Tag Archives: Mobilization

Revisiting “On the Edge”

After I had surrendered to go to China as a missionary, I was taught that one of the ways to reach China was to live in a neighboring country. Our original name for our team strategy wasn’t “Project China,” but “On the Edge”. With recent events, I decided to revisit our original strategy. Here is how we defined ourselves:

What is On the Edge?

– On the Edge is a passion… for the millions living in Communist or former-Soviet nations.
– On the Edge is a team… committed to do whatever it takes to reach them.
– On the Edge is a strategy… to make an impact in China by training leaders outside of China.

Below is a basic summary of some of our ideas:

1. To plant vibrant, missions-hearted churches in _________?

The first stage of the plan involves building a stronghold outside of China from which we can export prepared Chinese laborers.

2. To disciple young men to become passionate leaders.

…Chinese students who are planning to return to their homeland after completing their education. What do you think would happen if these students could be reached for Christ and trained to do the work of the ministry? What if they could be prepared to make an impact when they return to their homes in China? This is the second stage, the very heart of our plan.

Please pray for our training center, which will be the center of all our operations on the border. Pray that God will fill it with students set apart to glorify His name. Pray that He will energize and equip them for His work. And pray that He will help them to make a difference when they return to China with the Gospel.

3. To conduct leaders safely into China.

Importation of trained leaders is the key to reaching China with the Gospel. As we train converts outside China’s borders to be leaders of leaders, we must support them as they return home to preach their Gospel to their own people. The Chinese that are trained for the ministry create much better channels for the Lord to work as they perfectly look, speak, and act Chinese. They will be able to work in underground situations much more secretively than foreign missionaries.

4. To develop means to transport new students to _________?

The greatest strategic challenge that we face is that of getting Chinese converts from mainland China to our training center in _________.

5. To involve American students in the world-plan of God.

God wants to raise from the forces of our churches a capable army mobilized to carry the Gospel to the lost of this world. We want to give every Christian the opportunity to make a personal impact in China.

If you have been burdened for the Chinese people and have been looking for an outlet of service, then I invite you to pray with us for the ministry to the border of _________ and China. We have some great dreams! Come and dream with us!  

Originally, the blank was filled in with Russia, but in today’s world, Russia is not ideal, and it would seem Taiwan would be the best option available. (I think at the time of the original strategy, there was no direct flights from China to Taiwan, but now there is.)

Our original ideas was preparing Chinese pastors out of the country:

Many missionaries are beginning to search for more strategic and effective methods for ministry in China. For On the Edge, this means building an exterior training center to prepare Chinese pastors.

I think there is a lot of truth in the original plan, especially when it comes to being able to “setup a base” to work from. There is a great loss in stability working only in the mainland. I think our original strategy, and what we have learned since then, will lead us into an even more effective strategy.

As we are working these things out and finding your role in all this, one things remains to be true:

Until we have young men and young women of God who are willing to do anything necessary to see God’s name glorified, there will be no city-taking. Until there is a generation willing to suffer, willing to bleed, and willing to die for the glory of God, there will be no conquering of the land God has promised us. We may watch walls fall and doors open, but it is our hearts that determine whether or not the cities of this world will be taken.

All quotes taken from “On the Edge: A Strategy for China in Our Generation”

Weekly Mind Dump: The Up & Down

✪ Ministry in China is having its ups and downs right now. We have made some big changes to help things go forward, and we are seeing growth, but not without hindrances. To know what I am referring to, read this: At a Crossroads – Prayer Needed!

✪ This past Sunday – Tuesday we had a great conference with a visiting pastor from Harbin and several Christians from the churches there. Over the three days, we had three services, two workshops and two evangelism outreaches. We are excited to see the fruit of this meeting.

✪ I have laryngitis. I almost completely lost my voice and was down just to a whisper. It has been over a week, and I am just now starting to feel somewhat better after trying to not speak for a whole day.

✪ One of the young men that we started training has really stepped up and started serving in the church as much as he can. I am excited about what God has in store for him.

✪ Today, I am 30. Boo.

✪ We are going to be traveling this weekend to take the baby and wife to their doctor’s visit. Pray for safety as we travel.

