Recently, in the Silicon Valley region, the River of Life Christian Church held the Global Impact Conference, inviting the Taiwan Good News Television (Good TV) CEO, Tony Tseng, to share "the workplace and the ministry of the kingdom."
Coinciding with the “Global Impact” theme, Tseng shared that a missionary career in the workplace was a great burden for him. The more he knew God, the more he knew about God’s will: God does not just want our personal salvation, but for the kingdom of God to come in this day and age, so that where there is God’s sovereignty is where the kingdom of God is. The kingdom of God is not just in the church, but also in every workplace, society, and thus the country must be transformed.
He cited Genesis 1:28: "I believe in the gospel on two levels: personal salvation, and social transformation of the country. We should not only meet the requirements of and serve the church's ministry, but to enter the workplace to be the salt and light, to exert influence, to occupy the seven hills. Christians in the workplace must know that you are sent out by God to build an altar in the workplace, and to establish prayer, affecting a department, a company, and even an industry. If every Christian can be the salt and light of the workplace, we can then see the glory of God in the community."
Tseng then shared God’s work in the recent years within the world of entertainment, business, and the media.
A group of Taiwan artists formed the "Illuminating Art" fellowship, which holds annual public performances, and publicly televised that Jesus Christ is Lord. This is the beginning of cultural influence, he said.
In business, many business tycoons including the general manager of CITIC Holdings Koo Chung-Liang have turned to the Lord. Koo took the initiative to be interviewed on Good TV, and made a touching testimony. Testimonies from business leaders’ faith in the Lord's have made a great and vast impact.
In the media industry, Tseng concisely shared God’s workmanship in Good TV.
1. Channel: in the beginning, funds were lacking to establish a program and a channel, and it seemed that they had to wait for at least five years for the program to be aired in Taiwan. But amazingly, it took just six months for Good TV to cover 80% of all of Taiwan’s viewers.
2. Finance: at the start of Good TV, Tseng’s former business friends were not optimistic, and thus were reluctant to invest in him. Good TV was founded without much financial and church support, and went through the first 15 years. Every fiscal year, finances were just enough to meet ends, but programs were becoming better and better.
3. Frequency approaching Channel 15: there are now more than 100 channels in Taiwan, becoming more forward and more mainstream.
In 2005, the government rectified the ranking of television channels, when Good TV wanted to achieve a more frontline position. It did not succeed, and in contrary dropped from Channel 81 to Channel 86. Tseng was very disappointed, but decided to work harder in the fight, and finally entered into Channel 15. Good TV ratings have since increased to more than 500 million, of which the majority of the audience is non-Christians.
4. Expanding the realm: Good TV not only broadcasts in Taiwan, but also in the Philippines, China, and Hong Kong. Some 80 cities in the Philippines broadcast full Good TV programs.
5. Establishing the Channel: Good TV announced its establishment in 2008, and was affected by the financial crisis in 2009, but in 2009, the donations received by Good TV amounted to 70% more than in 2008. In July 2012, Good TV officially opened its new office building where the top floor stands Taiwan’s largest cross.
Vocation - calling; work - worship
Tseng shared several key points pertaining to ministry in the workplace:
First, he asked Christians not to be just Sunday Christians, but also to worship God in the workplace during working days. The workplace is also God's calling, and the word “vocation” also means calling.
Secondly, the work is itself worshiping. Daily work is not just a means to feed families, but the time to joyfully work with God, to worship God, and to give glory to God, and also to set up altars in the company.
In addition, if Christians were to keep their faith in the workplace alive, they must comply with the Word of God. There are many temptations in the workplace, especially in the business community, but Christians must have a stance that is in line with God's position. Your stance is the Word of God.
Subsequently, Tseng shared his personal experience in the workplace, in order to encourage the congregation.
Passing the test with firm stance
Tseng was born in a Buddhist family, where he was not exposed to Christianity, and thus was not interested. He hoped to emerge in the business world. He graduated to join one of the top three American companies, receiving a high income. The future was very promising, and the work was easy, which resulted in the daily “eat, drink and be merry” lifestyle with colleagues. One day he met God, when his values and lifestyle changed and he no longer wanted to continue working in the business sector, because he knew that there were many operational sub-Christian faith sectors at work, and he did not know how to cope.
However, after a period of prayer, God did not take him away from business, but let him continue his training within the area.
His German superiors paid great attention to details, even to the point of being unreasonably picky, and Tseng prayed for the courage for him to comply, and do the best he could. He told the congregation to lecture less in the workplace, but tell the truth; in obedience to the truth, great power can be released. Truth is the tree of good and evil, lecturing will only see wrong in others and right in oneself, while the truth is the unchanging standard, and thus is the tree of life.
One year, Tseng handled a large company project, where the other party proposed an unreasonable 10% return. He tried to convince himself that he could compromise with this requirement, but the Holy Spirit constantly reminded him that he prayed in the church for "the sovereignty of heaven to be in the hands of Jesus Christ". Facing this single project, he was not able to hand over the sovereignty to Jesus Christ, but instead wanted to complete this business exchange. However, in the end, he chose to obey God, politely and wisely rejected the other party, and thus losing this business project.
Six months later, he saw in the newspaper an article about this company’s factory being burned. Tseng knew in his heart that God was testing him in this business warfare to see if he was willing to pay the price.
Another time, he gave up a better job opportunity, because God reminded him, "My child, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths." (Proverbs 1:15) When seeing others prosper in that company, Tseng was again tested. He asked God: "Why is this happening? I had this opportunity, but now I have to bear this result because I am your son?" In prayers, the Holy Spirit shone its light, to make him realize that when one sees the Lord on that day, the Lord will not be looking at your business card, car, income, but seeing the abundance of Christ in your life.
After these two incidents, God completely transformed Tseng’s heart from pursuit of a career to one that aimed for the kingdom of God. He felt that he gained freedom within, and he was no longer worried about his future.
Media missionaries making a global impact
Tseng zealously served in the church and was active in organizing large-scale evangelistic meetings. While there were thousands of people who turned to the Lord in one of his sermons, he was still not satisfied, because there were still thousands of people who had not heard the Gospel, and who did not have the opportunity to accept the Lord.
With recommendations and support from several missionaries, Tseng started to perform media ministry in Good TV. He started as a part-time Deputy Managing Director, and later became General Manager, where he led for 15 years.
He said he is still now a part-time volunteer, where he only goes to work one day a week at Good TV. Good TV programs are broadcasted 24 hours, at a total of two channels, by more than 170 full-time staff, at a scale that he cannot manage, but God Himself manages. He believed, that Good TV is a platform to spread the Gospel within the Chinese community, and through Good TV programs, God speaks to hundreds of thousands and millions of people in Taiwan and mainland China.