NEW YORK – With the explosive growth being witnessed in churches across China, an official China church leader expressed his hope for Chinese churches overseas to support efforts to provide training for their fellow believers in China.
"Hearing the call from Macedonia for discipleship training in churches in China, I wish overseas Chinese churches will offer support in this ministry," said the Rev. Chen Yi-Ping, chairman of the state-sanctioned Chinese Christian Council in Xiamen, China, who was recently invited by Chinese churches in New York to share with American Chinese Christians about the situation of churches in China.
The growth of the Church in China is obvious with some statistics suggesting that around ten percent of the total population in China is Christian – a figure that is notably increasing.
"Now, God has already opened the door of revival for the Church in China. I believe that no one can close the door and it will be opened even wider," Chen testified at the Boon Overseas Chinese Mission Church in Flushing, N.Y., last Sunday.
However, Chen expressed his concern over the lack of discipleship training resources as the number of believers continues to increase rapidly.
"Even though the number of Christians in China is skyrocketing, both the quantity and quality of missionaries and pastors have not been improved. The call from Macedonia for biblical, theological and discipleship training is rising from here and there," the China church leader said.
Suffering from the lack of experienced shepherds, many good pastors in China have had to travel from city to city, or go into the villages to educate the local believers.
The Rev. Jonathan Cheng, a former pastor from New York Overseas Chinese Mission Church who has been co-working with Chen in the discipleship training ministry, said he has traveled to over 60 cities in the last 10 years, and that is just a tip of the iceberg. Chen, himself, has had experience in training church leaders in Tibet.
According to the current religious policy in China, overseas missionaries are not allowed to carry out religious activities without the company of local church pastors. Noting this, Chen called on overseas Chinese pastors to co-work with pastors in China so that the discipleship training ministry will truly grow without hindrance.
Christian Post correspondent Claudia Cheng in San Francisco translated the article.