While all metaphors have limiting factors, especially if they are overused, the teenager metaphor applied to the house church in China seems to work quite well. The metaphor is extremely useful because it helps us better understand not only how the church identifies itself, but it also helps us understand more comprehensively the interaction between the church and societal forces that shape it.
Arguably the best example of a country experiencing both modernization and desecularization is the nation of China, particularly if we observe the number of converts to the Christian religion. This has been occurring in China despite vigorous efforts to control, repress, and even obliterate, religion.
The church is not the result of missions, but it is the mission. Jesus said he would build his church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. This power is not found in fellowship alone, nor in small groups, but rather in his body – the church.
I think it is because of God’s passion, rather than our passion for China, that God is transforming China through his gospel and through the death and resurrection of his son… Prayer can effect continual change on our spiritual environment, and the gospel can reach any part of this nation.