新常态中的新思路

人仰望耶和华,静默等候他的救恩,这原是好的。

耶利米哀歌3:26

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自从今年以来,中国基督教的发展越来越明显地进入了所谓的“新常态”:政府下令停办所有形式的主日学,禁止少年儿童进入教堂和参加基督徒聚会,取缔各种青少年事工。强调国家拥有唯一的国民教育权,禁止教会办学,也禁止基督徒老师在课堂上教导圣经和任何基督教的内容。禁止基督徒未经政治审查和批准,就出国参加海外基督教性质的活动。截查网络上有关基督教的信息和停止含有基督教内容的印刷品,甚至要把“上帝”、“天堂”等俗语从文学作品中删除……

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New Considerations in the New Normal

It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”

(Lamentations 3:26, NIV)

Link to this article in Chinese

This year, the development of Christianity in China has come to a so-called “new normal.” The government has ordered the suspension of all forms of Sunday school and prohibited children from entering the church and participating in Christian gatherings. They stress that the State has the sole right to provide education.

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是俱樂部,還是宣教學院?

本文原刊於《舉目》官網言與思專欄2017.09.18

Click here to read a translation of this article in English

不久前參加了校園事工研討會。來自北美不同地區的學生工作者,一起探究如何回應當今大規模的中國留學潮,如何與教會搭配、建立健康的校園事工。

現今北美留學生的校園事工危機甚多,其中之一是海歸的高流失率——在北美信主的中國留學生,回中國後,繼續參加教會的人不超過25%。

兩年前從中國來到美國讀神學的同工分享道:“坦白說,在中國牧會,我很怕接收海歸……他們一直拿中國的教會與北美的教會做比較,說北美的教會有多好!……很多人‘信主了,卻沒受洗’。這是什麼意思?決定跟隨耶穌,卻不委身?在中國,信主是準備付代價的。然而在北美的教會,似乎只強調信主的好處,用各樣溫情攻勢領人歸主。人是受洗了,卻不一定瞭解福音是什麼。”

继续读 : http://behold.oc.org/?p=34504

教会新常态

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过去近四十年,中国基督教的成长,主要体现在参加基督徒聚会的人数不断增长。随着聚会人数的增加,聚会的方式也有很大的变化:聚会的时间安排从比较随意的不定时聚集,到固定在星期天的主日崇拜。由于人数的增长,从早先基督徒开放家庭聚会,到基督徒联合出资租用适合的场地聚会,再到建立教会群体,聘请专职教会牧师;进一步再购买物业为教会会址,甚至购地建堂。而且,随着聚会常态化的发展和聘请牧师,教会的宗派立场也逐渐清晰,教牧的事奉也日趋正规,包括儿童和老人事工,跨文化宣教和社区福音工作等。虽然由于政治原因,家庭教会始终未能成为法定的社会团体,但三自教会和家庭教会在聚会模式等方面,却越来越接近,成为过去十多年中国基督徒发展的一大特色。

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The Chinese Church’s New Normal

Link to this article in Chinese

Over the past four decades, the number of worshippers in Chinese churches grew steadily. As church membership grew, the church services matured and developed. Irregular worship times then became established Sunday meetings. Meetings moved from homes to larger rented spaces. Full-time pastors were hired, and land was acquired for church buildings. The church ministries also expanded beyond Sunday services to include teaching for children, care for the elderly, cross-cultural missions and community outreach. These four became standard ministries in churches across China. Despite their differences in legal status, house churches and Three-Self churches followed a similar pattern of growth. They came to resemble each other both in format and range of ministries, especially in the past decade or more. 

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Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

Boy meets girl! It’s the stuff of books and movies. It’s wonderful when two people decide before God to commit to each other for the rest of their lives, but we all know that marriage isn’t always that easy and a lot of marriages won’t make it for the long-term. Sadly the last 50 years in China have seen great social upheaval. The cultural revolution ripped families apart. The post revolution economic boom saw parents focus on making money as the only way to provide for their families. The one-child-policy has given rise to a whole generation of children who struggle to share and relate to others. Going back further there are many other Chinese customs and traditional thinking about marriage that are unbiblical and very unhelpful. This is the background for many young Chinese and it makes it hard to have a stable marriage which mirrors Christ and the Church.

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Online Training

Thriving Turtles Training – Cross-cultural Training for Intercultural Discipleship

Thriving Turtles Training is a new initiative to equip front-line gospel workers with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective cross-cultural gospel ministers.  Thriving Turtles Training offers short modular courses at the end of the summer holidays each year.  These courses build on each other and the training can extend over several years.  Our facilitators have extensive experience in cross-cultural ministry and the courses are provided as eLearning through our online Moodle classroom.   The courses are highly interactive with forums, chats and video conferencing, and this platform allows us to offer this training at a very affordable cost. With an investment of 2 weeks a year, and no need to travel away from home you can equip yourself to be a more effective cross-cultural minister of the gospel.

For more information about our online training courses please click the link below to go to our online training classroom;

https://training.thrivingturtles.org

Work & Career

Being salt and light to influence society

Many Christians in China today are seeking to be salt and light in their communities and in society. But what does that look like? In the translated article below, originally posted on the mainland site Christian Times, the author summarizes a talk given by a pastor in Henan Province on the topic of being salt and light.
https://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/chinese-church-voices/being-salt-and-light-to-influence-society

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What does it take for returnees to thrive – Part 3

In Part One of this series, we considered the importance of discipling Chinese students as Chinese believers who are prepared to live in a Chinese context (contextualized discipleship).  In Part Two, we discussed the need for pre-return training to prepare returnees for the issues they will face when they are home.  In this third part we will focus on how to help returnees settle in a church or fellowship where they can serve and be supported in their daily Christian walk. Continue reading “What does it take for returnees to thrive – Part 3”

Is Church a leisure club or a mission training school?

是俱樂部,還是宣教學院?(董家驊)2017.09.18

Link to Chinese article: 中文: http://behold.oc.org/?p=34504

Author: Pastor Dong Jia-Hua

Translation of article in “Behold” magazine by Keith Ranger

He says – “I recently attended a Conference of workers from a number of different places in North America on how to do lasting and effective evangelistic ministry in the lives of international students, especially in the area of being up to date and not behind the times in reaching out to those from China. The expressed need was for relevant and engaging methodology and really making an effort to keep up to date with ‘where these people are now coming from’ in terms of their expectations and priorities. Things can, and do, change so fast! We cannot, and must not, live in the past!

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