As the new year has started, Chinese Coordination Center of World Evangelism (CCCOWE) vice-chairman reviews the ministry in 2005 and highlights the focus of 2006.
According to Rev Patrick Tsang, CCCOWE will mainly work on the preparation of the 7th Chinese Congress on World Evangelization (CCOWE) to be convened in Macau in July 2006.
Speaking about the theme of the 7th CCOWE "The Holistic Gospel of Christ to All Nations," Tsang pointed out that while "Christ" is the core of Christian faith, "holistic gospel" has been easily neglected.
"Churches always focus on saving more souls, but they have overlooked the renewal of society and the renewal of culture. Through the theme of the 7th CCOWE, we intend to stress on the diversity of the evangelistic mandate of the Lord. Based on personal salvation, it can bring out the salvation of the society and the salvation of culture. This is very important," Tsang told the Gospel Post Hong Kong.
Around six months away from the 7th CCOWE, Tsang reported that the number of enrollment has already reached 1,000 so far. It is expected that the total number of participants will be around 2,800.
Tsang added that the participation of Hong Kong was very active in the past CCOWE, "Last time, there were 500 representatives from Hong Kong among the 1,800 participants, compared to 220 representatives from the hosting city Kuala Lumpur. This time, it is expected that there will be around 600 representatives from Hong Kong."
Tsang described Hong Kong as the center of the world's Chinese churches. It is also the center of seminaries, theological research and publication for the world's Chinese Christians.
"The first CCOWE was held in Hong Kong, and the headquarters of CCCOWE is also in Hong Kong," Tsang said. "Thank the Lord. We don't know how much longer Hong Kong can play this important role, but we wish that Hong Kong churches will continue to revive, become more passionate and expand their vision on the world."
Tsang urged Hong Kong churches to quickly build a good foundation on langauges- written Chinese and English as well as spoken English, Cantonese and Mandarin- in the changing world.
"Under the theme 'The Holistic Gospel of Christ to All Nations,' we must consider how the gospel was brought to the Chinese people 200 years ago and give thanks to the Lord for the spread of the gospel to China through western missionaries," Tsang concluded.
Tsang has also given a brief review on the work of CCCOWE over 2005. "Co-ordination Ministry" was the biggest step the CCCOWE has made last year, according to Tsang.
"Co-ordination Ministry" involves the ministries for women, elders, grassroots and among others. It allows the world's Chinese churches and organizations to share resources and support one each other, so that the churches can be strengthened. The four major ministries of CCCOWE- discipleship, church, evangelism and mission- are now monitored by a coordinator from the "Co-ordination Ministry," who helps implementing the vision and burden of each ministry.
"The top priority of CCCOWE is to coordinate world mission such as church planting and evangelism. Even though we realize that there has been tremendous growth among the Chinese churches over the last 30 years, many new churches are comparatively weak," said Tsang, explaining the reasons to develop "Co-ordination Ministry."
"In 2005, we have organized a total of seven international conferences, including women mission conference, pastoral leadership training, Chinese mission leadership and evangelism conference. Through those conferences, all organizations can share their resources," added Tsang.