From July 17-25, the New York Short Term Mission based in Flushing, New York will hold several workshops and trainings on local short term mission topics. Their purpose is to encourage believers to actively participate in urban mission, and to evangelize their surrounding peers.
Missions Training Department Director, Men-kin Fan, shared that missions training emphasis is to teach Chinese Christians how to preach in their every-day lives.
The trainings incorporate education on basic methods of evangelism, on how to speak with people, how to give insightful and clear testimonies, and evangelism matching to the audience. Other topics include on distinguish cults and how to deal with them.
During the seminars, the staff brought subjects into the park for a hands-on experience of evangelism.
From brothers to sisters, to relatives and friends, the seminar staff encouraged all participants to invite their peers to visit the office to share the Gospel of Christ.
Their objective is not only on non-Christians, but everyday believers.
Preaching in everyday life is -- not only preach in a group with other church members but they will also teach believers how to use eveyrthing and every moment in their lives as a method to preach.
"When you rae eating or when you are taking subway, there are many people around you, but why don't you preach to them? First, usually is that you are afraid. second, you do'nt know what you should say. this time, they will teach believers how to preach in everyday environment," explains Director Fan.
"Such evangelism training, it is the most important to normal Christians to participate. For the church, it is the most important to motivate the church members, because, to evangelize is not only what Pastors and missionaries should do. And the population of pastors and church workers is limited. We need to motivate the whole church, all members to participate in evangelism."
When asked about the reason of choosing these topics for seminars, Director Fan explained that ever since he arrived from Hong Kong this May, he researched on Chinese christian communities in NY and found that the percentage of Christians among 5,000 Chinese population in New York City is extremely low.
After consulting several pastors in the region, he concluded that Chinese Christians number less than 2.5 percent.
"The reason might be that Chinese immigrants focused too much on earning money and spend to much time to stabilize their financial situations. But, beacuse they keep wanting to earn money, and lack a spiritual life, there is a viscious cycle."
With hope, Director Fan expressed hope to motivate the current Chinese believers and encourage them to preach to their peers. "If only they preached to people next to them, even if there are only 5,000 Christians in New York, if they preach to 2 people in one year, and if one believes in Jesus, there will be a great change in several years."
However, Director Fan also mentioned that if this goal is to be reached, evangelists must reveal a clear vision when evangelizing to the believers. Otherwise, many will find themselves going to church on Sundays and returning back to their own secular lives after coming back home.
"Then, there would be no one to lead the multitude of Chinese in New York. The commission of the Lord is not only for Pastors but for all the Christians should all participate in it. I hope that through this training, the believers and Chinese Christians can actively evangelize. I hope this training can let them take part in preaching and serve their own church."