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General Interest

What Can We Learn from Large Growing Churches Overseas?

By August 15, 2017 No Comments

By Warren Bird

With the tremendous growth and expansion of large churches in the U.S. and Canada, it’s easy to speculate that “we” are leading the way as pacesetters. That would be very wrong.

In fact, great things are happening literally in every corner of the world, from Japan to Germany, from Kenya to Korea. It’s been my privilege to visit the largest-attendance church in each of these countries: Australia, Bolivia, China, Ecuador, Hungary, Kenya, Korea, Netherlands, Singapore, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. I’ve also compiled the world’s only active, sortable list of some 500 global megachurches at leadnet.org/world – which, by the way, is perennially one of Leadership Network’s most-visited webpages.

Under the sponsorship of Leadership Network, I write an every-issue column in Outreach magazine titled “Leadership from the Global Church.” The goal of each column is to share an idea of something innovative and helpful that an overseas church is doing that “we” back here in North America might learn from. Some 20 of those columns are online here. To whet your appetite, here are a few of the article titles and topics:

New Life Assembly of God, Chennai, India.

El Salvador: Plan, Pray, Coach and Grow
Small Group Attendance Exceeds Worship Attendance in This Salvadoran Church. Why? And How?

India: Learning From New Life
This church in India launched in the regional language of Tamil, and later added separate English services. What are the unique challenges of one church in two languages?

6 Global Examples of Pastoral Succession
These six examples show the wide variety of sources for a pastoral successor, each of which has its pros and cons.

Damansara Utama United Methodist Church in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Korea: Why So Many Megachurches?
Today, Korea has one of the highest concentrations of megachurches, far more than neighboring countries like India, Japan or the Philippines, or than European countries where the gospel has been established much longer. Why?

Six Congregations as One Church
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this church draws 5,000 people on any given weekend, but it’s distributed across six congregations, each having a different language.

Multiplying Global-Minded Leadership: Global Residencies
Two megachurches from Indiana, United States and Kenya have formed a partnership to plant new churches in five gateway cities. How did this multi-cultural vision start? And how did they implement their plan?

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Warren Bird

Author Warren Bird

Warren Bird, Ph.D. has been named a Leadership Network Senior Fellow in light of his exemplary service 2006-2018 as Director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development at Leadership Network. He serves as full-time VP of Research for ECFA.org (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). An ordained minister with background as both a pastor and seminary professor, Warren is an award-winning author or co-author of 31 books for ministry leaders including Hero Maker with Dave Ferguson, How to Break Church Growth Barriers with Carl George, and Next: Pastoral Succession that Works with William Vanderbloemen. Other recent titles are Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work with Jim Tomberlin, and Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller. Some of Warren’s recent online reports include "Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard," and "The Heartbeat of Rising Influence Churches." See also research reports at leadnet.org/megachurchleadnet.org/salary and leadnet.org/portable. He is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading researchers of megachurches, multisite churches, large church compensation and high-visibility pastoral succession. He also oversees the world's only active, sortable list of global megachurches. Follow him on Twitter @warrenbird.  Click here to subscribe to Leadership Network Advance to get updates from Leadership Network.

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