What is Spontaneous Expansion?

We have been compelled by the narrative in the book of Acts that shows how the Holy Spirit continues the work and teaching of Jesus through ordinary people. Centuries of tradition and honor have made these stories seem almost other worldly, yet they actually depict very simple people who have “been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13) Roland Allen, a 20th century missionary, expresses this in a very compelling way in his book The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church:

“The spontaneous expansion of the Church reduced to its element is a very simple thing. It asks for no elaborate organisation, no large finances, no great numbers of paid missionaries. In its beginning it may be the work of one man and that a man neither learned in the things of this world, nor rich in the wealth of this world… What is necessary is faith. What is needed is the kind of faith which uniting a man to Christ, sets him on fire.”