Interview with a Nanjing Pastor – Live Out the Gospel Before Sharing It

Nanjing building-1818345_1920.jpg

Editor’s note: China Partnership is launching a new chapter of its prayer initiative. Over the coming year we will pray 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 Nanjing. We’re excited to bring you this interview with a Chinese pastor in the city! We hope you will check out the Nanjing page for additional content and to sign up to partner with us in prayer.

Pastor: Let me introduce myself. I’m from Nanjing. My church is a fairly young church with an average age among members of twenty five years. A third of church attendants are college students and the rest are young professionals who graduated from college within the last one to four years.

>
As sharing the gospel with strangers becomes increasingly difficult in China, we now focus more on helping and training believers to live out their faith in their network of relationships, to live out their Christian stories in their real lives and to share the gospel with all around us.

CP: It must be a very energetic church. How do you proclaim the gospel in such a young church?

Pastor: Our church was built on the foundation of a college fellowship originated by [an overseas missionary group]. At the inception of the church, we adopted the Four Spiritual Laws to share the gospel on campus. 

As the church gradually matured, we were involved with some Grace to City classes and training. As sharing the gospel with strangers becomes increasingly difficult in China, we now focus more on helping and training believers to live out their faith in their network of relationships, to live out their Christian stories in their real lives and to share the gospel with all around us.

CP: Could you elaborate on some specific methods you adopt for sharing the gospel?


Never miss a story

Sign up to receive our weekly email with our original articles.

Pastor: In the past couple of years we hosted a training on how to share the gospel, mainly focusing in two categories. The first is sharing the gospel with strangers, which has to happen through interactive communication. In the past we would share the gospel and our new friend would sit and listen; nowadays people may not have that type of patience. Therefore, we coach our brothers and sisters how to share the gospel by starting with some other topic of conversation, such as work, marriage, or relationships.

>
In the past we would share the gospel and our new friend would sit and listen; nowadays people may not have that type of patience.

The second is sharing the gospel with people they know well, such as their colleagues and friends. This came from the Grace to City church planting classes, which included training on how to share the gospel. The training would ask the believer to enter his own life story, find his idols, and then challenge him to reshape his life with the better and perfect solution in the gospel, thus coming up with a personal course of gospel sharing through the training. We also raise some examples in the class, like how we can find their real needs in life when we encounter a morally sound person or someone who lives a prodigal life, initiating dialogue around those needs and bringing the gospel to them.

CP: When you discover this new way of sharing the gospel, what changes do you see compared to the previous ways of sharing the gospel?

Pastor: This provides a great benefit for our brothers and sisters, as now they must live out the gospel before they share it. Whereas before, when we shared the gospel with strangers, they did not need to understand how we live out the gospel; all we needed was to talk about it. Now we focus on sharing the gospel with those around us. Believers first have to bear witness for the gospel at their work places, and then through relationships draw others close to the gospel by sharing a different type of lifestyle. I’m not one hundred percent sure of the responses our brothers and sisters get, but they keep bringing friends to the church.

>
Whereas before, when we shared the gospel with strangers, they did not need to understand how we live out the gospel; all we needed was to talk about it. 

CP: Based on your observations, is the church influencing your city in other aspects?

Pastor: We have not explored this aspect of ministry very much.

CP: Could you reiterate how your way of evangelism is affecting the city that you live in?

Pastor: I think the biggest impact of our evangelism on our city is by providing genuine care and comfort from heaven to the souls of the people in the city who pursue material comforts.

>
From what our brothers and sisters share with me, many people around them live in a state of hopelessness because they feel their lives have no purpose… When he is not receiving any care, his soul can be very impoverished. 

CP: When you say pursuit of material comfort, what are some of these pursuits? 

Pastor: When I look at material pursuits, I think of the commercials from different cities in China; they all promote venues for dining and entertainment. With the popularization of smart phones, most people spend their time after work reading WeChat Moments [social media updates] and chatting with friends online. From what our brothers and sisters share with me, many people around them live in a state of hopelessness because they feel their lives have no purpose.  If one centers his life around work, the purpose of his work is nothing but surviving and buying a house and settling down in this city. When he is not receiving any care, his soul can be very impoverished. 

CP: This interview is being done mainly for the churches, brothers and sisters, and pastors in America, so that they can know more about the Chinese church here. Do you have anything to say to the believers in the U.S.?

Pastor: First, I am extremely grateful for the brothers and sisters in the U.S. who have shown great concern for the development of the churches in China. Churches in China are facing crises and challenges in many areas, such as the lack of church leaders and those with experience in building up churches. Especially with the great number of urban churches, but we are still learning how to pastor an urban church. 

We are also in great need for the American brothers and sisters to remember us in your prayers. Ask God to lead us in all these crises. We are all one family in Christ. We also pay close attention to the American churches, who may be facing different needs. In different ways, we are all called to be witnesses for Jesus Christ in God’s kingdom, and we should constantly remember, communicate, and help each other in our prayers.

Share This Story

Further Reading

ulrich-mareli-aspeling-KIesafoIhi8-unsplash
Chengdu: Discipleship in Difficult Times
Read More
juli-kosolapova-pZ-XFIrJMtE-unsplash
Moses in the Wilderness 2: A Reflection of Christ
Read More
chester-ho-MfmCt8fRaQw-unsplash
Chengdu: Opportunities and Challenges
Read More

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

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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. 

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

Stories from Shanghai

give

A short message about partnering with us.