In the prologue to the Grace to City founding documents, the founders write, “In an ever opening and changing society, the Chinese church’s increasing encounters with the global culture at large brings challenges and opportunities in the areas of identity, evangelism, and dealing with foreign influences. Its experience and grasp of the gospel of Christ will ultimately decide the nature and direction of the church’s teaching and ministries.
“In the midst of the cacophony of post-modernism, at the crossroads where the Chinese find themselves, and at a time of great transition for the Chinese house church, together we are launching ‘The Grace to City Gospel Movement’ in order to return to the truths of the gospel of the Reformation era: living out Christ’s resurrected life, and becoming worshipping, living sacrifices to God and blessings to China. Together we commit to this gospel movement, looking to Christ’s good news to be our life’s main passion, enthusiasm, and love. We are eager to serve the church that we so love…
“We hope to work with all those who share our confession of faith and theological vision, together making Christ the Lord over our lives – a worthy hope – and by the power of the Spirit experiencing individual and church renewal, blessing the communities and cultures in which we reside. Here we share our biblically rooted and gospel-centered vision, mission, values, confession of faith, and theological vision for the ministry.”
Our partners work to serve this network, offering training, seminars, and individual mentoring for house church leaders. Hear the testimony of one such pastor: “In the past, our church has been very introverted. We focused only on ourselves and we didn’t really care about what happens outside of our church. But in 2012 we faced a major hurdle. During that time we got to know the China Partnership and for the first time we heard their teaching about the gospel. It was really then that we realized, ‘Oh, so this is grace.’ In the past we weren’t really bringing Christians to Christ, we were only bringing people to a sense of morality. We realized that in the past, what really satisfied us was being so busy in the ministry; we weren’t really finding grace in the gospel.
“As we started to know the gospel, we started to enjoy the rest that it brought to us. We realized the gospel itself is enough to give us a true Sabbath rest. In the past, our sense of rest was based on how much we worked, how busy we were – always needing to do more ministry. But we don’t need that! The gospel itself is enough. The ministries are really just a vessel. So with this new understanding of grace and the gospel, we planted a new church. It was planted in 2015 and we started with fifty members. In two years it grew to one hundred and seventy.”
Consider joining our Chinese brothers and sisters with this prayer. “In this disorderly and perverse generation, filled with the noisy sounds of postmodernism, at the crossroads of human exploration, and in a fierce transitional period for house churches, our Lord is still sovereign. In the church movements, which have been used by the Lord in the recent years, we trace the gospel truth rediscovered, live out resurrection lives, and are living sacrifices of worship to God and thankfulness for his blessings to China. Even in the face of rough persecution, we still hold in faith that our Lord leads his church, and sanctifies his church. We know in depth that the beautiful and perfect will of our God will be fulfilled in us through prayer.”