Sometimes Divided Churches See Unexpected Growth

A picture of church pews
A picture of church pews (photo:
By Serena TseMarch 28th, 2024

For most Christians, a church division is the last thing they want to witness. A division indicates severe conflicts and disagreements among certain members have become irreconcilable.

Various churches have been unable to recover for years or even decades due to internal and external losses from church divisions. However, I noticed a contrasting scenario in certain schismatic churches.

For example, in southern Zhejiang, a centennial church, possibly the earliest in the region, once thrived. However, like other large churches, it experienced a division over a decade ago. Allegedly, only a dozen people left the church because the leaders refused to purchase new speakers to substitute the faulty ones to save money. They left and formed a small meeting point of their own. In just over ten years, the number of congregations in this assembly has surpassed that of the mother church.

A rural church with more than 1,000 registered local believers in southern Jiangsu only sees 100 regular attendees. The exact reason for the disunity is unclear, but it has hindered the growth of believers, even with an increase in regular churchgoers over the last decade. Furthermore, the increase is primarily from non-local Christians. The locals are even dwindling. However, the divided congregation grew from a few to dozens.

From the examples of these two churches, it is apparent that the benefit of division is the growth of local congregations and an increase in believers. Through schism, church disputes were also resolved.

As long as those who have split off adhere to the teachings of the Bible, live by its truth, and earnestly spread the gospel while seeking growth, there is no need to treat them all as aliens with attacks. Because they are also part of the body of Christ, there is no reason to deny them if Christ has not abandoned them and is bearing fruit for them.

- Translated by Poppy Chan

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