Thursday, January 10, 2008
Chinese Christians to use Olympics for outreach
China-The Summer Olympics in China will be a moment of pride for the country, as well as one of scrutiny. While China gets a chance to display its best, world attention will also shed light on its failings.The Chinese government's emphasis on the Games has reached a frenzied pitch as they try to shake off the negative image. They're hoping their success will help them re-draw that and showcase the country as a global power. That's forcing an obsession that could work to the church's advantage.China Partner Ministries' Erik Burklin agrees."They want to show the world that China is progressively thinking forward, not backward."As with every Olympic contest, hundreds of faith-based groups turn out to welcome the thousands of spectators. But, ministry is not limited to just the outside partners.Burklin says it's a strategic time for believers and those they've trained as church leaders."The Chinese church is looking to the Olympics as an opportunity for Gospel advancement and for sharing Christ with those who are coming to their country. I find it significant in that not just foreign organizations are looking to the Olympics to see how this could possibly be a positive for Gospel advancement, but the Chinese church itself is looking towards this as an opportunity."Their excitement continues to build. It was felt during one of Burklin's visits to a partnering church in Chengdu. "It never stops to amaze me how many people gather to worship God on a Sunday morning," he said. "There is a genuine hunger for God's Word and a deep desire to grow spiritually."The ministry has been serving the church in China by equipping more pastors and lay pastors to carry out the work of Christ. Pray that God would raise up more Chinese Christian leaders who will faithfully proclaim the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Pray that God would open the doors for Chinese teams to minister freely during the Games.
As in the days of Noah....