Following are some brief thoughts from Holly Sheldon re: the role of “words and deeds in tandem” in “East Asian” missions history:
Missiologically – the rise of the church in China was always solidly linked to bringing words and deeds in tandem for 1) access to people & 2) durable impact.This is largely true in the rest of Asia as well.
Some of the biggest public impact our own staff have made is working as teachers, flood relief, working in orphanages, campus clean-ups, etc. The GNGD or Black-Red proportion is why during the intensity of post-1949 Mao persecution & Cultural Revolution that the Chinese church actually grew exponentially without missionaries or any fulltime workers and under most dire circumstances.
It is a choice example of a large scale launch of Missional teams!! That is actually what house churches actually have always been. God mercifully forced China to move away from the western organizational model of 18th-19th century Christianity/church in the direction of lean missional teams.