Unfortunately, American Christianity has produced a strange mixture of discipleship and ownership. We have comingled the call to follow Jesus with the pursuit of the American dream. Somehow we have come to believe that we can simultaneously "deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus" while building an earthly kingdom filled with all the toys and stuff the world values. We have failed to teach Biblical stewardship in our seminaries and churches and, as a consequence, we have largely failed to teach the body of Christ how to be faithful stewards.
As the Christian church in China continues to grow in both population and wealth, will it suffer the same compromise?
On a recent trip to Shanghai I asked three house church pastors what was the biggest challenge faced by their congregations? Without hesitation the first pastor replied, "materialism." The others quickly agreed. They went on to acknowledge that there were few resources and little training available to help Chinese pastors understand and teach the basics of biblical stewardship.
ChinaSource has responded to this critical gap by launching the Faith and Generosity in China Initiative. Thanks to a grant and a generous gift from a ChinaSource partner, we will be conducting a pilot training session in Beijing later this year. We will take ten church leaders through a three-day curriculum to present a comprehensive theology of stewardship. The training will include sessions that will help prepare them to become trainers in their own communities, churches, and circles of influence.
The broader vision for the initiative is quite exciting. We see a series of trainings taking place across China, with hundreds of church leaders being equipped to lead and teach biblical stewardship to tens of thousands. We see the translation, production and publication of dozens of excellent resources that support these trainers. We see writers emerging from within China to produce the next generation of materials and resources to support the church long-term. And we see new ministries and support services starting in China to encourage and expand this work throughout the nation.
We pray the humble steps we will take in October will be a catalyst for a national movement of generosity that God will use to transform the church in China. There is no doubt that God is placing in the hands of Chinese Christians the resources necessary to fund God's work in China at an unprecedented level. There may be no limit to what God's people in China could accomplish if every believer's heart was opened to the joy of Christ-centered generosity.
Will you pray with us for just such a movement?
Scott Rodin,ChinaSource Board Chair
- Pray for a movement of generosity to spread across the church in China.
- Pray for our October stewardship training event.
- Pray for the resources for us to fully implement the Faith and Generosity in China Initiative.
- Pray for open hearts among Christian leaders in China to hear and embrace the message of generosity.
- Pray for protection and empowerment of this effort that it may reach every .
Scott Rodin has a passion for helping Christian ministry leaders take a biblical approach to leadership development, strategic planning, board development and raising kingdom resources. Over the past thirty years he has worked with hundreds of organizations in the U.S., Canada, Middle East, Great Britain, China, India, the Philippines and... View Full Bio
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