Taiwan Church News
Jan 11 – 17, 2016
What’s Next After Big Cheers?
On 16 January 2016, when the citizens of this country cast their votes for the president, vice president and the congress, the national leaders and new congress will also be decided for the next four years. Though the result of the election is unknown when this editorial is being written, a brand new political scenario of a new president, a new congress and a new coalition of party politics is very likely to happen according to the opinion polls and social milieu in recent months. Whatsoever, the point is that all citizens of this country will demonstrate their general will and national vision in a most peaceful way. Once every sacrosanct vote is cast into ballot box, it means a new Taiwan government is anticipated to lead all Taiwanese people to walk in a new and living way!
If we reflect our own church at this very moment, rather than any other timing, it is our inherited mission now acting as a critical kairos in the kingdom of God and Taiwan country. Especially when we have just celebrated PCT150 in the end October of 2015 with impressive slogan, like “Fly Over 150, Look Forward To A New Taiwan”, which was still haunted in our heads, we have to ask ourselves several serious questions: Using what to look forward to a new Taiwan, after flying over 150 years of PCT history? What kinds of ministries should we stick with or figure out, based on PCT’s one and a half century’s service in Taiwan, in order to expect God’s kingdom come?
As the third Sunday in January is a commemorative day for offering to PCT General Assembly’s overseas and domestic missions, it becomes very important to know how to coordinate different organizations within PCT in domestic missions or cooperate with partner churches of PCT ecumenical networks in overseas mission.
Group service is an exercise of faith bestowed by God, and it usually becomes a best tool to experience the unity between different bodies of the church. The structure of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan is a church centered around presbytery, which consolidate, co-ordinate, minister local congregations, when her different ministries are extended to cover local churches. In other words, local congregations have to acknowledge that diverse ministries of the presbytery are to strengthen the individual church, especially those could not afford to minister the special groups or ethnic tribes. Therefore, when the function of general secretary and her ministry groups within the presbytery could be enhanced, the evangelical mission of the presbytery could be effectively facilitated. At this point, the role of general assembly can be transformed into a platform of ministry strategy and resources network, connecting the whole church to reach the beautiful vision of “One-Lead-One Evangelical Movement”.
The most effective way to witness God’s grace is to share God’s blessing without reserve. “Crossing the border” means to step outside of our parochial island-limit and send our missionaries to countries overseas. Retrieving PCT’s history, when the Code of Overseas Mission Ministry was passed in the routine meeting under the fifth PCT General Assembly, it declared the beginning of PCT’s overseas mission; in 1960, three missionaries were sent to join the pastoral ministries of Chinese Christian Church under Nan Yang Malaya General Assembly; and then more and more missionaries were sent to Japan, Mauritius, Thailand and etc. Up to now, following an ecumenical missionary network, there are three types of PCT overseas mission cooperating with our partner churches: 1. Minister the Taiwanese church under the partner church; 2. Support the missionary ministry of partner church. ; 3. Help minister the local church of the partner church. Except these historical ministries, sharing God’s blessing overseas are also made by mutual visits of PCT’s short-term evangelical groups, local churches or presbyteries.
Diverse ways of God’s mission are too much profound to be listed one by one, but the common core value is the love from God. If we could break through our self-confine and obey to become the suitable vessel at the place of demands, it’s a real fly-over ourselves to welcome the Missio Dei!