Archive for September 2010

Pray for China – Guangdong Province

September 28, 2010

Pray for China – Guangdong Province (“Eastern Expanse”). Population: estimates range from 78 – 82 million (Han, 98%). Christianity: 1.4% (Protestant – 0.8%).

Guangdong’s major industries include agricultural (food) products, clothing, household appliances, and textiles.

Shenzhen, a special economic zone between Guangdong and Hong Kong, has grown from a population of 30,000 in 1980 to more than 3 million today.

“Father, as millions of migrant workers from China’s interior, more rural, provinces flood the eastern, more prosperous provinces, of which Guangdong is a leader, in search of employment, I pray that You will provide these men and women with physical safety and gainful employment as they seek to better provide for their families. I also pray that as these millions seek material and financial provision that You will use the believers and churches of Guangdong to reveal Yourself to them as the Provider of all of their spiritual needs, the greatest of which is salvation for the forgiveness of the sins through faith in Jesus Christ.”

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Please read this article entitled “China’s Migrant Workers at Record High.” In it, a Chinese government report is referred to that estimates that there are 211 million migrant workers in China.

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Korean Bible Study Update

September 28, 2010

Just a quick note in follow-up to my September 22 post on the start of a new Korean English language Bible study:

I attended worship services with the new Korean church Sunday and was introduced to two families who want to participate in a mid-week Bible study. I also met a lady, who is a College Station resident, who expressed interest in attending the group as she has opportunity.

The two families have been in the States for four months and will be here for only two more. The husbands are firemen in Korea and are attending the TEEKs firemen training school at Texas A&M.

There are also two Chinese PhD students who will be attending the Bible study. These men are students of the church elder that I mentioned in my previous post.

We will begin our study together this Thursday night and will meet at our home.

As always, we are encouraging these folks to invite any of their friends who might be interested in studying the Bible and practicing their English language reading, comprehension, and conversation skills.

Please pray that the Lord will use this study to strengthen believers in their faith and commitment to the Lord and draw those who are not Christians to faith in Christ.

~ reach students … disciple the “nations” ~

New Korean Bible Study

September 22, 2010

In August I received an email from an old friend that I hadn’t seen or visited with for quite some time. He is a professor at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas and served as one of the lead elders at a Korean congregation in the area that I used to facilitate Bible studies with and for from 1997-2005.

I lost contact with the church when my family and I moved out-of-town for a year for medical reasons. Since our return to the Texas A&M area in May 2006 our international student ministry has focused more on students from the People’s Republic of China and we never re-connected with the Korean congregation.

The elder emailed me to inform that he and several others from the church mentioned above had started a new church. The new congregation meets in close proximity to the university and is currently attended by thirty-five (35) people. He told me that several students in the church wanted to study the Bible in English and asked if I was leading any small groups that involved Korean students. I told him that I was facilitating one Bible study with Chinese and would be blessed to be a part of a new Korean group.

The elder hesitated to accept my offer to lead a new group, saying that he knew that my schedule was very busy. I accepted his decision but was pretty disappointed.

Then, last week I received another email from the elder. He asked if I was still open to facilitating an English language Bible study with students from the new church. I responded positively. Shortly after my reply, I received an invitation to attend worship services at the church this coming Sunday and meet the students who have expressed a desire for a small group.

At this point there are two single men and two couples who have committed to be a part of this new group. Two other students have expressed interest but have yet to commit themselves.

The small group will meet either Tuesday or Thursday evenings of each week.

I’m excited and thankful to the Lord for this opportunity to become involved with the Korean community again. My experiences with the Korean church in the past were a tremendous blessing. The church and its members have a burden for the evangelism of the unsaved and cross-cultural missions that is infectious.

Please pray for the new church and for all of us who are going to be involved in this new mid-week Bible study… that the Lord will knit us together in friendship, open our hearts to His Word, draw people to faith in Christ, and thrust us out as laborers into the harvest of  “nations” who are enrolled at Texas A&M.

~ reach students … disciple the “nations” ~

Missing CPM Elements In the West

September 21, 2010

David Garrison, missionary and author of the ground breaking book, Church Planting Movements – How God Is Redeeming a Lost World, has a web site entitled Church Planting Movements – Best Practices From Across the Globe. This website contains a wealth of information and insight, in the form of articles and papers, that inform us about what the Lord is doing to reach a lost world for Himself in and through the start and rapid multiplication of new churches.

