A description and contextualized strategies of the Muen Seventh-day Adventist Church in Shanghai under the "three-self" patriotic movement
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The purpose of this study is to introduce the unique context of the “Three-Self” Patriotic Movement of Protestantism under the government of the Communist Party of China in Shanghai and to determine how the Shanghai Seventh-day Adventist Church can be effective within this context. In order to accomplish this purpose, the study first examines the geography, culture, history and the religious heritage of Shanghai. Secondly, it gives an overview of the “Three-Self” Patriotic Movement in general and outlines how the Shanghai Seventh-day Adventist Church has been affected both before and after its implementation. After enumerating some contemporary scholars’ strategies about healthy church growth, this study shows that leadership, God’s Word, small groups, dynamic evangelistic methods, and witnessing through social services could be effective church growth strategies which may be appropriate for the current political and social situation in Shanghai. The study also shows that contextualization is a very crucial factor for church ministry, especially in Shanghai which is faced with a unique yet challenging background given the presence of the government oversight of all church activities. Based on the findings of this study, several effective recommendations regarding church growth are proposed for the leaders of the Shanghai Seventh-day Adventist Church.