By now you may have heard the story of a pastor in Asia named Ying Kai. He had a heart to see God transform his people. His church was responsible for planting one new church a year and was considered to be successful in reaching people. Although he estimated that he and his wife, Grace, were responsible for leading forty to sixty people a year to Christ, this was very little in an area of twenty million people. A restlessness inside Ying kept him searching and dissatisfied.
Ying and Grace were invited to a four-week training class that influenced a new mind-set and approach. But a sign on the wall might have influenced them just as much as the training: “How many of My people will hear the gospel today?” Ying Kai described his breakthrough moment:
What did Jesus invite His followers to become? Disciples. Not simply church members. A disciple must learn everything that his teacher teaches him. Then he needs to follow and to teach other people. My previous way of doing things was different. As a pastor, I had hoped for my congregation to double in size, but that’s not what Jesus commanded.2
The story of Pastor Ying Kai didn’t stop with a new mind-set. The documented results are hard to wrap our minds around but give us permission to imagine the possibilities. Beginning in the year 2000 with a group of thirty people, they began to train the trainers or to essentially view everyone in their small groups as trainers.
After the first full year, through those thirty people, they estimated that 908 groups or “house churches” were started and that more than twelve thousand people were baptized. By 2008, the power of God had produced more than eighty thousand churches and more than two million baptisms. Imagine the possibilities!
Just as the gate in my community could not overcome the power of cars, the gates of death and the evil powers of Satan cannot overcome the church. Ying Kai’s story is only one example. But we fear we have lost our imagination in the body of Christ. The gates of hell are powerless to contain the movement of the gospel. And Satan himself is terrified by one thing only—people who have been supernaturally transformed by the gospel.
Ed Stetzer and Eric Geiger, Transformational Groups: Creating a New Scorecard for Groups (Nashville: B&H, 2014).