The Withheld Good

Jealous. Scared. Desperate. That’s about how I feel lately when I spend time with our leaders. Several of them have grown enough in their faith to sense the real need to be in church. So they go to churches. All kinds of them. As I’ve said, one ends up in a Jehovah’s Witness study. They go to the state churches. They go to the house churches. They go to other Bible studies. It’s great – there’s a lot of good teaching they can get. There’s lots they need to beware of, too, obviously, but the biggest thing I feel is that jealousy. I want to be the one who gives them what they need. I’m so afraid of them falling into the wrong hands, walking away from us, or worse, resenting and disliking us. That fear and worry is the price of getting involved, I guess.  

I’m praying for wisdom about how and when to start all-Chinese church services. I want to so badly, and I want to give these new Christians a real Bible-believing church home, I still have times when my Chinese feels pretty inadequate. I said tonight at our leaders meeting that I wanted us to be able to provide a church home for the new Christians, and one guy (who went to another church this morning) threw in his agreement. Before, I thought that we would have a real difficulty explaining to students the difference in Saturday’s Bible study and a Sunday church service, but I’m not real worried about it anymore. They seem hungry enough for anything we’re willing to dish out. And hopefully, using Chinese will liberate some people to bring more friends that can’t participate on Saturday. Plus, they’re about to stone me if we don’t get some music.  

It’s great to see some of these God-given desires in their hearts: a desire to worship, a desire to learn the Bible, a desire to fellowship, a desire to pray, and a desire to serve. Powerful evidences of regeneration. I love to see these changes happening in their lives. A church in their own language is the big next step for all of them. Check these guys out: 

J.: went to another church this morning, bought three Bibles to give to friends, asked me tonight where he should tell them to start reading

Js.: told me today that he wants more time to study the Bible, so he asked for permission to spend his whole Saturday in the Bible study library

D.: volunteered today to spend her whole Saturday at the house, so that students can come all day long, make connections, and learn about the Bible

S.: has four people coming to his own Bible study he’s started, steadily working his way through the Bible, Hudson Taylor, and John Piper

T.: the passion-carrier, he runs me through a barrage of Bible questions every time we meet, usually about his personal relationship with Christ

T.: led her own girls Bible study the other day for the first time using the basic discipleship material I’m teaching in the leaders meeting, she was super nervous, but the girls really enjoyed her and said she did great 

…and none of them have a church. That just ain’t cool. Trust me: if you had the unreal joy of teaching and working with these guys, you’d be dying to give them what they need, too. And you’d probably lose quite a bit of sleep worrying about them and their growth. So, yeah, I feel like we’re not going fast enough. I know that ministry is a marathon and all that, but it ought to at least be an Olympic marathon. Those skinny dudes that run those races run for an hour at a pace that I couldn’t keep up for five minutes. I hope that we can learn to be consistently aggressive, consistently fast, and consistently hard-working.

3 Comments on “The Withheld Good”

  1. Trent November 26, 2007 at 6:52 pm #

    What a great analogy about miistry being an Olympic marathon! We are praying for you guys as you learn the language. It is so exciting to hear about their desire to worship God. Sometimes I forget how awesome the thine we call “church” is. We take it for granted.

  2. P. November 23, 2009 at 1:50 am #

    These are awesome testimonies! I’m getting excited just hearing about how these believers are growing. If only people in in countries where the gospel is preached freely can be like this. It’s really exciting and encouraging to hear that students across the world are hungering for the Word of God. So much different here, where everyone is just into the worldly mindset, and looks bored when you talk about God. Thanks for all you do.
    – P.

  3. P. November 23, 2009 at 1:53 am #

    Yes, I would be jealous too, jealous for their salvation and the Truth. It hurts, because they are like new born babies that you want to protect from harm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: