By the time you read this newsletter, my family will already be relocated to Taiwan. As much as we look forward to a new adventure and connecting more with the Christian community in Asia, I have also been doing much reflection and thinking on how God has brought me onto this path of His Global Mission. As I look back, I must thank God for Pastor Alan Ginn, who invited me to participate in one of his training trips in China a few years back. That trip really opened my eyes to God's heart for the world, and how I can be part of it — and it started a change in perspective and a missional mind-set, that keeps a bird's eye view on both the historical and the diversity of Christianity.
At the time, I had been in pastoral ministry in North America for 15 years. Working as a pastor often shielded me from getting to know non-believers and the needs that existed outside of my own church context. Thus, it is no wonder that many pastors see their priority in teaching, discipleship and caring. Yet, a gospel that is only inward driven is an incomplete gospel — without the focus on Mission and Evangelism that takes Jesus' great commission seriously, it often lacks zeal and the ability to love the world around it in a contextually appropriate way.
My trips with Pastor Alan and seeing the needs of the churches in China, I was deeply touched by their dedication to the gospel and the zeal the believers had to spread the gospel. I also had a glimpse of the greater missional movement as historic Christianity starts to become prominent in Asia. As my eyes opened, I found myself becoming a more complete pastor. My preaching and teaching became more balanced, and inspirational stories gleaned from across the globe were an encouragement to my congregation. I start engaging my congregation in missions not only as a missions committee allocating financial resources to various supported missionaries, but instead, bringing people on short term trips to experience what God might be calling and would like my church to participate in the global mission.
CBM is committed to connecting our local pastors in North America to the mission field, particularly to the needs of the most rapidly growing Christian movement - China. You will read Pastor Albert's reflection, after partnering with CBM to teach in a house church seminary, how his perspective of Christianity is broadened, and his love for the Chinese Christians deepened. I know that he will be a better pastor because of his experience partnering with CBM. At the same time, as both a pastor and professional counselor, Albert was able to teach pastoral counseling classes that were so needed. My China partner has already pleaded with me to send him back to teach more classes.
Yet, many pastors are reluctant to take such a trip because of their fear of fundraising, or lack of financial support from their own church. It is my prayer that CBM will fill that gap so many more pastors will be able to join us to re-discover their missional zeal and bring that same kind of excitement back home to their congregation! Would you consider financially partner with us so that many pastors can take such life changing trips through partnering with CBM? I believe you will find such investment incredibly rewarding — where our pastors' excitement for God is renewed, and seminarians in China deeply blessed as CBM connects them together.