In the last decade or so, an increasing number of local born Chinese in Chinese churches have grown up to be young adults. This emerging and large significant people group is comprised mainly of second-generation offspring. Some are third and even fourth generation Chinese. This people group with its own subculture is by and large, well-educated, energetic, adventurous, enthusiastic, independent and spiritual. But these potential missionaries, if not adequately challenged and mobilized for missions, can turn passive and apathetic towards the work of the Church and missions.
John Stott has well said, "The Christian religion is a rescue religion." Yes we are all spiritual firemen and what a great blessing to our Church and to our world if we would be able to mobilize and deploy a large number of our American born, or “Americanized” youth, young adults, and even older ones to do the work of soul-saving, the work of missions-both local and global.
WHAT ARE THE MANY BENEFITS AND BLESSINGS THAT COME FROM THE ABC’S PARTICIPATION IN MISSION WORK?
Just to name a few. It is beneficial because it:
1. Glorifies. God is honored and glorified when we dutifully “declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.” (Psalm 96:3)
2. Educates. Doing hands-on mission work helps one to see things from a real and not imaginary perspective. Mission theories come alive and help us eradicate the myths one may have concerning the work of missions.
3. Stimulates. Doing mission work helps us to see the multitudinous real needs that are out there and sensitize us to meet these needs. It also helps us to see our very own humanness and needs in the light of eternity. It helps us put things and our lives in proper perspective.
4. Gratifies. In this age of curiosity and global mobility, many youth and young adults cannot wait to go out and see the world, see God at work as well as do something useful for the Lord. These young people return feeling good about themselves for they invest their time and talents to the building of God’s kingdom. Moreover, the Church is also encouraged to see these Americanized members, contributing towards the work of global evangelization.
5. Activates. When one participates in mission work, one often has the opportunity to engage or experience with different ministries. Participating in different type ministries helps us to discover our strengths and weaknesses and helps to uncover and use latent gifts which we may have.
6. Solidifies. Like attending a Bible camp, doing mission work, especially going on a short-term missions, can greatly help solidify our relationship with God and with the Church. It can help jump start our weak faith and sustain our spiritual life.
7. Expedites. It hastens the work of global missions. When we mobilize every age group in our Church to do mission work, especially the younger generation which has much energy, time, talent and treasure to offer, we can accomplish a lot more for God.
HOW TO MOBILIZE THE ABC’S TO DO MSS WORK?
Basically a four faceted approach is needed to mobilize the ABC’s to missions. They are:
We need to dispel ignorance, eradicate myths, disseminate facts and promote mission awareness so that they will have a sound understanding of missions.
We need to agitate complacency, generate interest, and motivate and rejuvenate them so that they will respond to the call to missions.
We need to equip them for service so that they will discover their gifts, strengthen their skills and enhance their commitment to Christ and missions.
We need to provide opportunities for mission involvement thus activating their spiritual gifts and help them to be Great Commission Christians.
WHERE CAN ABC'S SERVE?
And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:13-15) With ABCs in mind, churches and mission organizations should create a variety of different mission opportunities where they could be sent after they receive 4-6 weeks of missions training. Even teen-agers, who are eager to learn and serve, should be given the opportunity to serve our Lord outside the boundary of their local church. Because of the differences in values and outlooks, as much as possible, we should strive to find ministries and methods of ministries that are appropriate for them. We must design ministries (projects and activities) to match their culture, spirituality, linguistic ability, educational background, interest, gifts and calling.
John Wesley proclaimed, “The world is my parish.” In Acts 1:8, we are commanded to engage in outreach ministries that encompass the whole world (Local, National and Global.)
The following are some ministries which the ABC’s could do:
Local: Tutor needy students, soup kitchen ministries, inner city ministries, sports evangelism, beach evangelism, prayer walks, Vacation Bible School, outreach to Chinese, Americans and other nationals, (both students and the working class), through regular friendship evangelism, and evangelistic Bible studies, adopt a needy child/family etc.
National: Minister at summer and holiday projects organized by churches and mission organizations such as inner city evangelism, beach evangelism, camps, retreats, national parks evangelism etc.
Global: Teach English and other courses at different levels, teach computer skills in schools or youth camps, run sports camp, repair church and other buildings, visit and minister to the sick and needy in hospitals, convalescent and orphanages, dialog with locals on culture and religion, do creative arts like music and drama workshops, evangelism, music, testimonies, prayer walks etc.
ABC’s are not only a blessing to our Chinese churches, but they are also a blessing to our world. They have much to offer not only in the work force, but also in the spiritual realm. In our churches, we have to do all we can to tailor our programs that will meet their needs. We also need to nurture them on a continual basis and keep enlivening their interest in missions so that they would become responsible members of the local church and be Great Commission Christians for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
[Editor's note: This article is taken from the Gospel Operation International for Chinese Christians website]