thriving churches in China and Singapore

September 22, 2009

Dr. Warren Bird journaled about his travels in Asia, particularly about two thriving churches– one in China and one in Singapore. He blogged about them at the Learnings @ Leadership Network blog.

He visited Chong-Yi church in Hangzhou, and writes, An Important Precendent for Chinese Churches ::

China has a vibrant growing megachurch — actually more than one. … As a recent Time magazine article commented, “Across the country, Christians are worshipping with a fervor once unimaginable in a communist society.

… [we] went to the city of Hangzhou (pronounced hahng-JOE) on a Sunday morning and worshiped with the congregation there. Hangzhou, a city of 6.4 million, is thought to have the largest concentration of Christians of any Chinese province. China’s total Christian population, from house churches to government-approved congregations like the one we visited, is variously estimated to be between 50 and 200 million, about two thirds of which are Protestant.

… Atop the facility is a huge prominent exterior cross visible for many blocks. Then, once you come inside the sanctuary, another huge cross is prominent behind the pulpit. The impressive facility seats over 5,000 and on a typical weekend draws an attendance of several thousand.

And also visited City Harvest Church in Singapore, and writes, Young Influential Church Reaching Southeast Asia ::

Recently I flew to Singapore to visit one such church. It began 20 years ago as a young-looking 22-year-old computer science graduate named Kong Hee with a passion for evangelism formed Ekklesia Ministry with 20 young people. … it took the name City Harvest Church, which continues to this day [,].

… Although its contemporary, culturally relevant worship style was different from many other churches, people were drawn to City Harvest’s vision, faith, commitment to Christ, desire for excellence and emphasis on effective discipleship. According to one self-study 71% of its attenders are first-time converts.

… The church continued to outgrow the hotels, conference halls and other locations it rented. In 1995 it reached 1,600 in attendance. In 2001 it crossed 10,000. In 2005 it crested 20,000. Today weekly attendance is over 27,000.

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