a leadership seminar at the Send North America Conference July 29-30 in Dallas on how to discover, develop and deploy church members as strong leaders.

"Every church has some sort of discipleship training but not every church puts it as priority," Chiu said. "I think it is something we need to do."

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Beth Byrd is a staff writer for Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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