At the closing ceremony of the "2020 Global Chinese Mission Convention", Pastor Yu Hongjie shared how to help evangelists build the body of Christ in order to make Christian missions more solid and have long-term effects.
With the theme of "Live Out the Powerful Gospel," the closing ceremony of the 2020 Global Chinese Mission Convention was held online from the 28thto 30thDecember, hosted by Ambassadors for Christ and sponsored by many Chinese churches in North America.
In the seminar entitled "World Missions Aimed at Building the Body of Christ," the senior pastor of the Silicon Valley Christian Church in the U.S. stated that we must never forget that the center and content of the gospel must be Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Referencing Mark 2: 1 and 1 Corinthians 2: 1, Yu said: “The gospel without Christ is not a gospel, and the gospel without the shedding of blood the cross, or the resurrection is human-oriented.”
According to Ephesians 5:17-18, he stated that one of the points there was the word of the Lord, through which we could know the will of the Lord. Being filled by the Holy Spirit was a continuous state of Christian faith where the whole person was possessed and filled by the Holy Spirit. What made Christianity a unique faith was that it was a life-oriented belief with the life of Christ as its foundation and center.
Pastor Yu mentioned that what happened in some churches was that young believers were given too much responsibility or those without a strong foundation in their faith were asked to serve in positions for whichy they did not have the proper experience.
"When they are not mature or stable enough, they are vulnerable to problems once challenges and temptations come. This will cause a loss to themselves and to the entire church as well…. One’s spiritual life must have a strong foundation of serving God. This is how believers express their spiritual life. We must learn to be the right person with a mature spiritual life first in order to serve others with a right attitude and bring glory to our God and bless others."
Pastor Yu also said that two things could not be ignored if any of our services was to be of eternal value. "It must be from the true worship of God" and "It must be in the Holy Spirit and in the life of Christ." Pastor Yu said: "All our lives and service must be the by-product rather than a substitute of our true worship of God. Loving God is not about what we do (e.g., to prove that we love Him), but about our genuine love to God that motivates us to do all other things to please Him. True service is not about doing anything for God, but about living out the Christ life. Evangelism is about living out the life of Christ Jesus, and Christian mission is about bringing Jesus to all places. Every Christian is a ‘recommendation letter’ of Jesus Christ, which is written by the Holy Spirit."
He shared that Chapter 4 of Ephesians had given us a blueprint for a healthy and growing church. Facing a common challenge in many churches, namely the lack of co-workers, he added: “The church is built not only by a few gifted and capable leaders, whose responsibility is to perfect the saints...the body of Christ is built by all church members, we have the same responsibility."
The pastor then shared three principles on how to build the body of Christ: through special vessels given by God, through all the saints who grew in Christ without ceasing, and through all members who joined and held together by every supporting ligament and built itself in love, as each part did its work.
Pastor Yu emphasized "priority" based on Matthew 6:33: "You must first seek the kingdom of God and the righteousness of God." He said: "God knows everything that we want. We need to pay attention to our priorities. The Lord cares more about whether we pay attention to him and the needs of other people first." Abraham was called for two purposes: to receive a blessing and to become a blessing. This was also the blessing and mission of faith-based people in the New Testament.
Lastly, he encouraged his listeners that they should be optimistic and never be discouraged. Chinese Christians all over the world should love the Lord with one body, build Christ-centered families and churches, do evangelical missions centered on Christ, and shine for Jesus.
- Translated by Xiaodan Zeng