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。Continue reading “教会新常态”
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)
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!
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:
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.