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/
Continue reading “Together Apart”
Link to this article in Chinese
“You can take away my freedom, but not my prayers;
My prayers have wings; they leap over barbed wires and high towers.
Many brothers and sisters have heard them.
Ever free to fly, reaching the paradise above the blue sky…”
This poem, entitled ‘You and Me,’ was
written by a pastor who is currently
serving a prison sentence. He was
engaged in children’s ministries
in the southwest minority areas for many years. He also extended this service to areas outside of China, to mountainous tribal villages that lack basic education. But because of this, he was sentenced to severe punishment and is currently in prison.
A Christian lawyer said, “One day in 2018, after posting a hymn on WeChat, my WeChat public account was immediately shut off, and dozens of articles disappeared.”
Continue reading “The Chinese Church and the New Normal”
Link to this article in English
Continue reading “教会新常态”
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.
Continue reading “The Chinese Church’s New Normal”
Returnees Committing to Church in China: I wonder what excites us most about the prospect of brothers and sisters returning to China:
- How wonderful to have this godly man heading up a hospital, refusing underhanded deals with pharmaceutical companies.
- How strategic to have this winsome sister working as a university lecturer; just think about the kind of impact she could have on a whole generation of students!
Yes, such inspiring thoughts spur us on in serving our Chinese friends from overseas and yet how individualistic is this perspective? Indeed, perhaps we do stress the importance of church but to what extent is this merely pragmatic? Without a supportive church community, how else will our friends stand firm in such a challenging context? No, this is something far more significant for church is right at the heart of God’s eternal plan. (Ephesians 3:10)
Continue reading “Returnees and the Church in China”
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”
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!
Continue reading “Is Church a leisure club or a mission training school?”
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 (contextualised discipleship). In this second part we consider the need for pre-return training to prepare returnees for the issues they will face on returning home. In the part three we will consider connecting with a Church or fellowship in China. Experience has shown that there are four key topics that need to be addressed:
Continue reading “What does it take for Returnees to Thrive – Part 2”
In September 2016 the China Source Quarterly Journal was devoted to the issue of helping Chinese Returnees thrive as Christians after returning to China.
Living in another country can be a life-changing experience. The longer the stay and the greater the immersion into that country’s social life, the deeper and more lasting the effects. Adapting to the new culture, making foreign friends, learning a new set of behaviors, and speaking in a foreign language shape the identity and values of sojourners in ways that can never be undone.
The changes that overseas sojourners experience may go beyond the necessary adaptation to a new language and culture; for many, the experience creates an openness to new ideas, new values, and even a new way of understanding life.
Continue reading “A call to Partnership in Chinese Returnee Ministry”