Sharing Your Faith Is Joy

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Editor’s note: Earlier this week, Michael Gregory wrote about how sharing his faith cross-culturally helped him to see that his true identity is in Christ, not in his language, culture, or nationality. Today, he writes about how sharing the gospel in China taught him that evangelism gives life to those who share as well as to those who receive.


Wang gave his life to Jesus that afternoon. A few weeks ago he messaged me to tell me about the Christian woman he just married, and their excitement to live for Jesus in a country that views their faith and allegiance to Christ as alien—as something to be stamped out.

Wang didn’t receive Jesus because I was an expert evangelist who managed to master the Chinese language in six days and become a cultural savant somewhere during that time as well. Wang accepted Jesus because our God is mighty to save. Wang heard the good news of Jesus because he encountered a follower of Jesus, and followers of Jesus share their faith. Followers of Jesus aren’t called to wait until they’re properly trained, they aren’t told to wait until they feel comfortable sharing their faith, they don’t wait until they have a theological degree or until they’ve memorized a gospel presentation in Chinese. As followers of Jesus, we have been blessed so that we will be a blessing to others.

I didn’t know any of this as I looked out with Wang over a city where the vast majority of the population had never heard the name Jesus. I was nervous, aware of my inadequacies and inexperience, and the Holy Spirit was kind enough to step in-between my new friend and me and move him from life to death.

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“Sharing my faith did not just lead others to receive new life, it led to me receiving life. Every time I shared my faith, I heard the gospel again. And we never stop needing the gospel.  

If you hit a hole in one the first time you went golfing, chances are you’d have a desire to keep golfing. God’s gracious gift to me my first week in China was to see, with my own eyes, the Holy Spirit move someone to saving faith. The next day Wang and I met up for lunch. “I sold my computer,” he told me. “I was wasting too much time on it and I could use that money to help others hear about Jesus as well.” While my first thought was that his schoolwork was going to suffer without a computer, my second thought was, “Wow. This is the Holy Spirit. Again.”    


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With this as the background for the rest of my time in China, I came to realize that sharing my faith did not just lead others to receive new life, it led to me receiving life. Every time I shared my faith, I heard the gospel again. And we never stop needing the gospel.  

During the pandemic, everyone I’ve talked to has experienced some season of mild to severe depression. As my wife and I were reflecting on a roughly three-month stretch of on-and-off low-grade depression, we think that was due largely to a loss of mission. We weren’t meeting new people. We weren’t interacting with non-believing neighbors. We weren’t sharing our faith. What I learned through regularly sharing my faith in China was that sharing my faith meant life. Not only for others, but for me as well. This is what we were designed for and called to do. This is the mission we inherited from Jesus, who charged our brothers and sisters to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

If we are not sharing our faith, we are not being who Jesus called us to be. If we allow ourselves to go long stretches of not sharing our faith, we will atrophy. We’ll begin to look less and less like the image we were made in. How could we not? If you stopped brushing your hair or brushing your teeth for six months, you’d stop looking like the image reflected back to you in the mirror just six months prior.  

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“My life is not my own. God is one. I did not understand these things until I did evangelism outside of my home culture.

We have been made for a purpose, and for one singular end—to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. We will not do either if we are not sharing our faith. We will not glorify him by making him known, and we will not enjoy him as he intends to be enjoyed if we never celebrate with the Holy Spirit as we get a front row seat to see him waking the dead.  

As I reflect on how sharing my faith in China has impacted me, I’m most thankful, not for the fruit we saw over the years (though of course that was incredible!), but for the perspective God gave me through those experiences. 

My life is not my own. God is one. I did not understand these things until I did evangelism outside of my home culture. Sharing your faith is a joy. It is lifegiving—not just for the one hearing the good news, but also for you.


Michael Gregory is a church planter in the Los Angeles area.

 

FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION

Pray for opportunities to share your faith with someone from a different culture or background.

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Further Reading

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Qingdao: How to Pray
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Qingdao: Locals and Outsiders
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Qingdao: Good Soil for the Gospel
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

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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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