Congregationalism for a Church Plant in the Confucian Culture

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Paul Luo


Congregationalism affirms the highest human authority of a local church vested in the entire congregation (church) instead of the leadership. Therefore, a congregational church is autonomous and democratic. On a different note, Confucianism is known for its paternalistic leadership and "face" culture deeply rooted in East Asia. Will congregationalism ever work in the Confucian context? This paper argues for congregationalism in the Confucian culture despite its challenges. By building a case for planting a congregational church in the Confucian context, this paper demonstrates that congregationalism not only is applicable for starting a new church plant in East Asia but also can diminish the negative influence of Confucianism in the EA church such as paternalistic leadership and "face" culture, therefore, beneficial to the continued growth of EA church in a long run. 

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