LeaderSource - Building Healthy Churches in East Asia

Building Healthy Churches in East Asia

Sister F participated in a nationwide practical training for building healthy leaders and churches. The changes were transformational in her own life, church, and nation.


Sister F[1] is in her late forties and was born and raised in a devout Buddhist family, living in a Buddhist temple during her childhood. In her early twenties, through a miraculous encounter with the Lord, she was saved and began passionately serving God. Gifted as a strong evangelist, she first brought her whole extended family to the Lord and then planted four other churches in her region within only a short time. Now these churches have grown into a large regional network of many churches.

Sister F participated in our year-long online “National Fish Program” – a nationwide practical training for building healthy leaders and churches ‒ by herself in 2020. Starting in 2021, she invited her church co-workers to join the program, which continues to this day.

During her participation in the training, she sincerely and honestly examined herself according to the teaching. She recognized and humbly confessed that the church was not healthy, because she herself was not healthy.

In the following words, written for other leaders in her own nation, she discusses the changes brought about in her own life, as well as in her church, through this series of trainings.

Previous State of the Church

“Before we encountered the LeaderSource training, our church was rather traditional, focusing solely on Sunday gatherings. The overall spiritual life of our co-workers was not strong. We often felt that some people were not adequately equipped or had not repented properly, making it seem impossible to find suitable people to take on responsibilities to serve. Eventually everyone lost their enthusiasm and passion, settling into a passive state, thinking it was great if believers only attended Sunday services. During the pandemic, with even less to do, the church’s situation worsened.

Reflections on Myself and the Church after Encountering the LeaderSource East Asian Team Ministry

In 2020, I was introduced to the LeaderSource trainings by my classmate Pastor Z, and heard about the “Building Healthy Leaders” program. It was the first time in my ministry that I had ever heard the definition of a leader: to move from the status quo and lead people to a better place. After learning about the characteristics of healthy leaders, I was shocked. I had never heard the word “healthy” used in the context of a church and realized I was not healthy, and had been arrogant. I didn’t even know what a leader was! Our church had been maintaining the status quo for years and aside from Sunday services, only carried on some old traditions: Christmas, choir, preaching, funerals, and weddings. But our church’s numbers had not increased, and no new co-workers had joined the preaching team for years. The majority of believers did not participate in services, lacked enthusiasm in faith, and had no vision or purpose. Even worse, the church was filled with jealousy, strife, and gossip. The unhealthiness of the leaders led to an unhealthy church. Many in our church thought it was good to move forward steadily and were reluctant to change for the better.

But after this training, I hoped for the revival of our church, an increase in numbers, and a reigniting of our passion for serving among co-workers. After several trainings with the LeaderSource East Asian Team, our entire mindset, philosophy, and structure were overturned and we realized how unhealthy we had been in many aspects. We did not value relationships, leading to weak cohesion among us. I used to think that as long as I did my work conscientiously, prepared sermons well, treated people fairly, and did my part, I didn’t need to worry about anything else.

Through this training, I realized the importance of cultivating leaders using the Four Dynamics. First, spiritually ‒ establishing a good relationship with God. So we began to emphasize prayer. Second, relationally ‒ I started to focus on relationships with co-workers and believers, often visiting co-workers, dining with them, and engaging in outdoor activities. Our relationships have been rebuilt. Then, experientially ‒ which I had not emphasized before, resulting in a lack of learning experiences for the co-workers. We started to create more learning opportunities. Last, instructionally ‒ where we began to correct an imbalance in teaching, where before, due to disappointment with people, I had sometimes been reluctant to teach too much.

In every aspect, our overall unhealthiness led to a very bleak situation in our church. Therefore, I decided to set aside everything in order to study each LeaderSource course diligently, take detailed notes, take advantage of every learning opportunity, and take immediate action after learning. I started with self-repentance, strictly comparing myself to the content of each learning and identifying where I was unhealthy and needed change and adjustment. When I learned about the 5Cs and the Four Dynamics, I was overjoyed ‒ it was like receiving timely rain. I felt that there was a way out for the church. For years, I had been looking for a way for the church to be revived, increase in numbers, and improve. I had no methods, direction, or vision, but now the “5Cs/4Ds” gave me a path, guiding me on how to build healthy lives and ministries. I now knew how to build, transform, and renew.

