The Gospel and the Souls of the Chinese People, Part 2

Editor’s note: This is the second post in a series by a house church pastor reflecting on the gospel and its impact on the Chinese people. The material was originally presented at the China Partnership annual conference in January 2015. Check back next week for the last post of the series.

There was a fellowship in Beijing led by a married couple. Between 2005 and 2011, the fellowship they led grew from a disorganized group of ten or so people to a disciplined and structured fellowship of about 120 people. It sprung up from two people, who were attempting to serve step by step, to thirty colleagues. It became an organized ministry, blessing and transforming the lives of many students. One after another, many brothers and sisters committed to full-time ministry. Later, when they had left to study elsewhere, these colleagues continued to serve. Currently, they still have a very active gospel ministry. The following is an episode from when they first began serving. This brother says:

When I first began serving, I was in a deeply hopeless situation. Very mysteriously, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I was led to confess many deep sins in my life. Beginning in June of 2005 and over three to four months, I was in the process of confession. At the time I was reading the Biography of Song Shang Jie, and recognized that man had to confess each sin before God. I was inspired and took some fax paper and began writing my confession.

I took each thing that I remembered was offensive to God and wrote them down one by one. Then I got on my knees and confessed them each. In the process of my confession, I experienced more deeply the heart of Jesus Christ and recognized why he was crucified on the cross for me. I also recognized what kind of man I was and how I should serve him with the rest of my life. Each day I went to pray on a small hill in my school. My prayers were mostly confessions. The more I confessed, the more relieved I felt. Bit by bit, my bitterness and burdens were shedding. The whole person was like a silkworm breaking out of its cocoon, armed with wings, very delicate, gradually being renewed, beginning to grow. Therefore I came to believe in Jesus through the course of my confessions, and believing in Jesus means beginning to work with God.

At that time I began to spread the gospel among the students around me, while also serving at the church by cleaning the bathrooms. Why did I have such a deep impression of cleaning the bathroom? Because there was grumbling in my heart. In the course of serving, I slowly began to ask myself a question: if Jesus were here, what would he say? If Jesus were here, what would he do? This was the biggest motivation behind my service.

In 2006, I was admitted into graduate school and my wife and I were assigned to an apartment building. The two of us began to lead a Bible study. The small group met in the basement. At that time, the weather was very hot and there were lots of mosquitos. We sat around the candle light in the middle of the room, mosquitos flying around us. In the very beginning four to five people got together, and as God placed into our midst his Spirit, more and more people began to show up. Back then we studied the Bible four to five times each week, almost every evening was spent either at church or with other brothers and sisters.

Now looking back at my old journals, it seems inconceivable that after getting into graduate school, I was not studying for my Masters degree but was studying theology. All of my energy was dedicated to serving God. Now when we remember those days, we feel particularly grateful. In those two to three years, I led about fifty people to Christ. I led them to pray the believer’s prayer; although many among them have lapsed, many others are still very active.

While I was leading the Bible study, I deeply recognized one point—the gospel brings changes to souls, and the Holy Spirit testifies for the gospel, confirming that the gospel is true. Why are we willing to serve? Mainly because we have seen people being transformed by the gospel, yet this transformation cannot be achieved by any man or any other power. A sinner breaks away from his sins; a habitual liar no longer lies; a man who watches pornography each day quits watching; a man suffering from depression was healed after believing in the Lord. These are the things that we witnessed in the past few years.

Wang Jianguo is the collective pseudonym for a group of Chinese house church pastors writing and thinking critically about issues related to the spread of Christianity in their nation. They are committed to preaching a grace-centered gospel, developing resources for the church, and loving China’s urban centers.


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Further Reading

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Nanjing: A Welcoming City of Newcomers
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Nanjing: A Relational Gospel
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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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