Why has the Thai church doubled five times in the last 60 years?
- After WWII there were lots of new missionaries coming into Thailand. OMF was one of the agencies that deployed many missionaries in Thailand. Most of these workers went to places and people where the gospel had not been shared. This was tough work but fruitful as churches were established in more places throughout Thailand.
Key factor: Christian workers willing to go to places without a church in order to start a church.
- After 1975 the migration patterns changed and rural people started to migrate to Bangkok. Along with Buddhists migrating into the city, Thai Christians were also migrating. The christians shared their faith and started churches in the city. Most of the churches started in Bangkok since 1975 were started by migrants, among migrants. Migrants are more open to the gospel and other changes.
Key factor: Christians changing location is used to create new churches in new places.
- At the same time ethnic minorities in the mountains were opening up to Christ in significant ways. The growth of the church among these minorities has been twice as fast as among the Thai. These animist peoples faced lots of pressure on their way of life due to communism, war and modernization.
Key factor: When people face social stress they are more open to the gospel of Christ.
- The gospel has spread through families and clans. The most significant factor in someone becoming a Christian is a family member who has already been converted. Many who have believed in Bangkok have taken the gospel back to their villages. This trend is increasing at this time, especially as the ease of travel to and from Bangkok is improving.
Key factor: The gospel moves along family lines.
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow!” (1 Corinthians 3:6)