Hands On Deck

Another busy weekend past! It was our first weekend with five services in four different parts of the city! We had our first Bible study at a new location near the most prominent university in our city – had about five or six students show up! Then on Saturday, we added a study in English – we have a handful of native English-speakers that come to Chinese services already, and they requested a study they could bring their English-speaking friends to. Of course, an English service tends to attract a lot of Chinese visitors, as well.

Probably the most exciting thing to me in the start of these new locations has been seeing our members getting involved at new levels. I encouraged them at our leaders meeting to commit themselves to an additional service that they would not normally go to, and go just to serve. It has been such a blessing seeing them respond!

For instance, the place up across the river is pretty far away – 50 minutes or so each way by bus. And every time we go up there, we have about a dozen members that go with us and help in meeting newcomers, getting things ready, cleaning up afterward, and generally making the service run well.

Another example is the only one of our members who’s from the big university I mentioned earlier where we’re starting the new place. She has worked hard inviting her friends and classmates to come to the Bible study. It’s great to see how the Lord is using her!

A couple people have gone way beyond the call of duty – there’s a few that heard me preach all five times this weekend! Not to mention leaders meeting and theology class in the middle of the week! I don’t know what’s wrong with some of these students, but I’m thankful for their faithfulness!

So, here’s some of the ways I think having a group of more established Christians helping you start a Bible study gives you momentum:

1. Added excitement: people walk into a room full of people who have been taught to anticipate worship, and you can feel the excitement. Without them, it would be considerably harder to speak to this crowd.

2. Extra workers: students have been great about doing whatever is necessary to make the services work. Which is absolutely essential now – five services would kill us if we had to do all the work ourselves.

3. More personal contacts: when everyone is new, it’s easy for some visitors to slip through the cracks. It’d be really terrible for someone to get far enough to come to our church, and then leave without meeting anyone.

4. Added prayer support: this is an area that we haven’t even come close to maximizing yet, but it’d be hard to over-estimate the value of multiple believers in a room petitioning the Lord on your behalf as you preach to a group of mostly unbelievers! That will be the theme of leaders meeting this week!

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