Church is for Amateurs: A Call for “Fourth Order” Christians Like You to Plant–and Lead–a Lay Church, and a Guide on How To Do It

Church is for amateurs.

Oddly, that’s a lesson I learned courtesy of North Korea and its ruthless dictator, Kim Jong Il—who is perhaps the most violent and merciless persecutor of Christians in human history.

You see, my wife and I belong to a ministry that disciples North Korean Christians. And when you’re discipling North Koreans, you realize pretty quickly that most of the tools that are fundamental to Christian discipleship in the West just aren’t available to help you with the task.

  • Church buildings? Illegal in North Korea.
  • Paid, full-time pastors? We call them “instant inmates” in North Korea’s network of concentration camps.
  • Church growth? When more than two or three gather together (even in somebody’s home in the middle of the night), there the police show up. Guaranteed.
  • And Bibles and Sunday School materials? They’re confiscated instantly, and the people who possess them end up dead.

So in order to learn how to disciple North Koreans, we had to study the existing North Korean underground church and find out how they do it. (There are about 100,000 Christians inside North Korea, believe it or not). We also studied other persecuted churches around the world and throughout history, back all the way to the New Testament itself.

What we found—or more accurately, didn’t find—absolutely floored us.

Join us as we unveil “the surprise of the persecuted” in our next post.

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is the former International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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2 Responses to Church is for Amateurs: A Call for “Fourth Order” Christians Like You to Plant–and Lead–a Lay Church, and a Guide on How To Do It

  1. Pingback: Church is for Amateurs, Part II: What’s a “Christian of the Fourth Order”? | Rev. Eric Foley

  2. Pingback: Church is for Amateurs, Part III: The Doers of The Word Evangelical Church of the Fourth Order Springs to Life | Rev. Eric Foley

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