Victor Choudhrie, who has facilitated a massive house church planting movement in India, has described his thoughts on what God is doing today around the world. This is a very inspiring read (as well as challenging)!
The Decade That Changed The Church: The longest lasting Revival in Church history took place during the Communist persecution in China from 1947 to late nineties. During this period the Christian population grew from one million to the present hundred + million without foreign missionaries, dollars, pastors, tele-evangelists, crusades, leaders, sacred buildings, Sunday worship service, guitars, Bibles or tithing. All these have sneaked back through the backdoor and succeeded in killing the movement.
“The early churches were strong in faith and grew in numbers daily” (Acts 16:5). There was both quality and quantity. But even in the first century, the seven churches of the Revelation of St. John were already lukewarm and corrupted. Then came Bishop Ignatius (Martyred AD 110) who ruled that the Bishop was to be treated on par with the Lord and that no baptisms or love feasts (Holy Communion) could be celebrated without the presence of the clergy, thus introducing the Reverend culture, killing the Body Ministry of 1 Corinthians 14:26 led by the Brethren (fraternity of men and women). This Episcopal decree resulted in 1% of the clergy dominating as legislators, administrators and worship leaders and dehumanized over 99% of believers as laymen.
Then came the Roman Emperor Constantine (CE 272-337), a sun worshipping hybrid Christian who did a lot of good but also imposed the solar cross instead of the Menorah the lamp, as the sign of the church (Revelation 1:20). He built the first Cathedral, appointed professional clergy, declared Sun-Day as a day of worship, appointed himself the virtual Pope, banned the house churches and herded all believers in the brick and mortar buildings and called it the church and corrupted the Bride for 1700 years. However the authentic church survived in secret, often illegal house churches.
Then came Martin Luther’s Reformation (AD 1545) who preached “Sola Scriptura and Priesthood of all Believers” but in practice further concretized church structures and the Reverend culture by banning house churches. With the voices of the apostles and prophets suppressed, the modern church has firmly planted herself in Babylon and sucked in the tide of the world. She has gone into the ways of the flesh and everyone is doing his own thing. Judges 21:25
The church has however, undergone cataclysmic changes, especially in the last decade, as had not taken place in centuries. With 80-100 million followers in secret house churches in China; 100,000 house churches planted in India; one million evangelical Latin Catholics now worshipping in Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) and five million Americans in 30,000 house churches and several other countries reporting explosive growth, the return of the prodigal church back to the house church is a full circle reversal to God’s intended original form and function. It seems that the 2000 years of incubation period is over and suddenly the green shoots are sprouting everywhere in the spiritual landscape to welcome Christ the King.
From a paper entitled "Global Trends, Concerns and Challenges."