Many of us have Chinese friends and often wonder how we can (or cannot) communicate about matters of faith on WeChat. As with so many other things about China, it is a complicated issue and there are widely divergent opinions on what is and is not appropriate to discuss on WeChat.
I recently heard the story of how a Chinese woman in the US was using WeChat to reach out to her family and friends in China. She describes herself as someone who “loves Jesus and is passionate about sharing that love with her family and friends.” I reached out to her by email and asked her to share a bit of her story for us by answering three questions.
1. Can you briefly tell us how you came to faith? Tell us a bit of your story.
I went to a Chinese family church with my grandma a couple times when I was 7 years old. I heard Jesus is our savior and he loves us. Growing up in China, the main belief in the culture is that there is no God; However, I saw some people worshipping different Gods. When I was in college, I felt lost and disappointed about everything. God talked to me and said he created me, and he loves me. I thought this creator God was Jesus, but I wasn’t sure if the voice really came from God, since I never really thought about God during my busy school years. Now, looking back I am very sure this voice was the Holy Spirit. I experienced this same voice, the Holy Spirit, guiding me to choose my career, my marriage, have a child, my immigration to the USA, and finally to join my church in San Diego. Jesus loved me before I even knew him. Three years ago I was baptized and now I attend church frequently. My love for Jesus grows deeper and deeper every day.
2. How have you been able to use WeChat to share the gospel and disciple family and friends in China?
At first, I shared the gospel with my family when we had video calls on WeChat. Then I shared lots of resources about my beliefs to my family group and on WeChat moments. Since we could not go to church this past year because of COVID 19, our church decided to do everything online, including our happiness group, which is a way to preach the gospel in a small group setting. We invite our family, friends, or anyone who is interested in hearing the gospel to join our WeChat group. We will post our Zoom link to ask them to join our fellowship, Bible study or happiness group. We also post lots of resources for them to learn about our beliefs every day. There are many people now accepting Jesus and growing with us in the faith.
3. It is commonly thought that WeChat is not a safe platform for engaging in religious conversations. What is your response and how do you navigate the security concerns?
I heard about this, but I do not think it will affect us preaching the gospel on WeChat. One of my church friends has a WeChat Group with about 200 members. They share God’s words and worship songs and prayers every day. All my Chinese church’s fellowship groups are communicating on WeChat or Line (a new messaging app). I do not have any concerns so far.
Every person’s situation is different with regard to using WeChat, but I hope that it has been helpful to hear from one sister about how she is able to use it to advance the gospel.
Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio
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