Watchman Nee (Ni Tuosheng, 1903–1972), who came to Christ during high school, was a diligent student of the Scriptures, and a tireless witness for Christ. He was an early proponent of separation from Western denominations and advocate for independent local assemblies. One outworking of this was that, with others, he started and co-led a network of local churches known as the Little Flock Movement.
Literature was a major part of his ministry and Nee left a considerable legacy of written works. Through these, he continues to exercise enormous influence among Chinese Christians today. Copies of his books, articles, and sermons number in the millions, and these have circulated widely throughout Chinese churches, both official and unofficial. Likewise, his example as a man dedicated to God, immersed in Scriptures and, and willing to suffer for Christ provides inspiration for countless Chinese.
His theological emphases continue to shape both congregations and individuals. These include: the unique authority of the Bible for all Christian teaching and theology; the necessity of being "born again" through repentance and faith in Christ; the primacy of the inner spiritual life of each believer; the presence and power of God the Holy Spirit to transform lives; the central role of the gathered congregation as the locus of God's work in this world today; the absolute independence of the church from the world and especially from the state-sanctioned religious organization; and the expectation of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. As a consequence, those impacted by Nee's theology do not have much hope that this world will be transformed by human action, and they do not favor formal, organizational church involvement in political or social action.
Some of Nee’s most influential works are The Normal Christian Life; The Normal Christian Church Life; Sit, Walk, Stand (an exposition of Ephesians); and Changed into His Likeness.
The collected works of Watchman Nee are available:
in Chinese at 倪柝声文集 (Collected Works by Watchman Nee)
in English at Books by Watchman Nee, Living Stream Ministry
The introductory material about Watchman Nee was provided by G. Wright Doyle, the editor of the Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity, the co-editor of Studies in Chinese Christianity published by Wipf and Stock, and the General Director of the Global China Center.
For further information on the life and ministry of Watchman Nee, see the Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity.