Rev. James Hudson Taylor IV gave a sermon titled “Understand the Turning Point of the Universal Mission of the Early Church in Crisis from the Book of Acts” on the second night of the Second Global Chinese Mission Conference.
Held virtually with the theme “Universal Mission Opportunities for Chinese Church Amid Worldly Crisis” from July 25 to 31, the Second Global Chinese Mission Conference invited seven speakers to give special lectures.
Having participated in the ministry of Overseas Missionary Fellowship for the past 30 years, James Hudson Taylor IV or Dai Jizong, a fifth-generation descendant of Hudson Taylor, has devoted himself to the work of seminary education since August 2020.
He called that suffering great persecution, all disciples except the apostles in the early church were scattered to preach the gospel. Some of the churches were founded at that time by anonymous believers.
"In the 21st century, we have also encountered such an opportunity." James said, "How do we mobilize Christians to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ? Places ministers cannot go, believers can. Believers in the workplace can go to many places with their professional identity.”
James shared that when he went to a meeting a few years ago in Manila, Philippines, he met a female believer who asked him to pray for her because she was going to work in the home of a Muslim in Saudi Arabia and bear witness for the Lord there — a place he could not go. Now there are Muslims in the Middle East who turn to Christianity because of the witness of the Filipino workers in their homes.
Not only in the early church but also in church history, believers scattered or dispersed, helping the spread of the gospel. The same phenomenon happened in the Chinese church. When churches in China encountered a crisis in the 1950s, some people said that the Chinese church might be crushed, but the number of Christians did not decrease.
The pastor said, "Due to the global population movement, God brings people from afar to near, and we could share Jesus with them."
"We gather in order to be dispersed." he continued, "We are to be a witness for the Lord going back to our own posts or to the place where God called us."
The crisis the early church faced ushered a different era, which can be seen in the Church of Antioch. The global mission began in the Church of Antioch, and Paul and Barnabas were sent to do cross-cultural missions there.
James encouraged, "Chinese churches can no longer be absent from cross-cultural missions in the 21st century."
- Translated by Abigail Wu