Reformation 500 Conference Voices: Mark Moser

Many attendees of Reformation 500 were new not only to Grace to City, but to China as well. The following reflection comes from Mark Moser, pastor of New Life Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Glenside, PA.

Why did you come to this conference? 
I am a pastor near Westminster Theological Seminary, located in the Philadelphia region of Pennsylvania. As you might expect, some of the seminary students worship at our church, and they are oftentimes citizens of other nations. Recently we have had the privilege of getting to know a number of students from Asia, and particularly China.

A couple of these Chinese students, who are training to be pastors, asked us to visit and teach at their churches in mainland China. “But first,” they said, “you need to go to the Reformation 500 conference in Hong Kong. It is a great opportunity for you to learn about China and the house church movement.” Specifically, we wanted to learn about the encouraging work being done through Grace to City and China Partnership.

What did you learn about the Chinese church at this conference? 
After the conference I read an interview with Wang Yi, one of the impressive and inspiring house church leaders in China. (Oh that his words were easier to translate into English that I might have understood more!) He believes the current Chinese house church moment does not require American evangelistic activity. After 200 years of Protestant missions, that time is over, but he appealed to Americans for a different kind of assistance because the Chinese church is young, and many churches and budding Christian institutions need help reaching maturity.

Wang Yi didn’t spell out what specifically he had in mind, but perhaps we Americans can communicate ‘lessons learned’ (good and bad!) and help them to understand their context by contrasting it with our own. And let us not miss the fact that the benefits will run both ways! For in fellowship and partnership with these ‘young’ Chinese churches, we will inevitably become revived and infected by the vibrancy of youth! So truly we have opportunity to experience what Paul spoke of in the first chapter of Romans, that we might be “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (1:12).

I think Wang Yi’s comments helped refine my thoughts after the conference. I heard godly American speakers conveying decades of acquired learning and wisdom, and the Chinese audience receiving it gladly. But I also saw Americans and other foreigners being refreshed and re-centered by the vitality of our Chinese brothers and sisters. In fact, I did not merely see this, I felt it.

What did you learn about God from this conference? 
Obviously God continues to be on the move in China! It is exciting.

What will you take back to the US with you from this conference?
The growth of and opportunities for the gospel in China are enormous. Then again, the needs are also staggering. There are so many people in China! When one considers all the challenges discussed by the Chinese pastors on the various panels, as well as things we learned from discussions, it is clear that we need to pray the petition specifically commanded by Jesus: “Pray that the Lord of the harvest would send workers into his harvest field” (Matt 9:38).

I’m grateful for conferences like this, and organizations like Grace to City and China Partnership. May they serve as a catalyst for more than we can imagine!


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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