Specific Practice and Application in the Church

In the midst of changing times, God’s house needs healthy leaders and a healthy church. When I started with myself, seeking to align my life point-by-point and changing to become healthier, I found it realistic and achievable! So, I started to promote it widely in our church. First we studied, then reflected, integrated the learning content, found feasible steps, implemented them, and finally produced good results. Thus, we started advocating six principles for everyone in the church:

1. Everyone repents. I started with myself. I deeply repented before God for my own failures and publicly acknowledged them before my team and church. 

2. Everyone reads the Bible. We formed many Bible-reading groups for different time slots, making sure everyone had a group they could join. For those who can’t read, we recorded our readings and bought Bible players to help them read.

3. Everyone prays. We initiated a big emphasis on prayer! Everyone prays. Some said they didn’t know how to pray, so we taught them individually and prayed with them until they knew how to pray. Now every week from Tuesday to Friday, 8am to 10am, our church prays together, including all of our full-time staff, with no exception. The LeaderSource Team is in our prayers every time!

4. Everyone gives. Previously there was very little giving in the church because we dared not teach on giving. We were told that as soon as we mentioned money, people would leave the church. Now we boldly teach the truth about giving, both officially and in daily life when we get an opportunity with different individuals, believing it is God’s Word and a blessing for people to obey. And people have been giving all the time.

5. Everyone serves. We believe everyone has a role and can serve in some way, so we intentionally identify their giftings and strengths, involve them whenever we see opportunities, and encourage them as they function in those giftings. We quickly discovered that people are very willing to serve, and the church as a whole became so much stronger and more alive.

6. Everyone evangelizes. We teach everyone how to share the Gospel and how to share their testimony ‒ both in big groups and also individually. However many times it takes for them to learn, we do it. With some individuals we literally taught them sixty times, but now everyone can share the Gospel and they are actively doing it whenever they see an opportunity.

Additionally, the study of healthy churches and leaders greatly inspired me to focus on two aspects. First, we need to “give birth” to new believers in a healthy way. Second, we need to nurture people in a healthy way. We aim to produce and raise many children of God to fulfill the Great Commission. We must not only “convert” new disciples but also nurture them and teach them. So we mobilized all the brothers and sisters to continuously build relationships, invite people, and evangelize. We have used various methods to train evangelism teams, like using weddings and Christmas as opportunities for personal evangelism and then focusing on nurturing new disciples.

Previously, our preaching team had only a few people. Through studying “Building Healthy Leaders,” I understood that as a leader, I shouldn’t do everything myself but focus on specific things, like cultivating future successors for the church. So we started a training for group leaders. Initially, group leaders didn’t know how to function, so I taught them step-by-step. Initially, I suggested they arrange for people to take turns buying fruit, leading worship, praying, making tea, setting up tables, cleaning, etc. Thus, besides the group leader, six people got involved in serving in our groups, and gradually every believer started to function and was built up.

Now, our group meetings are diverse, not just gatherings in a house as before. We can meet outdoors, in parks, at the foot of mountains, by the river. We dine together and go on outings, etc. Our groups are thriving more than ever. Meanwhile, we also help surrounding churches start door-to-door training classes, guiding them on how to evangelize.

Therefore, through the learning initiated by the LeaderSource East Asian Team, and the application of the 5Cs and 4Ds taught by them, we have continuously evaluated and corrected our church at every level, completely overturning and renewing my pastoral structure, service structure, and the entire concept of a healthy church within our church. Our church is now completely different from before. We are truly grateful for our church’s steady development today!

The Training’s Great Blessing to Our Church Today

Because of these trainings, we have seen increased church attendance. The year before last, we baptized 66 people; last year 77; and this year we plan to baptize 80; we have already baptized 72.

We have also seen increasing numbers of co-workers and believers participating in serving God and one another, with reignited enthusiasm.

Previously, we leaders always felt that everyone lacked adequate truth, training, gifts, and talent, seeing only ourselves as the best. Thus, we rejected many who wanted to serve. Through learning about healthy churches, we understood the concept that “everyone functions,” and we encouraged all of our brothers and sisters to serve. Now, our preaching team has grown from three to ten people; the number of people involved in serving in our church increased from only 5% to over 60%, and our church is completely different from three years ago. Previously, less than 5% of people in our church served, with over 90% following behind. What a big difference!


Through these trainings, our church has undergone many changes: the number of church members has increased, everyone’s service is filled with enthusiasm, almost everyone has caught the vision of the Great Commission, everyone wants to evangelize, and everyone’s life is growing! We are truly grateful to the teachers of the LeaderSource East Asian Team. May God greatly remember you!



[1] All names have been changed for confidentiality.


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