Dear Praying Friends,
Since the inception of China Institute in 1989, we have adhered to a few basic principles for reaching Chinese with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are a few of them:
Communicate the Whole Counsel of God
We try to present a comprehensive biblical gospel. Our publications include systematic exposition of the Bible, topical studies, theology, church history, and the Christian life.
Work with Others
No one group can fulfill this task; it will take the entire world church working in concert. We cooperate with churches and other Christian organizations, with Chinese and Westerners.
Study Chinese Language and Culture
All our workers engage in disciplined, life-long study of Chinese language and culture, including history, religion, and society. We see this as essential to effective ministry.
Seek Points of Contact
We believe that God has not left himself without a witness among the Chinese, so we look for points of contact in their history, literature, customs, life situation, and religion even while we insist upon the conceptual priority and complete authority of the Bible. We try to use the Scriptures as the basic framework or conceptual grid for understanding Chinese culture.
Employ the Written Word
In addition to oral proclamation, we have produced thirteen books in Chinese and five in English; we also send out email communications and maintain a web site.
Minister to Chinese and Mobilize Others
Besides direct ministry to Chinese in person and through writing, we endeavor to encourage and equip others to engage in this crucial work, through prayer letters, books, participation in church programs, and personal consultation. China Institute itself provides an organizational base for five couples.
Reach Chinese Worldwide
Recognizing that open ministry by foreigners in Mainland China is not legal, we take advantage of the worldwide Chinese diaspora to share the Gospel with Chinese in England, Taiwan, and the USA. The “borders” between China and these places are quite porous, so ministry “here” impacts people “there.”
Give God Time to Work
We believe that God saves whom he wills, when he wills, and as he wills, so we do not pressure people to make a commitment to Christ. Finding no warrant in the Bible for a “prayer to receive Christ” as the sign of becoming a Christian, we tell seekers that baptism is the first expression of faith, and a consistent Christian life the ongoing confirmation of belief.
We are willing to wait for years to see people become true Christians.
Aim for Full-Orbed Discipleship
We seek to teach both inquirers and believers that following Christ includes faith and works, personal piety and Christian fellowship, “spiritual” life and engagement with others in marriage, family, work, church life, and membership in the larger society.
Focus on Educated Chinese
We believe that China’s millions can be most effectively reached by us through those who are educated, so we concentrate on students, scholars, and professional people.
Concentrate Upon a Few
Without neglecting communication of the Gospel to large numbers of people through our print and Web publications as well as preaching in churches, we also try to help a few key individuals grow to maturity in Christ.
Chinese churches lack enough men so we make evangelizing and training men a priority for our male workers. My book comparing Confucius and Christ highlights their example and teaching about the responsibilities of men. Our new Leadership Training Course is for men.
Obey the Law
While respecting those who have chosen to work “clandestinely” in China, we conform to Chinese laws, in order to protect local believers and maintain a good name with unbelievers.
Rely on God Through Prayer
We recognize that only if God works in people’s hearts will anything of lasting value be accomplished, so we make a priority of prayer as the primary means of moving others. Finding no biblical precedent for asking for funds, we depend on God to lead people to send donations without our solicitation. We do not criticize those who operate differently, but have found God to be faithful to us for many years now.
We are keenly aware that we often fail to live up to our own principles, and earnestly seek your prayers for us to be more faithful to our faithful Lord.
Yours in his service,