Dear Praying Friends:
Jesus has commanded his church to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
That command, like similar ones in Matthew, Luke, John, and Acts, has never been rescinded. Furthermore, despite heroic faithfulness over many generations, the world has far more unevangelized people than ever before, most of whom will never hear unless someone crosses cultural boundaries.
In mainland China and Taiwan, though Christians are numerous, more than one billion people have likely never heard a clear presentation of the gospel.
Not All Can “Go” but All Can “Send”
Not all of us can go to Asia to reach Chinese with the Good News. Though many of us can—and should—share the love of Christ with Chinese in our midst, there is more that we can do.
We can participate in “mobilizing” others. That is, we can help to send those who are going. How?
First and foremost, we can pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers into His harvest (Matthew 9:38). We can intercede for those who have gone, and we can ask God to prosper their work.
We can pray also for those who send others. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of organizations are dedicated to putting Christian witnesses among the Chinese around the world. What if you “adopted” one or more of these, received their information, and remembered them in your prayers?
Equipping the Saints
As you might expect, it’s not easy to communicate Christ cross-culturally. People from other backgrounds have worldviews, values, histories, pressures, and prejudices that strongly affect their ability to hear, believe, and live out the Christian faith.
If Westerners are going to serve them effectively, they need information, training, advice, and a support structure.
Aside from direct ministry to Chinese, we spend a great deal of time and energy on equipping others for service in a variety of ways, including:
We produce books about Chinese culture and society, and Christianity in China, such as China: Ancient Culture, Modern Society, and the Studies in Chinese Christianity series published by Wipf & Stock, including the highly-acclaimed three volumes of Salt & Light: Lives of Faith that Shaped Modern China.
Articles and book reviews on our websites pass on the latest research, as well as suggestions for “best practices” in ministry to Chinese. Visit www.globalchinacenter.org and www.chinainst.org.
The popular Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity (www.bdcconline.net) contains hundreds of stories of Chinese and foreign Christians who have given their lives as witnesses of Christ in the Chinese world.
Those stories not only provide information, but also encouragement to imitate their faith, hope and love, and thus also fall into the category of…
We all need God’s spirit to breathe new life into us and stir us up to good works. We can derive this from stories on the BDCC and the Salt & Light series, as well as reviews of biographies and histories of Chinese Christianity.
In addition, I have shared some of my thoughts on God and His grace in many devotional articles on the China Institute website as well as in three books.
· Christ the King, which was published this week, offers hundreds of meditations on the Gospel of Matthew. It is really a devotional commentary, and covers the whole book.
· Jesus: The Complete Man portrays
our Lord as an ideal man from three angles: self-control; relationships with others; and godliness.
· The Lord’s Healing Words contains six months of meditations on what the Bible says about physical, mental, and spiritual health.
All these are meant to assist you in knowing, loving, and serving God.
Finally, we offer prayer and encouragement for 15 people in England, the U.S., and Taiwan.
Located near key universities (Oxford, Cambridge, Notre Dame, Harvard, M.I.T., University of Virginia, and Taiwan National University), they concentrate upon educated Chinese, who will be key “influencers” in the Chinese church and society.
We are deeply grateful for your prayers. We rely on them to call down God’s Spirit to work in and through us, to the glory of God the Father and of our Lord Jesus Christ.