✪ I meet with the guys tomorrow to discuss what our next step is. Pray for them and me as we try to be obedient, wise and bold. We are using these two days to consider our options and pray for God’s will to be done.

✪ In the midst of “the ups and downs” of ministry in China can I send out a plea for the need of more labourers. We need more labourers to come, preach the gospel, train men and plant churches. Will you come?

✪ Here is a two-part series I published in October of 2011 called: Foreigners Are a Problem! Here is an excerpt: “I agree that foreigners are a problem, and I said on deputation that the biggest hindrance to missions in China is me, a foreigner. I have come to China to work myself, eventually, out of a job. Lord willing, I can see many national pastors raised up in the lifetime that the Lord gives me.”

✪ Summary of prayer request for this week: (1) Wisdom in making decisions about our next step. (2) My health to recover. (3) Safety in traveling over the weekend. (4) More labourers to come to China. (5) Dalian Grace Baptist Church as they go through the trail together.

Foreigners Are a Problem! (2 of 2)

1 | 2 |

Foreign Christians can’t just expect the national Christians to evangelize on their own time. If a national Christian isn’t as excited about reaching his own people with the gospel as a foreigner is, that doesn’t mean the national knows best, it means move out-of-the-way and let the foreigner do the work.

Of course a national can do a great job, just as good or better than the foreigner but that isn’t the problem.

Christians in American and nationals of their own country need to get a heart for not just reaching “their people,” but to reach the world. The goal isn’t to “stay local” but to “go global.” Foreign or national, we are joining together for the great commission.

We are to teach the Chinese people, “Here is the Gospel, reach your people and in the sane way we come as a foreigner into your country, go as a foreigner into another country carrying the Gospel.”

The spreading of the Gospel will take foreigner involvement. This is not new to the Bible. In the Bible we see two main people groups, Jews and Gentiles. The Jews had to cross the boundaries of the Gentiles. Different cultures and language gaps were crossed and God did a work.

Foreigners are a problem. We don’t do things like everyone else around us. But we need to have the right mindset and not just sit on the sidelines. We need to pray that God will allow us to learn the language and penetrate the culture with the Gospel. I think we can see God do great things. We need to be willing to spend and be spent; to be willing to train those we win instead of winning and leaving. We need to teach them in all things.

I agree, we are a problem, but who else is going to do it?

1 | 2 |

Foreigners Are a Problem! (1 of 2)

1 | 2 |

In the area of missions there are always problems between nationals and foreigners. Foreigners meaning one who has left his home and lives in another culture and nationals just meaning the people who are native to the place the foreign now resides. You can divide “culture” into many small details but basically you have the major divide in country and language. For example, an American living in China.

These posts are not trying to deal with the problems than can arise from the foreigner-national relationship in the area of missions, but to discuss a certain mindset that foreigners are a problem, therefore the means of foreigner involvement should be extremely limited!

I agree that foreigners are a problem, and I said on deputation that the biggest hindrance to missions in China is me, a foreigner. I have come to China to work myself, eventually, out of a job. Lord willing, I can see many national pastors raised up in the lifetime that the Lord gives me.

In China foreigners are a problem and always have been. The Chinese government doesn’t like foreigners. The government church is called the “three-self church” because they want to be self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing. Sounds familiar, right? I am all for that philosophy. But they also don’t want you to evangelize outside of the church and don’t want children to attend their services. That is a problem for me.

Some would suggest that we “foreigners” need to get “out-of-the-way” and just let the national Chinese Christians lead and reach their own people and we can just sit back and support them with Bibles and money. This is a problem for me.

There are millions in China who don’t know the Jesus I know. Millions who are still unreached. This is a problem for me.

We, foreigners, may be a problem but…

…this isn’t just their fight.
…this isn’t something that doesn’t involve foreign Christians.
…this isn’t a “Chinese church” task.

…we have a responsibility to obey the Bible and take the Gospel to all, including China, even if other Chinese Christians don’t want our help. They can do their own thing, but we must be obedient to the call, the blood of their people isn’t just on their hands, it’s on ours too.

I know the truth, I can’t stand by on the sidelines.

| 1 | 2 |