Tuesday, March 09, 2010

2-step plan for the church growth anywhere, thanks to the Ethiopian Mennonites

From the amazing (free PDF here..what are you waiting for?) "Houses That Change The World" by Wolfgang Simson:

The Mennonites in Ethiopia
It is a well-known story by now that the Mennonite Church of America did traditional mission work in Ethiopia. In 1982 the Meserete Kristos Church had around 5.000 members. Then the communist government took over. The government confiscated all the church buildings and properties, and threw most of their leaders into jail.

The Mennonite church became, almost by government decree, a ”lay driven house based” movement. But instead of slowing down the church, the drastic measure of the Communists had the opposite effect. After 10 years the Mennonite movement had grown to 50.000 people. It’s most explosive growth period started, when two of their presumed pillars of growth were taken away: their church buildings and their pastors.

”Now we have a good two-step plan for the growth of the church anywhere,” exclaimed a pastor humorously at the end of a seminar. "Close down all the church buildings, and kindly ask all pastors to take a prolonged vacation!” he said.
p. 171


  1. Thanks for the heads up on what looks like a great resource. As for house churches, the same thing happened in China, as we know. So maybe the third step for church growth: threaten the faith by making it illegal?

  2. You bet, St. Idelette! i have never met a christian from a persecuted country who asked us to pray the persecution would stop..they knew it was their "secret" to revival.

    I often say I don't believe Christians in america are persecuted, to say that cheapens the term, See



Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!