The Gospel Coalition

 

Stories

A Theological Investment in the Chinese Church

By Bill Walsh & Joann Pittman



In 2012, through your generous gifts, we saw the Lord provide complete funding for this project of 4,000 copies of The Legacy of Sovereign Joy by John Piper, translated and published several years ago legally in China. You can read about the original International Outreach project in this article published in World Magazine.

 

Through our network of missions partners, these 4,000 copies were placed into the hands of Chinese church leaders and ministry students all over the country. Here are some of the locations where copies were distributed:

 
  • 250 for young church leaders in the Fujian Province.
  • 250 for ministry trainees in the Yunnan Province.
  • 250 for key pastors and their disciples in the Hunan Province.
  • 250 for church and small group leaders in the Hubei Province.
  • 500 for church and small group leaders in the GuangDong Province.

 

Our friend Joann Pittman turns in the following report on a portion of this project that went to registered church leaders in Beijing:

 

In the fall of 2011, John Piper’s book “The Legacy of Sovereign Joy” was approved for legal publication in the People’s Republic of China. The previous decade had seen the loosening of publishing restrictions, and this had allowed for the development of Christian publishing. While numerous Christian books had been approved, including books by Philip Yancy, Don Richardson, John MacArthur, RC Sproul and Luis Palau, this was the first book by Piper to receive approval.

 

With its publication, ZDL Books was free to distribute the book within China through online booksellers, local Christian bookstores, and church bookstores.

 

In recent months, through the generosity of TGC International Outreach partners, we were able to donate 600 copies of the book to the Beijing Christian Council and the Yanjing Seminary in Beijing.

 

The Beijing Christian Council (BCC) is the legal organization that oversees the official (registered) churches in the municipality of Beijing. The churches that are affiliated with the BCC are the legally sanctioned “Three-Self” churches. Beijing, a city of close to 20 million people has 21 churches. The three largest churches are Haidian Church (9000+ members), Gangwashi Church (5000+ members), and Chongwenmen Church (4000+ members).  The other churches have between 1000 and 5000 members each. In addition, there are dozens of ‘registered meeting points’ (home fellowships) that are served by the pastors of these churches.

 

Most of the pastors in these churches are graduates of the Yanjing Seminary, which is responsible for providing theological & pastoral training for students from registered churches in ten provinces and autonomous regions in northwest and northeast China.  The student body of the seminary is relatively small, with only 120+ full time students currently enrolled. When they graduate, they will most likely return to their home churches to serve.

 

I count some of these pastors and students as my friends, and the ones who have already read the book have told me how much it has helped them in their work, by giving them a big vision God.

 

Please pray that God will use these books to help these pastors pass along this big vision to their congregations.