Dear Praying Friends:
For many years, our Board of Directors has said that they consider writing and mentoring/coaching to be my principal priorities. They think this is the way that I can make the best and most lasting contribution, both in ministering to Chinese and in mobilizing others for ministry to Chinese.
The “problem” is that I also enjoy preaching, teaching, lecturing, and personal conversations!
Recently, however, the Lord has confirmed the priority of the written word and mentoring for my ministry. Not only in my own private devotions, but also through illness and fatigue, he has shown me that the time has come to focus on these two activities.
So, in 2013, I have re-set my priorities, reducing public speaking to a minimum. Even then, however, I shall need much discipline and grace to discern God’s leading in what to write, when, and how.
At the moment, these are the writing projects which I plan to pursue in the coming months:
Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity (www.bdcconline.net): At least 25 stories, hopefully more.
Global China Center website (www.globalchinacenter.org): 25 or more book reviews and articles.
China Institute web site (www.chinainst.org): 25 articles.
Builders of the Chinese Church: 19th century missionaries and Chinese Christian leaders. I am to write four out of nine chapters, plus an introduction, and edit the volume.
Reaching Chinese Worldwide: An introduction to ministry among Chinese. This compilation and expansion of articles written over the past several years is almost complete, but still needs extensive editing.
The Lit-sen Chang Lectures for Holy Light Seminary, Taiwan, in September. Four lectures on the great 20th-century theologian, one of whose works I translated for Wise Man from the East: Lit-sen Chang, forthcoming from Wipf & Stock. The lectures will have to be prepared for delivery in Chinese from an English original.
Revision of New Testament Reference Works: A guide to works available in Chinese, which was published in 1987. I have written several new chapters, which need to be translated, and two Chinese scholars have provided chapters. I need to find a publisher.
Revision of “Pigs, Pearls, and the Golden Rule: A fresh look at Matthew 7:1-12,” for submission to an academic journal.
As you can see, this is a very ambitious, and perhaps insane, agenda. And yet, each project has its own value, and some really must be done this year.
The web sites reach both English and Chinese readers, both Christian and non-Christian. Reaching Chinese Worldwide will be the only relatively comprehensive introduction to ministry among Chinese of which I am aware, and is meant to enable people to be more effective in communicating Christ.
The Lit-sen Chang lectures will present the thought of a man considered to be most relevant to today’s Chinese church to important audiences in Kaohsiung and Taiwan.
New Testament Reference Works once served as a text in Chinese- language seminaries outside of China. I am hoping that its re-issue will bring an awareness of evangelical biblical study resources to a new generation of students and scholars. Sadly, materials from a liberal perspective are very influential now.
My role is to exercise discipline in order to complete whatever tasks God has assigned me.
May I ask you to participate by asking him to provide:
Discipline, stamina, health, strength to work hard. I find all these projects difficult and demanding. None is easy to me.
Wisdom to know what to write, when, and how. My timetable frequently differs from God’s.
Grace for Laura Mason, my very capable editorial assistant.
Translators for articles for the China Institute site.
A publisher for New Testament Reference Works (Revised).
Completion of the translation of the last two volumes of my abridgment of Carl Henry’s God, Revelation, & Authority, which has been stuck for several years. Find new translators?
Wide readership of already-published volumes, our web sites, and books to come out in 2013 and beyond. I am totally inept at “marketing.”
Would you consider keeping this letter and referring to it throughout the year? I can’t do any of this without divine help, mediated by your prayers.
Yours in his service,