Swells in the Middle Kingdom
Many Chinese believers enter the church at times of personal crisis. Financial troubles, broken relationships, health emergencies—real world trials often reveal to Chinese people the fractured nature of their safety nets, as friends, family, and the state fail to provide them with what they need. These moments of brokenness can be used by God to open people’s hearts to their own weakness and God’s strength.
While social service has long been part of missionary work in mainland China, today a host of different factors are driving Chinese Christians to explore for themselves the place of humanitarian concerns within gospel ministry. For a growing number of local Christians, loving one’s neighbor through acts of service is rapidly becoming an indispensable aspect of Christian witness. This essay will first explore the role of social service in the history of mission in China before analyzing its place in the ministry of the contemporary Chinese church.
Choosing to face hardship—for remaining in China seemed foolish to almost everyone back in February—has brought us tremendous blessing, as each of us has experienced in the most concrete ways imaginable the solid trustworthiness of God’s promise: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
How You Can Serve the Chinese Church
As Christians from the west we must stop thinking in terms of “the west and the rest” and embrace our identity as equal members of the world church, no more special or privileged than any of our sisters and brothers.
Recognize Your Place in the Global Church
Once we understand that the world in which we minister has changed significantly, then we are in a position to reassess more accurately what our role ought to be in the global church.