Jackson Wu (吴荣) wrote an article entitled “The 5 Most Pressing Needs of the Chinese Church”. These needs are listed below and we need to be praying about them. As the great missionary to China Hudson Taylor said: “The power of prayer has never been tried to its full capacity. If we want to see mighty wonders of divine power and grace wrought in the place of weakness, failure and disappointment, let us answer God’s standing challenge, ‘Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not!’” These five areas of need are places of “weakness, failure and disappointment”; so we need to pray for them.
Need #1. Theological Training
“First, Chinese believers need theological training. While various local training centers exist around the country, most of them lack academically qualified teachers that can provide them with advanced training needed to interact with difficult passages, issues, and worldviews relevant to their ministry… At most, pastors memorize standard formulations without understanding how to interpret the Bible for themselves. Many materials... are merely translated from Western resources without any regard for an Asian context.”
Need #2. Biblical Studies
Second, “the Chinese church needs more resources in the field of Biblical studies… We cannot expect Chinese church leaders to develop contextualized tools and theological insights if they do not have access to foundational knowledge and resources related to Biblical studies.”
Antioch Missions over many years until today has sought to print in China and distribute a huge amount of materials that will help meet the lack of supply in the first two needs listed above.
Need #3. Cross-cultural Training
Third, “Chinese believers need substantial training to serve as cross-cultural missionaries. The failure rate of Chinese missionaries is high. Most have little experience living among people who are not Han Chinese. Furthermore, many Chinese struggle to work in teams while serving in a second-culture environment.”
Antioch Missions is deeply burdened in this area and for over a decade has run courses to meet this need in the Chinese church.
Need #4. Marriage and Family Ministry
“Chinese Christians across the country are desperate to receive assistance in having healthier marriages and families. A majority of believers will readily admit that they are unsure how exactly to be a ‘Christian’ husband/wife, how to lead a church and a family, and raise children who genuinely love Christ.”
Antioch Missions has published several books specifically to address this issue of Christian marriage.
Need #5. Children’s Education
“Chinese children are required to receive 9-years of public education (grades 1-9). This period enables the government to sufficiently indoctrinate all kids with an atheistic, socialistic worldview that celebrates the current political regime. Christian parents understandably are concerned that their children will reject Christianity, especially given increased restrictions by the government on the participation of children in church worship services.”
A number of years ago Antioch Missions funded a powerful Sunday School course and distributed it in China.
Pray that the Lord will raise up labourers to meet each of these 5 needs in the Chinese church.
Pray specifically for the work that Antioch Missions has done for many years in these 5 areas, that we would make a real impact on the Chinese church.
Pray that the Lord would make clear in the years to come how Antioch Missions should serve the church in China in these 5 areas.