Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 28: 19 – 20
Every Christian should have a ministry and involve in the mission. The mission is to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
This is what I learned from today’s church sermon. We were pleased to have Rev. Jim Palmer with us this Sunday morning. He is the assistant superintendent of the Ohio Ministry Network. He not only spoke to us, but presented certified ministerial credentials to Mary. I met Mary at the youth program of my church. Although I am two decades older than the young people in the program, Mary made me feel I belong to that program. I grew up in an atheist country China, never having the “luxury” of American youth – being surrounded by Christians and enjoying the ministry led by the missionaries. Thanks to Mary, I restored this precious spiritual life as a part of spiritual growing-up journey.
Ministry and mission are important in Christians’ life. In Christianity, ministry is an activity carried out by Christians to express or spread their faith, whereas mission originated from Latin ‘mittere”, meaning “send” and denoting the sending of the Holy Spirit into the world. Church leaders play a significant role in ministry and mission. Because of this, Chinese government persecuted church leaders and foreign missionaries. In 2014, more than 400 churches were demolished; pastors from both government-sanctioned church and underground church were jailed; active church members were detained and forced to sign confession statements that denounce their faith. At least four foreign missionaries were allegedly arrested by the Chinese authorities last year, two from the U.S. and two from Canada. They were all helping both Christians from China and those who escaped to China from North Korea.
In a sense, persecuting Christians in today’s China has no difference from the first century. The persecution comes from the ruler’s resentment at the ministry and mission of church leaders. The ministry and mission of Christians and their churches are to tell people the truth; the truth is Jesus. Because of this, the Communist regime deported foreign missionaries and put house church leaders in prison. “[B]ut just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.” (1 Thessalonians 2:4)
I encourage you to pray with me for all the missionaries who are doing their ministry domestically and internationally.