Reformation 500 Conference Voices: Bill Nyman

Over the next couple of months, we will be posting reflections on our Reformation 500 conference in Hong Kong by several attendees. Our first reflection comes from Bill Nyman, Chairman of the Board of Directors for China Partnership, and member of Christ Community Church in Leawood, KS. 

Why was this conference important for you? 
It was clear to me that the Chinese leaders demonstrated strength, courage, and a commitment to serve Christ whatever the cost. The conference reminded me that the Body of Christ is an international body, and though we have cultural differences we have Christ in common; we can learn from and encourage one another, whatever our cultural background. 

What did you learn about God at this conference? 
In one of Paul Tripp’s messages, he shared about some of the physical challenges he faced the past few years of his life, and how God had been his sustainer. His story provided a real life reminder that God gives us the grace we need, no matter what suffering we encounter. We cannot rely on our own strength or try to be self-reliant—true faith is hope and courage in the face of our own weakness. Several messages reinforced that my identity is in Christ, He saved me to glorify Him, and His grace is sufficient.  

How are you praying this conference will impact China? 
First, I am praying for the Chinese leaders as they return to their home churches–for protection, endurance, and God’s revelation of His plans for them. Second, I am praying for Chinese leaders to be a part of safe and healthy communities that are able to care for each other physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  

What do you think about having so many believers from other countries at the conference this year? 
I enjoyed being a minority in a sea of Chinese believers. It was at times overwhelming to see leaders from so many Chinese provinces and cities worshipping God, studying His Word, and seeking ways to serve Him. It is a reminder of how God is equipping and multiplying His church to serve inside China and sending His people throughout the world. 

How can the Chinese church bless the church in America?
Many young men and women are graduating from American seminaries each year, but few are equipped and ready to serve in practical ways. They have lots of head knowledge, but little experiential knowledge. In some of my conversations with Chinese pastors, it became clear that the Chinese church is working to integrate theology taught in Chinese seminaries with the practical service needed for young pastors to lead churches. One pastor shared with me that while young leaders were attending seminary, they were simultaneously serving at the church. This senior pastor explained that it helped the younger leader connect the theology they were learning with everyday service, and also allowed the pastor to provide life-on-life mentoring. I think the church in America can learn much from the Chinese church as they try to combine academics, theology, and practical mentoring. 

How can the church in America bless the Chinese church?
It is my belief that the Chinese church is mature and is finding its dependence on Christ, and does not require the assistance once provided by the church in America. The church in America needs to recognize the strengths and maturity of the Chinese church—the church in America needs to step back and release the Chinese church to be the church and serve without unneeded dependence on the American church. Metaphorically, I believe the Chinese church is capable of riding a bike without any assistance, but the American church continues to help in areas that may not be necessary—and the Chinese church graciously accepts the help.  The American church needs to better recognize the strengths and value of the Chinese church and begin to listen and learn from it struggles, joys, and successes.  My hope is that the American church will be able to develop a healthy, lasting, and mutually beneficial community. 

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Further Reading

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Why Should I Love My Enemies?: Give Up Revenge, Love Enemies
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Nanjing: A Welcoming City of Newcomers
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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

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ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

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Stories from Shenyang

About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

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Stories from Qingdao

About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

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Stories from Xiamen

About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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Stories from Chongqing

About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

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Stories from Nanjing

About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

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Stories from Changchun

About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

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Stories from Guangzhou

About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

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Stories from Kunming

About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

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Stories from Shenzhen

About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

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Stories from Chengdu

About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

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Stories from Beijing

About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

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Stories from Shanghai

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