Editor’s note: China Partnership has launched a new chapter of its prayer initiative. Over the year we are praying for the church in a new city each month – providing videos, interviews, and prayer requests directly from the churches with whom we work. We hope this helps you better understand the needs of the Chinese church and commit more fervently to stand in prayer with our brothers and sisters.
This month we continue the project with Kunming. We’re excited to bring you this interview with a Chinese pastor in the city! We hope you will check out the Kunming page for additional content and to sign up to partner with us in prayer.
CP: You are from Kunming, and there are many ethnic minorities in Kunming. Does your church have any opportunities to reach out to these minority groups and share the gospel with them; and if so, how do you communicate with them?
Pastor: Originally the minorities lived within their regions and rarely came out. Yet God showed us that this is a special time because the minorities are starting to come into the city, especially the young people who are coming into the city to work. They are connecting to urban culture. Therefore, I think this time is the best time to share the gospel with them. We don’t need to send missionaries to their regions; we can draw them in while we are still in the city.
Therefore, there are lots of minority people in our church. They are transformed by the gospel, and they ask us at the church to pray for their people and for their families, because they are still worshiping idols and do not know God.
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Every year they go home and bring their testimonies with them. These have great impact on their families. Therefore, I think if we take advantage of this opportunity, it would be much easier than the hardships that previous missionaries had to go through; this is a better opportunity for us today to catch them for the gospel within the city.
CP: You mentioned that they enter into the urban culture. Are there any differences between their cultures and the urban culture?
Pastor: There are not many differences in essence. They do not know God; they have no hope in the world because they do not have God. Of course there are differences in lifestyle and in knowledge and in understanding the world; but these are not obstacles to the gospel.
CP: Praise the Lord that it is easier to share the gospel with them now than before. But I think there are still some challenges as we share the gospel with them. What do you think is the greatest challenge as we share the gospel with the minority nonbelievers?
Pastor: The biggest challenge is still idolatry. It is not that many of these minority people have never heard of the gospel. They have heard the gospel; yet through the years they have formed a “traditional” view of Christianity. They think that their ancestors believed in Christ. Many minority groups think like this.
Therefore, this generation that has had no contact with the gospel think the god of their people is the one who protects them; if they turn away from this god, they are turning away from their entire people. One challenge for the gospel is to let them see that our God transcends everything.
One other factor is that when some minority groups have a fixed Christian tradition, it would be very hard to break that tradition. They sometimes mistake Christianity with singing hymns and Sunday worship, but they do not understand the gospel.