"What can I do each day to be near to God?" a young university student recently asked one of our co-workers. He had heard the Gospel shortly beforehand, but wasn't really sure how to put that into practice.
Later, our co-worker was speaking with a group of Chinese believers involved in outreach to university students. These Christians spoke at length about the issues they faced retaining new converts. "It was clear that while they were good at getting people in, they weren't very good at keeping them!" our co-worker summed up.
In the same city, this co-worker met with a Christian business lady who shared about local needs. She admitted that she was sometimes reluctant to share the Gospel because of her inability to cope with more and more new Christians all needing care and discipleship.
These events, which took place in the space of just a few days, are typical of the situation across China. Our China-based co-workers often share that many local believers have an amazing gift for evangelism and boldly share the Gospel with all those around them. Yet those same believers can be completely at sea when it comes to following up on conversions and discipling young Christians in the ways of the Lord.
For the co-worker involved in these meetings, this reinforced the great need both for foreign believers to support the Chinese church with discipleship training and also for good quality Christian teaching materials to be put in the hands of the Chinese believers.
Pray for the many young believers in China who have heard the Gospel but had little or no discipleship. Pray that their need for training might be met, so that they can stand strong and grow in their faith.
Pray that Chinese Christians might have a growing realisation of the real need for discipleship training and that they might make every effort to nurture new believers and teach them how best to walk in the ways of the Lord.
Pray for foreign Christians involved in training the church in China. Pray for the Lord's anointing and leading, for cultural sensitivity and effective communication. Remember particularly the co-worker mentioned in the text, who regularly visits China to teach local believers.