Peacemaking in China: A Timely Series
In the first post in a series of blog posts entitled “Peacemaking in China” on January 23, 2023, Jolene Kinser references a time in 2010 when she was involved in “a five-day intensive biblical peacemaking coaching and mediation training” in Hong Kong. She was there because a pastor had asked her for help in reconciling two worship leaders who had stopped talking to each other, and because of friction with a former team member.
I also attended the training that week with a keen desire to learn more, born out of the same frustration expressed by Chinese pastors in their responses to Jolene’s inquiries: “If you want to hear stories of people who are in the middle of unresolved conflict, I can introduce you to many research participants, but stories of reconciliation? These are far more rare.” I was frustrated by the experience that Jolene expressed, “just like in the United States, many interpersonal conflicts in China are left unaddressed with relationships suffering as a result.”
Peacemaking Friends Who Never Stopped Learning
Two of the presenters that week were very special friends of mine and had been mentors throughout my adult life. In their final seasons of life, they had both worked closely with Peacemaker Ministries and were devoted to biblical peacemaking. I was impressed that over a period of fifteen years or so, these two men who were pastors and had led vibrant, fruitful, great commission churches for decades, knew they had so much more to learn, and were passing on their discoveries about biblical relationship restoration to leaders in their own backyards and around the world. They were seasoned, fruitful leaders, who humbly knew they needed to continue to learn how to be reconciling friends.
As Jolene mentioned, the training was a transformational experience because we were equipped with tools but also with the reassurance that we can go further and deeper into life-changing healing of relationships and see lives, families, and churches reconciled and healed. Our learning process in this area never stops.
By 2013 both of my friends who provided much of the training that week were home with Jesus. Wonderfully, the truth and power of the biblical peacemaking and reconciliation they offered and exemplified continues to reverberate in this divided world. Jolene’s path to address peacemaking in China is an exciting one, and we are grateful she has invited us along for the ride. Her blog series will address topics covered in her yet-to-be published book, Changing Normal: A New Approach to Conflict, Face Issues, and Restoring Relationships, and will be timely for us all.
P.S. Don’t miss the next post of Jolene Kinser’s excellent series, available early next week.
Ways to Pray
- Praise the Lord that the majority of ChinaSource constituents use our publications as resources for informed prayer.
- Pray that Jolene Kinser’s blog series on peacemaking in China will be both a healthy challenge and a renewing encouragement to many.
- Ask God for wisdom so that ChinaSource will be able to identify and build into the lives of the next generation of global missional Christians reaching and serving Chinese friends around the world.
News and Notes
Ian Johnson delivered the latest lecture in our joint lecture series with China Academic Consortium and the US-China Catholic Association. You can watch a recording of the lecture at Fordam’s Center on Religion and Culture YouTube channel.
ChinaSource Team News
- ChinaSource is now partnering with Asia Congress, part of the Lausanne Movement, to produce a weekly news roundup called Asia Briefs. Similar to our own ZGBriefs, it is a curated list of links from online published resources that will be of interest to Christian leaders serving in Asia. China stories included in Asia Briefs are taken from ZGBriefs.
- Joann Pittman was at Fordham University in New York City on January 25 to represent ChinaSource at the lecture entitled “China’s New Civil Religion: A Challenge and Opportunity for the West”, presented by Ian Johnson.
- On January 11, The Gospel Coalition published Brent Fulton’s review of Wang Yi’s Faithful Disobedience, called “Xi’s China, Christ’s Kingdom, and a Suffering Church.”
In Case You Missed It
A selection of recently published items:
- Twenty Quotes from Faithful Disobedience, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), February 14.
- Faithful Disobedience as Testimony to the Kingdom, ChinaSource Blog, February 13.
- Church Development and Theological Education, ChinaSource Blog, February 10.
- Living Out Our Paul Moment, ChinaSource Blog, February 08.
- The Collapse of Zero-COVID, ChinaSource Blog, February 06.
- Chinese Christians in the New Era—Hope and Overcoming, ChinaSource Blog, February 03.
- A Tsinghua University Mathematician Finds Rest in Christ, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), February 01.
- Saving Grandmother’s Face and Other Tales from Christian Teachers in China, ChinaSource Blog, January 30.
- Who Moved My Church?, ChinaSource Blog, January 27.
- A New Song of the Wanderer for Today, ChinaSource Blog, January 25.
- Peacemaking in China, ChinaSource Blog, January 23.
- Opportunities and Challenges During Chinese New Year, ChinaSource Blog, January 20.
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