Dear Praying Friends:
An Urgent Crisis
Everyone agrees that the greatest need among Chinese churches around the world is for capable leaders. Whether in Taiwan, North America, Europe, or Mainland China itself, there is a dearth of pastors, elders, and teachers who can feed God’s flock with the Word of God. I remember vividly meeting a young man at a conference in Macao in 2005. He was the Youth Pastor for his church in northern China. “How many kids in your youth group?” I inquired. “Six thousand,” he replied. At the other extreme, I know of several Chinese churches in the United States which are looking for qualified pastors. As a result of lack of teaching and shepherding, many Chinese believers have little grounding in the Scriptures with which to guide their life at home, at work, and in society. They are prey to cults, sects, and heresies, and may not have the knowledge to resist worldly values and Satan’s wiles.
Responding to the Crisis
Over the past few decades, dozens – perhaps hundreds – of different ministries have sought to remedy this lack with solid biblical education for Chinese believers and especially present or potential leaders. Some of these efforts have paid rich dividends. Others have been less effective, either because they were too theoretical or because they did not apply the Scriptures to the Chinese situation.
As you know, we have also tried to assist in leadership development for the Chinese church worldwide. Literature Though there are thousands of good Christians book available in Chinese, there are still some gaps that need filling. The two projects on which I am currently working are: - Correction of the translation of the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament which was done by my students under my supervision in the 1980s. At two pages a day, I hope to finish by this time next year. - A reader’s guide, to Carl Henry’s God, Revelation, & Authority (GRA), which I hope to finish within a couple of months. This should help Chinese use the abridgment of the Chinese edition of GRA which I made, four volumes of which have been published. The last two are being translated in Taiwan. Teaching As you know, I taught three Chinese seminary courses last year, two in Taiwan and one in this country. Starting at the end of February, I shall begin teaching an “introduction to theological and pastoral studies” to students of Reformed Theological Seminary – Washington, D.C.’s new Chinese program. Students, most of them originally from Mainland China, will come from Chinese churches in the Washington area. Some will intend to serve their churches in America, but a few will probably want to return to China. In any case, there is constant contact between Chinese living abroad and their families and friends at home, so this sort of instruction will also have an impact in Asia. Mentoring, advising Dori and I also have opportunities to help Chinese Christian leaders apply the Gospel to their individual lives. We mentor a couple here in Charlottesville, keep up with a few people in North America and Asia, and have visitors from China or Taiwan who share their hearts with us and ask for prayer. The Chans in England have similar open doors. We believe that this sort of service is a major aspect of our ministry Your Part Please pray for God to use us to encourage and strengthen those who guide and feed the growing number of Chinese Christians around the world. Please pray for: - Completion of writing projects. - Completion of translation by Chinese brothers and sisters. - Wide distribution and careful perusal of the books we prepare. - Completion and translation of the class syllabus into Chinese. - Effective teaching this spring. I hope to combine lectures, class discussion, and homework in a way that transforms lives. Thank you for standing with us as we seek to obey Paul’s injunction in 2 Timothy 2:2. Your fellow-worker, Wright Doyle