Chinese Church Voices

A “Gospel Team” at West Lake

Chinese Church Voices is an occasional column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.

Evangelism is something that is increasingly emphasized in Chinese churches, both official and unofficial. Christians are being encouraged by their pastors and by one another to look for creative ways to share the gospel with those around them, whether at home, in the work place, or in society. The translated article below is about a "gospel team" using music to share the gospel at West Lake in Hangzhou during the May 1 holiday.

The Chinese proverb "Heaven above, Suzhou and Hangzhou below" is an illustration of the beauty and affluence of these two cities. In Hangzhou, West Lake is a symbol of beauty that is well known both at home and abroad. And in this heaven on earth the seeds of the gospel are being sown. On May 1 at 8pm a gospel team gathered on the bank of West Lake in Hangzhou to share the love and joy of Christ through music. Their method of sharing the gospel attracted attention from the crowds at West Lake and garnered praise from the online community. Their actions also served as a reminder that the real danger lies in not proclaiming the gospel message.

Because of the May holiday, the energy around West Lake was especially high and crowds were larger than usual. Around 8pm on May 1, a group of young Christians organized their "gospel team" and arrived at West Lake, bringing a guitar, their lively style of worship music, and song sheets with the gospel message attached. The atmosphere of love and joy attracted numerous onlookers.

Leader of the "Gospel Team," brother Xin Shang noted that sharing the gospel in a public place requires prudence. Authorities would likely crack down on any overt evangelism; however, singing worship songs as a means to communicate the gospel is relatively safe. Brother Xin Shang also pointed out that song selection requires a certain amount of care. He suggested choosing relatively upbeat hymns that communicate love and joy. In this way they can sing in a way that makes it easy for passersby to join in.

The team also brought copies of the song lyrics with the gospel message attached so that anyone interested could sing along and be exposed to the good news. Brother Xin Shang spoke candidly, saying that before the team left for West Lake they spent several hours in prayer and worship. God encouraged the team members with Joshua 1:3-9 and reminded them that, "the real danger lies in not sharing the gospel." They were assured that it was in fact Gods will for them to go to West Lake, so they set out full of confidence to boldly serve the Lord.

On their way to West Lake, the group was surprised with something completely unexpected. Brother Xin Shang described the situation this way: "We were blown away to find another Christian brother with a set of speakers and a microphone loudly singing praise songs, sort of leading the charge alone. We were able to join the battle, as it were, and on the spot formed a 'small independent gospel squad'. I hope that God remembers and rewards that Christian brother."

Also significant was the response from the online community after Brother Xin Shang posted news and pictures documenting their experience at West Lake. Numerous Christian netizens shared his post and left comments. Many were encouraged and inspired by the teams method of using praise music as a means to share the gospel. Below are some of the comments posted in response to the "gospel team:

"Freely we have received and earnestly we should proclaim! Dont be ashamed of the gospel! May God bless and keep the brothers and sisters of the gospel team!"

"Praise God! I continually pray that God will save even more of the elderly in our country because their souls will soon pass away. May the Lord have mercy. And I pray that God will save more young people in our country because they are strong and healthy and could do much for the Lord. If God will move powerfully among the post 90's generation it would make me so happy!"

"It would be so great if those with musical talent from every area of China could organize and use hymns to preach the gospel in the places where people hang out in the summer."

"Praise God, I hope that every person can know our mighty, gracious and compassionate God."

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity. The Christian brothers and sisters of the gospel team joined together for the purpose of spreading Christ's love. China needs even more people like this who love the Lord and who have the courage to stand up and be a light for the Lord.

Original article: 杭州西湖福音小队弹琴赞美吸引路人:不传福音最危险

Image credit: West Lake, Hangzhou, by Dana Liparova, via Flickr

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