Darkness to Light, Part 1: “Some Superpower Beyond Humans”

When I was in high school, I was so stressed. Late at night I would pray to god, whoever it was. My mindset was all about exchanging; I had to give him something so he would give me something. It was like this: I had an exam or test the next day and had to get a good score. I told him, “You can torture me or give me nightmares—whatever you want to do tonight—but I need a good result on tomorrow’s test.”

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Interview with a Pastor’s Wife from Shanghai – The Power of the Gospel Can Deliver Me from Darkness

I have learned over and over that when I trust him, I can overcome many more of my deepest sins that are controlling me. Perhaps my family of origin did leave an indelible imprint on me. But the power of Christ, the power of the gospel, can deliver me from such a darkness so that I can have greater joy. Then more of Christ’s character will flow out of my life. 

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A Special Interview with Early Rain Covenant Church, Part 7: The Renewing of Life

There is a strong consensus among church workers about the theology of the cross: because of the gospel that we believe, the church must walk the way of the cross. In the past, this consensus was not clear or strong, but now it is very clear and very strong… As for the congregation, grace and the cross seem to have become two focal points in their understanding of the gospel through the preaching and pastoring of the church.

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A Special Interview with Early Rain Covenant Church, Part 6: A Missional Community

The decision of whether or not to sign the joint statement is not made based on consideration of how it will benefit one's church, but rather consideration of how it will influence the kingdom. From another perspective, this burden is a shared burden. As more pastors sign the joint statement, they divide up the pressure among themselves. From a nationwide perspective, this is actually a kind of burden-sharing. This allows churches that are under a lot of pressure to reduce that pressure, and churches that aren’t under pressure can take upon themselves some of that pressure. This is the how the body works together. 

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A Special Interview with Early Rain Covenant Church, Part 5: Evangelism and Prayer Ministries

I have been pondering how we can better serve our neighbors in the society. In the past I’ve worked for 7 years in public welfare. I know a lot of social workers and their service to the marginalized are pretty good. To the homeless, workers, migrant workers, prostitutes, and other marginalized groups in society, the church has done far too little in caring and serving the marginalized. I think if the Lord creates more space and opportunity for us in the future, we can do more.

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A Special Interview with Early Rain Covenant Church, Part 4: Revival and Evangelism Conferences

Through the years, we reflected on the structures of the Reformed church, and one of them is that Reformed theology has a strong emphasis on the word. There is a greater emphasis on academic learning when co-workers are trained – that is, the preparation by the word. Thus, there is an inclination towards rationalism. If we do not return to the gospel constantly, there is a danger of moving towards legalism.

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A Special Interview with Early Rain Covenant Church, Part 3: The Structure of the Shepherding Team

We also saw areas of the church that needed to be changed. For example, the pastor is very strong in his preaching but there was a lack of prayer, so we increased our prayer. We did not provide enough care for our members, so we established the membership department after the split… After we established the membership department, we paid attention to every member and we seek to know the sheep. We want to know their names, and then protect and shepherd them.

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New Year Reflections: More Than Well-Wishes

Just last week, several families from Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu had their bank accounts frozen by the government because they are members of the church. Years of savings are gone, and some of their husbands are still locked up in prison. Believers like them "are scum of the world, the refuse of all things" (1 Corinthians 4:13). They look very different from the images of wealth, health, and happiness that we wish upon each other on Chinese New Year. And yet I doubt that any well wishes – or even actual wealth, health, and happiness – can be of any comfort or enticement to them, and I hope the same for us.

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