Dear friends and supporters,
Thank you for being our co-workers by means of prayer and giving.
China Report #3 The Chinese Church
As I was preparing to write this letter, I received an invitation to meet on-line with Luke, who is a member of the church we visited in Beijing. Luke and Hope (his wife) have become friends and ministry partners. Together we are beginning to network our ministry efforts. Luke and Hope are two of the many Christian workers we met in China.
We have discovered that the church in China is mammoth. Having grown rapidly over the last 20 years, the Chinese church is experiencing growing pains. While there are at least 7,000 house churches in Beijing, it is uncertain how many of these are actually Christian churches. Many groups gather to study the Bible, but have very little biblical understanding. The story is the same in Shanghai, where almost every high-rise apartment has some kind of weekly gathering of people who are studying the Bible.
The Christian workers we met expressed a need for experienced Christian ministry mentors. Deb and I were invited back to Beijing to explore how we may, in some small way, help the situation. In fact, we are working at starting an on-line meeting with our Chinese colleagues to talk and pray about ministry and problems in ministry. Deb and I may be able to serve as a conduit connecting missiologists, theologians, experienced pastors, and biblical counselors with those pastors and Christian leaders in China desiring instruction.
On more interesting fact about the Chinese church: they are able to minister in areas where Western Christians cannot. For instance, the Chinese Christian is welcome in Pakistan, which is a place where Western Christians dare not go. The point is this, by networking with Chinese believers, we can join God, making disciples in those places that are not accessible to us.
Our ministry in Boston is positioned to be a key part of this networking. We are developing a discipleship center (our church) which will prepare believers to go home and effectively minister the gospel. We have the opportunity in Boston to train gifted but surrendered disciples who will one day return to China. How the Boston ministry will network with the work of God in China will be the topic of our prayer letter next week.
Pray for us as we learn how to follow our Savior in networking global-church planting.