In one of his articles, “CPM Summit 2010,” dated April 5, 2010, David reports on a fairly recent summit on CPMs that was conducted in Singapore. Thirty plus CPM strategists and practitioners from around the world were gathered to discuss and verify CPMs that were taking place across the globe. A total of 81 CPMs were documented and 37 of those had seen the start of at least 100 churches each since they began. A total of three million (3M) people have accepted Christ as their personal Savior and have been baptized as a direct result of the Lord’s activity in these 81 CPMs.

David reports that while there are “many ways to get to CPM,” each CPM manifests five constant characteristics. These characteristics are:

1) Contact: In every CPM, Christians are effectively and exponentially making a meaningful gospel contact with thousands of lost people.

2) Evangelization: In every CPM, lost people by the thousands are hearing, understanding and embracing the good news of Jesus Christ.

3) Discipleship: In every CPM, new and emerging believers are growing in their relationship to Christ.

4) Church formation: In every CPM, new discipleship-based churches are being formed and reproduced throughout the population.

5) Leadership development: In every CPM, effective leaders are being raised up who are ‘fully equipped for every good work.’ “

This list of CPM elements provokes me to ask the question that many are asking: “If the Lord is moving in such a powerful way around the world, why are we not seeing such a movement in North America, in the United States and Canada?”

Garrison’s answer is profound and sobering:

These five elements might seem so basic as to be self-evident. They are not. In most fields of ministry, where CPMs are not taking place, it is because one or more of these elements is missing.”

So, what is hindering a church planting movements in North America? Here are some questions that I ask myself:

  • Have I/we isolated myself /ourselves from contact and engagement with the masses of unsaved in our communities?
  • Have I/we insulated myself/ourselves in comfortable, cultural, program-driven churches that cater to my/our consumerist wants?
  • Am I/are we abundantly sowing the Gospel seed of God’s Word, asking myself/ourselves daily, “How many people will I share Christ with today?”
  • Am I personally committed to obeying everything that Jesus has commanded and am I discipling others to follow Christ in obedience-based discipleship?
  • Am I/are we more concerned about growing large churches in our communities or reaching people through the start of new, reproducing churches?
  • Am I/are we developing and thrusting new leaders into God’s harvest fields or leaving the ministry to the paid professionals?
  • Do I care more about the Name of the Lord than my own?
  • Am I a risk-taker for the Kingdom?

These are the questions that the Lord, by His Holy Spirit, is asking me these days.

CPM Websites

September 12, 2010

I have recently come across a couple of web sites that are dedicated to The Great Commission and Church Planting Movements (CPM) that I think you might be interested in.

Both sites contain a wealth of information and articles that both inform and inspire us toward the fulfillment of the Lord’s Great Commission.

The first site is a social network site called Great Commission Initiative (GCI). It was started and is moderated by Tim Ahlen, a pastor and missionary, in Dallas, Texas. In addition to the articles that you find here, the site provides you with the opportunity to connect with others who are committed to being a part of the Christ’s global plan to reach the world for Himself through the starting on new churches.

The second site is Church Planting Movements – Best Practices From Around the Globe. This is the web site of David Garrison, the Southern Baptist missionary who wrote the book, Church Planting Movements – How God Is Redeeming a Lost World. You’ll find many articles here under the headings of “The 5 Parts of CPM,” “Profiles in CPM,” and “CPM Resources.” along with much more. (Note: you can find a link to the Church Planting Movements booklet under the “Church Planting” heading in the right-hand column of this blog.)

I pray that you’ll be blessed by these sites. When you visit (and join) the GCI site, look me up there and connect with me as a “friend.”

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(This article was originally posted on my other blog, taethnenetwork, under the title, “CPM Resources.”)

Pray for China – Hunan Province

September 6, 2010

Pray for China – Hunan Province (“South of the Lake”). Population: 66 million(Han 95.7%). Christianity: 2.4% (Protestant – .o5%).

Hunan’s major industries include building material, electronics, and heavy machinery.  The province’s natural resources include fruit, rice (Hunan is one of China’s leading rice producers), and timber.

Chairman Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic of China, was born in Hunan.

The level of house church activity in Hunan is described as medium.

“Lord of the Nations, as You placed Pharoah, Darius, Cyrus, and Pilate in places of authority for Your purposes on Earth, so You placed Mao Zedong in authority for the founding of the People’s Republic of China. I pray that You will continue receiving great glory in China as You draw masses of people to faith in Christ and as You do mighty work in and through the persecuted house church networks of China.” (Romans 13:1-4; Philippians 1:12-14)

The Grace Connection

September 5, 2010

God blesses people with extravagant grace so they might extend His extravagant glory to all peoples on the earth.

… to disconnect God’s blessings from God’s global purpose is to spiral downward into an unbiblical, self-saturated Christianity that misses the point of God’s grace.”

(David Platt, Radical – Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream, pp.69,71)