If I had a thousand pounds China should have it- if I had a thousand lives, China should have them. No! Not China, but Christ. Can we do too much for Him? Can we do enough for such a precious Saviour? -Hudson Taylor (circa 1900)
The church in China has been growing rapidly for many years. We know some things about the development student ministry in China but it is still somewhat of a mystery to the outside world. Yet one thing that China has a lot of is students. So what challenges will the Chinese church face in the coming decades as they raise up the next generation of young leaders? How will they provide the needed mentoring to grow the church and reach the millions of Chinese who do not yet know Jesus? Here are 5 current needs for mentoring among Chinese church leaders…
As a youthworker or parent, to give hope and solace to teenagers, we need to tell them how to find peace. The world has questions. The Bible has answers. Students, ages 13-25 in particular are beginning to shift from a totally concrete view of the world to a more abstract perspective.
This means that adolescence is a time where we begin to process our environment and relationships by asking lots of questions. Most of these questions go unspoken, but they are there if you dig for them.
Whether you are speaking to a large group, facilitating discussion in a small group, or mentoring an individual, you can never stop improving as a speaker.
“Communication is the real work of leadership.” –Nitin Nohria
Teaching through a translator in Torino, Italy
WHETHER AT HOME OR ABROAD HERE IS A CROSS-CULTURAL CHECKLIST I USE AS A SPEAKER TO HELP PEOPLE LISTEN & GET SOMETHING OUT OF MY TALKS…
Foreign Policy reported on some of the current statistics of Mormonism. In the article, The Mormon Missionary: The Things They Carried, they reported there are:
83,000 full-time missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who serve in 405 missions around the world. The number of full-time missionaries has risen by some 40 percent since 2012, when the church lowered the minimum age for serving from 19 to 18 for men and from 21 to 19 for women. But conversions haven’t kept pace: The church recorded just 3.4 baptisms per missionary in 2013, compared with 4.6 in 2012.
In my travels I can attest to seeing more Mormon missionaries all over the globe. I remember being in Samoa and seeing Mormon church after Mormon church as I drove throughout the island. Most Mormons introduce themselves as “Christians” and talk about their goal as “introducing people to Jesus Christ.” The problem is that, although their culture has many attractive attributes that display characteristics of Jesus Christ, their beliefs do not align with the teachings of the Bible. This can be very hard to know how to navigate in a conversation with a Mormon.
Probably the best book I’ve read on how to share the Gospel with Mormons is, I Love Mormons by David Rowe. Dr. Rowe has been a missionary to Mormons for a long time and offers keen insight. For Rowe, the proper starting point to Mormon evangelism is to approach it just as you would approach any other “culture”. The wrong approach is to start with the perspective that Mormonism is a “cult.” Although their beliefs do not align with Christianity, it is not effective to start out accusing them of being part of a cult. I highly recommend Rowe’s book. Some say that Mormonism will soon be, if not already, considered a “World Religion.” Followers of Jesus have a great opportunity in evangelism Mormons, and we need to prayerfully consider the urgency of missions to Mormons, as they are one of the more active “evangelists” of any other religion in the world.
Grudem and Asmus provide some thoughtful perspectives on how followers of Jesus Christ can actively engage in a compassion-filled ministry of social justice while going after the root causes rather than just the symptoms…
Centennial Review – June 2014
New research on Twitter’s global impact has implications for leaders who want to leverage influence in their ministries.
Since I fly alot to work with leaders around the world, some new “twitter trends” research on the global impact of Twitter’s social media caught my ear. Steve Inskeep & Shankar Vedantam’s piece called, Why Twitter Ties Resemble Airline Hub Maps has some potentially interesting implications. Apparently two assumptions about Twitter are totally wrong: 1) Geography no longer matters, 2) Twitter is a truly cross-cultural medium. Instead, Barry Wellman, a sociologist from the University of Toronto, did a study of 1/2 million Twitter users and found some Twitter trends worth considering. Those who use Twitter care about 1) Local interests, and 2) People who live in similar cities as they do. So if your Twitter followers are an airline flight away from the city you live in, they are more likely to follow you.
How does the term “social justice” strike you?
If you haven’t had a chance to read Timothy Keller’s book, Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just, I would highly recommend it. Below are a few quotes that give you a snapshot of some of what he is writing about. Depending on what circles you run in, the term “social justice” might mean a variety of things. You might be “turned off” by that term, or you might be passionate about it depending on your political or theological bent.
Regardless of your position, Keller’s book seems to approach social justice from a theological rather than sociological viewpoint which is very helpful. Followers of Jesus should never put their head in the sand when it comes to standing up for what is just, right, and fair, and Keller’s book is a helpful primer for thoughtful leaders who want to do just that.