Family Foundations: The Gospel in the Family

Editor’s note: Gu Junqing grew up in a Christian family and came to believe in the Lord at an early age. This is the fourth part of his story, and he shares how he and his wife are trying to establish a Christian home where their children can learn to follow Christ in their early years. Although he sees many churches and believers doing good work by sharing the gospel in society, he thinks establishing strong Christian families is the most important area where today’s Chinese Christians should focus.

This story is part of an ongoing series of interviews with Chinese Christians about how they came to know and follow God, and has been edited and condensed for clarity and length. Parts one, two, and three of Gu’s story can be found here.

Build the Right Foundation

China Partnership: You and your wife now have two children. What do you think will be some differences they may face regarding faith in the future?

Gu Junqing: Our family’s goal is to establish a Christian family that is set apart from the world. Although we live in this world, whatever we do is done for God. The important thing about establishing a Christian family is to let our children have a solid faith foundation so they can influence more people in the future. Others around me, including our church, also share this same vision.

In reality, I think the most important thing with a true faith is to preach the gospel within the family. There is still a big difference in the impact on the lives of those who grew up believing in the Lord and those who received the gospel later – for example, my wife came to faith in Christ after high school. We have a vision that more and more young Chinese families will help their children build the right foundation from an early age. Only after a few more generations will such a faith be truly influential. Although many are doing really helpful work now, I think it is just a sowing of seeds.

We have a vision that more and more young Chinese families will help their children build the right foundation from an early age.

CP: I don’t quite understand.

Gu: Maybe the real gospel growth will happen in the next generation because they will be more committed, and that is the only way to multiply. Of course evangelism is also important, but we increasingly feel that building Christian families is more important and more impactful, because all of society is family-based. The unfortunate thing about the current situation in China is that the greatest damage is done to the family, because so many fathers are so busy making money they don’t spend time with their wives and children at all. That is one of the greatest damages.

There are many thousands and even hundreds of millions of migrant workers who go to the big cities to work, leaving their children to be brought up in their hometowns, in the countryside. This creates all kinds of problems.

CP: These children are almost orphans.

Gu: They are almost orphans and have all kinds of issues – character and learning problems. This is a very serious problem for China. I think it will cause severe difficulty for China in the next few decades, including a higher crime rate and a slower economy, because we do not know what kind of people this generation raised without parental discipline will become.


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The Influence of Family

As Christians, we can only do what we should do: build a family, and have a different way of life. The most important things is that the next generation will be able to keep multiplying and reproducing.

People who are like us, in our 30s, all have a common impression that our children should give up public school education. We are instead looking more into how to do homeschooling. Many churches are currently faithfully running church schools, because we don’t want to send these children to public schools to receive the wrong methods of education. The main purpose is to strengthen their faith.

In the future I may practically have to work and provide for my family, but even more important than that is my ministry to my family, and how to help them become true people of faith. In the future this area – education – is one of the most important things. The greatest need for the future of China is this issue of Christian education and how to educate the next generation. We have decided they should not go to a public school.

I think the influence of the family is more important than the influence of any church organization. You might go to church once a week…Only in the family setting can you truly understand your children’s needs.

I think the influence of the family is more important than the influence of any church organization. You might go to church once a week. Nowadays, many people have become “Sunday Christians.” There are many believers, but they are nominal. Only in the family setting can you truly understand your children’s needs, how they think, and whether they are indeed saved.

I serve in our church now; I go to the Sunday service, share, and I even preach every couple of months. I tell people to truly study the Word of God. Besides that, I want to devote more of my time outside of work to my family.

Pray for God to bless and direct young Chinese families seeking to raise their children to know and follow the Lord.

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Further Reading

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The External Cross: A Pastoral Letter
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Qingdao: How to Pray
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Qingdao: Locals and Outsiders
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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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