[Views] Keeping a Wary Eye on the Great Leap Forward of Evangelism of China
By CCD contributor: Yiyan Wang, September 29, 2016 01:09 AM
"So you are going to make all citizens be my disciple and baptize them in the name of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. If you teach them to observe all that I I commanded you, I shall be with you until the end of the world." (Matthew 28:19)
Christians around the world comply with this doctrine and that's one of the reasons why Christianity is the world's largest religion.
The influence of Christianity in traditional mission exporting countries in Europe has declined. Emerging Christian countries in Africa cannot bear the responsibility of overseas evangelism due to the backward economic situation. The current main mission exporting countries are the US and South Korea.
With the development of economy, the rising power of churches in China has aroused an idea that China shall be a large mission exporting country. Foreign churches look forward to more responsibility on the shoulder of churches in China. Some domestic churches have taken overseas evangelism as the central task. Are churches in China ready for all these?
First of all, foreign churches have overestimated the strength of churches in China just like foreigners' assessment of China's economy. They think that China is a developed country without noticing the unbalanced development across its vast territory. The situation of churches in China is the same. The dedication of China's churches in urban areas may have grown a lot but it's not the case in churches of rural areas.
Some churches in China used to grow with the help of foreign churches. Now they are gradually independent. So foreign churches may think it's time for churches in China to pay something back. It's just like a deal of business. However, building a church is like raising a child. Parents shall devote to children and ask nothing for return. Children shall repay in their own way without being forced.
Domestic church leaders shall also have a clear understanding of the current situation in China's churches. It's a hasty decision to export mission overseas at present. The development of the church doesn't represent the spiritual maturity of believers. Meanwhile, the growth of churches in some cities does not represent all the churches in China are well developed. In fact, we still have many weak points such as governance of the church, pastor training and social interaction.
The United States, South Korea and European countries have a tradition of overseas mission. Gospel has been deeply rooted in the hearts of their citizens. The national incomes of these countries are generally high. Their churches have a comprehensive system with their own theology theories and sufficient talent pool.
Churches in China haven't achieved the level of countries above. What' more, we may meet some unexpected problems in the process of overseas mission such as disease and family members placement. I'm afraid we are not ready for all these challenges.
When we exaggerate our ability to evangelize, we may get the opposite of what we want and fail to reach the requirements of God. Devils may take advantage of it to achieve their evil goals.
What shall we keep a wary eye on in the process of evangelism?
Firstly, avoid over ambition. The Bible says love your neighbor as yourself. Our love starts from our neighbors, so does evangelism. Before achieving a large purpose, we shall focus on small goals.
Secondly, remember evangelism is the job given by God, not by any individual or church. Someone may take evangelism as an excuse for other purposes. Carrying out large-scale overseas mission regardless of the current situation is not responsible. Someone may even seek economic benefits in the name of fund raising.So expenses of the church shall be supervised.
Today we memorize missionaries in the history because they really brought gospel to people in need. "The spirit of me is from God. God has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and preach gospel to the humble. "(Isaiah 61 chapter 1)
(The article represents the author's views only. CCD remains neutral.)
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