Why we should join a local congregation

by Peter L.

When my family and I moved to South-East Asia, we could not find a local congregation[1] with solid Bible teaching. Expository preaching and biblical theology were non-existent. Sermons were topical, allegorical and/or moralistic. Small groups consisted of worship and fellowship with the occasional Bible study. Our dilemma was: should we do ‘church’ at home or should we attend a local congregation, even with substandard Bible teaching? Or are there other reasons we should join a local congregation? 

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How A Church Began

How a church began

After a tragic turn of events in her family, a young woman seemed to have no choice but to go to an unfamiliar city and become a KTV girl to support her family. She experienced two failed marriages before returning to her hometown to open a hairdresser shop, and spread the gospel. This article tells the testimony of how a former KTV girl started the first church in the county seat.

https://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/chinese-church-voices/from-ktv-girl-to-church-planter

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Together Apart

Together Apart

As I write, according to the number of confirmed cases, it appears that many countries are where we were in China two months ago: The USA today has the number of confirmed cases China had 7 weeks ago; Australia and Canada are 8 weeks behind; the UK 7½ weeks. The pandemic situation across various African and South American countries is also rapidly evolving. Here, for you outside of China, is what we’ve learned regarding church and international student ministry in this season. https://au.thegospelcoalition.org/article/together-apart/

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Easter in China

Easter and Qing Ming – celebrating life and death at Easter

Why seek the living among the dead? The tomb is not the place to search for life. The death conveyed by Qingming and the life conveyed by Easter represent the despair of the world and the hope of the Christian faith. Because of Jesus, death is dead!

https://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/chinese-church-voices/easter-the-way-out-from-qingming

https://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/blog-entries/celebrating-life-and-death-at-easter/

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Coronavirus: Threat and Opportunity

Returning to Australia from China during the Coronavirus outbreak: a personal experience

When the news came that Australia had also closed its borders to all Chinese nationals who did not hold a permanent residency, my heart sank. You see, more than half of the 200,000 Chinese international students are stuck in China. That includes a large number of the student leaders and students in various university FOCUS Christian groups, including my own group at Sydney University.

https://www.thrivingturtles.org/2020/02/10/returning-to-australia-from-china-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak-a-personal-experience/

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Returning to Australia from China during the Coronavirus outbreak: a personal experience

By Jaz – a Thriving Turtles Team member

Each day, my family and I monitored the Central Chinese national news on the recent outbreak of Coronavirus. Each hour I would cross the great fire wall of China hoping to get some unfiltered news of the virus’ latest development. Yet despite the censored, cheery and hopeful nature of the Chinese national news, it seemed more transparent and detailed than any news coming from across the globe.

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Sharing the Good News

Portrait of an overseas Chinese student

Xiao Mei visited a local British church nearby where she joined a Global Café for the possibility of meeting new friends and learning to speak English. The relaxed atmosphere encouraged her to return, and the friendly church people invited her to learn more about the faith sustaining them. Over the next few months, Xiao Mei made many friends and really enjoyed the worship services. She became a Christian at a gospel event, but she admitted that she was mainly attracted by the genuine love and care of the Christians she met at church.

https://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/articles/the-hook-and-the-cook

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碎片化与教会根基

Link to English version of this article

       由于面临巨大的政治压力和行政手段,曾经兴盛一时、在各地堂会制的中国城市新型教会正在被迅速地“小组化”。当前中国的教会小组化,并不等同于海外的“小组教会”运动,因为后者有极强的组织能力,并有出众的领袖和明确的分工。中国教会的小组化却是在城市教会还未完全成熟,只因现行宗教政策的推出而被动地“分散”。而且这些教会在“分散”以后,还得继续面对被人暗中举报“非法聚会”,和网格化行政管理的体制,使得现有的“小组”面临着更加碎片化的命运。虽然在过去,中国教会不乏“分裂”的发生,但像目前既宣告公民有“宗教信仰自由”,又从根本上打击家庭教会等民间宗教团体,迫使他们彻底地“碎片化”,直至化为乌有的两面派做法,却是从来没有遇到过的。中国教会要如何走向未来?几十年中国基督教的发展,会否因此来到拐点,趋于没落并走向解体?

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The Union Version of the Bible and the Chinese Church

“Fragmentation” and Church Foundations

Link to Chinese version of this article

Churches in China’s cities were once flourishing, but today’s intense political pressure is causing fragmentation with big churches forced into meeting in small groups. This is not like the ‘small group’ church movements in other parts of the world. It has not come about through the careful decision-making of mature leaders, but purely as a reaction to religious policies. And as if division weren’t enough, these small group churches are under constant threat of being reported by neighbors as “illegal gatherings.” There has never been a shortage of smaller group church meetings in China however, this is something new. The government publicly claims “freedom of religious belief for China’s people” yet, local church groups are being pursued and persecuted.

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