Supporting Article

An Appeal to the American Church

A message from Pastor Ezra Jin to the church in America:

I know the American church has done a lot, but let me encourage you with one small example from a church in Korea. When I went to South Korea three years ago, Chinese students had just begun arriving. There were less than 20,000. This year there are 80,000, and they are found in almost every university in Korea. I have gone to Korea six times this past year to conduct evangelistic meetings among these Chinese students. 

Last Sunday I was in a soccer stadium with 500-600 of them. This evangelistic meeting was a joint effort of all the Christian student unions, all the Christian organizations in the area, plus all the churches that have a Chinese congregation. I preached the first night, and when I gave the invitation almost everyone raised their hands. I thought my invitation had not been clear, so I asked everyone who was willing to give up their life for Christ and dedicate themselves to spread the Gospel to come and kneel in front of the stage. All the leaders of the sponsoring organizations and I were astonished as 150 people came forward and knelt down. We never see this kind of zealous response to the Gospel— even in China. 

Twenty years ago, in America, many of China’s finest intellectuals found Christ. Within the last decade this movement has died out. In America we do not see the same passion and commitment, as well as the willingness to join forces and work together, as we see in Korea today. A friend from Fuller Seminary told me that each year around 800 government officials and university students go to UCLA to study. They have nothing to do on Sunday afternoons. If you would just prepare lunch for them, they would be happy to show up. We would never have this kind of opportunity in China. If only the church had the energy to respond, who knows how great a harvest we would see. 

When I was in South Korea, I led a small group. One very handsome young man who attended was quite arrogant, and during the three days of meetings he did not pay much attention. However, at the end when the invitation was given, this young man stood up to receive Christ. As we left he gave me his name card and said, “Pastor Jin, if you’re ever in Shanghai please come to see me. My father is the head of the city’s security forces. He can do anything in Shanghai.” I realized then, if this were China, you would never have an opportunity to bring someone like this into contact with the church.

Image Credit: Old Saint Mary’s Church by Sarah Twitchell, on Flickr

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