Ming Ming

Yesterday before the leaders meeting, St. and I whittled the list of potential names down to six, and at the end of our meeting, we presented the names to everyone, along with some verses to explain what the name would mean for our church. Then everyone got to make two choices, and we tallied the points for each name. Lots of fun – kind of built some excitement for everyone – anyway, they feel like they got to decide on something important, and as a general rule, college students don’t get to do that.  

I had a hard time choosing myself, but it was almost a unanimous vote in the end. We decided on the name “Omega,” of course taken from Revelation 1:8, where Jesus declares himself “the Alpha and the Omega.” Reading this verse not long ago, I was really struck by this claim of Jesus – that He is the beginning and the ending. Especially the ending part. I find that though I often believe that God was in control of and at work in my past, I still find it difficult to trust Him for the future. But He is just as much the God of the future as He is the God of the past. 

For college students, many of whom are frustrated, even angry, about their background, their past, and their beginning, there is no greater need than to be introduced to the God of the future, of the ending. The student generation of China, taught that God is irrelevant, more than doubt that God that has a plan for their lives – they find it absolutely unbelievable! And, not surprisingly, there is nothing more that they want – purpose, meaning, and a real plan. We want our church to be a place that tells this generation about the God that gave them their beginning and offers them an ending. An ending bought by Jesus Christ. He is the Ending. He is the Ending of history, the Bible, and every person’s life.  

Like in English, most Chinese people seem to know what Omega is – the word is transliterated – sounds like “uh-may-jah,” but they even say a more closely rendered form of the word, too. It was really an experience to see the leaders excited about the new name. I could almost care less what name they chose, as long as it created that kind of a reaction (almost). 

While I’m on the leaders meeting, I should mention what a good study we had. We went over salvation again for maybe the twentieth time. Again, everyone there is supposed to be a Christian. But this time I approached it as preparation for telling other people about Christ. I put together a handout that had a ton of verses, plus a basic outline of what someone needs to understand in order to become a Christian. It’s kind of funny, I guess, but when people don’t feel like you’re trying to teach them, but teaching them to teach other people, they seem to take things a lot better! They really tuned in, and we went over the plan of salvation step by step and talked about each part in depth. I think some of them feel that since they’re in the leaders meeting, they shouldn’t ask certain questions because they feel they should already know the answers. So we went back over the sinfulness of man, works vs. grace, Hell as sin’s payment, Jesus as God’s provision, and our acceptance of His grace. We’re doing our best to figure out ways to give these guys opportunities now to share the Gospel at the Bible study.

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