Calvary Temple isn't an ordinary Christian congregation, what with its 300,000 members, volunteers who provide medical care, meals and more for tens of thousands, and its traffic coordinators who handle shuttle buses, rickshaws, autos and motorcycles at its campus in Hyderabad, India.
And now the church has announced plans to grow – starting another 40 "megachurches" over the next 10 years.
CBN is reporting on the ministry's vision for its own future.
Its beginning dates to about two dozen people, in 2005, and today's 300,000 members make it one of the largest churches in the world. It already has 11 satellite churches.
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And plans for more growth.
Pastor Satish Kumar told CBN, "God put a burden in my heart to establish 40 mega churches just like what you see here during the next 10 years."
He said the need is there, as some 3,000 new believers join each month.
"God's hand is upon India, it's a time for India to reach the lost, not only within the country but across the globe," Kumar said. There's no great secret to the church's success, either. "Preaching the pure Word of God is what attracts people, and practicing the Word of God is what keeps people within the church."
It produces hundreds of television programs monthly in 17 of the country's major languages, but it doesn't see itself being limited by national boundaries.
"It's not only within the nation, but also in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Gulf countries," the pastor told CBN.
Typical Sunday at the church begins before 4 a.m., because by that time side streets already are jammed. There are five Sunday services, beginning at 6 a.m. and going until 8 pm.
Some 36,000 fill seats in three facilities at each, with more following online.
Besides the Gospel, the church includes service in its ministry, preparing meals for up to 50,000 each Sunday, sponsoring an on-campus hospital for members to get free medical treatment and more.
It created its own "access card" system, through which member attendees log in when they attend. Miss a Sunday, and they'll get a phone call asking how they are.
"Without fail, if we don't show up to church, we get a call," one member told CBN. "The fact also that they care for us is special, and because of that we will surely come to the next service."
It holds prayer and fasting events, for 40 days, routinely.
CBN reported, "In recent years … India has witnessed an unprecedented uptick in violence against Christians," and Kumar explained, "The more the persecution, the more the church grows and that's what's happening in India."
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