Influential Pastor Liu Tong Shares Methods on How to Build Missionary Church

Liu Tong, the senior pastor of the River of Life Christian Church gave a lecture entiled "To be a Missionary Church" on Dec 29,2020 in Pacific Time.
Liu Tong, the senior pastor of the River of Life Christian Church gave a lecture entiled "To be a Missionary Church" on Dec 29,2020 in Pacific Time. (photo: screemshot of CMC)
By Christine Lau January 28th, 2021

Influential Pastor Liu Tong urged churches present to carry out the Lord’s Great Commission of spreading the gospel to all nations.

At the opening ceremony of the Chinese Mission Convention held virtually on December 28, Liu Tong, the senior pastor of the River of Life Christian Church in Silicon Valley, gave a four-part lecture on how to be a missionary church.

He stressed the need for a commitment to mission. No matter what kind of church we attended, we should commit ourselves to passing on the Great Commission.

Regarding how to be committed to this mission, Pastor Liu shared two points — receiving the mission and praying for all nations and peoples.

The church in Jerusalem initially neglected the mission of spreading the Gospel around the world, but when persecution broke out against the church, the disciples were scattered, enabling them to share the Gospel.

“Peter and Paul were also led by God to go to the Gentiles to preach.” Liu said, "The Great Commission is for all people."

"Mission always begins with prayer. Jesus said: 'My house is the house of prayer for all peoples.' " The pastor said. "During prayer, the zeal for evangelizing is aroused and the burden of missions taken on. "

His second point stressed that churches needed to formulate a clear mission strategy that churches should cooperate with organizations, be committed to church planting, and make a long-term investment.

The first method was in cooperation with a mission organization. No matter how big the church was, it needed to cooperate with a local mission organization, especially for cross-cultural missions, he added. Different cultures required different ways of evangelizing, therefore, we should cooperate with local organizations and learn how to evangelize, as the local culture was very different from our culture.

"Resources are very limited, so we should concentrate our forces." He suggested determining how much to contribute and which country to explore.

The second strategy was church planting. Pastor Liu said that as the early church preached as they went, many people desired to establish a large church with a thousand people, but it was better to plant small churches all over the world.

"To become good friends and support and help each other, we should cooperate with mission organizations for a long time," Pastor Liu said. "Investing in missions is like buying stocks, we shouldn’t invest just for the short-term but make long-term investments. "  

The third point was that churches need to create a good environment for missions. "Mission is not just a pastor’s job or a missionary’s job. We should invite the congregation to participate in a mission." He shared how his church created a positive environment for its believers. They adopted two methods for mission — offering pledges and having group tasks.

“Every year at the annual missions conference, the church encourages its members to pray and determine how much money to give to missions in the coming year.” In this process, the faith of the entire congregation grew, not only for the believers who participated. The amount of the contribution was determined in the Spirit and made by faith.

An example of a group task was that each group might choose a missionary or a branch church to pray for every week. To know and pray for them better, the group members were able to contact a pastor or missionary directly.

The fourth way was a call to participate in the missionary action. Pastor Liu shared his church’s experience in three points.

A prayer walk encouraged the congregation to pray hard on the mission field. After the believers returned from a prayer walk, the whole church was full of passion for mission. "Only when we arrived in Mongolia could we see local men without jobs drinking and abusing their wives and children wandering on the streets without hope. Only when we entered the land could we understand their needs. Without seeing with our own eyes, how are we able to understand the needs of the Mongolians? When mentioning Mongolia, maybe we can only talk about yurts and barbecues in the grasslands. "

The second way was professional in short-term mission. Many churchgoers often claimed that they could not participate in missions, as they were not good at sharing, praying and singing. However, the pastor said believers could use their expertise to participate in missions, like carrying out short-term scientific and medical missions.

"Believers are encouraged to dedicate themselves to be missionaries or do pastoral and missionary work. We need a lot of mission co-workers."

Finally, the senior pastor shared: "In the last days, when we work with God, it is like a child playing ball with his father. No matter how the child kicks the ball, the purpose is for the ball to go into the goal. God has prepared everything, allowing us to have the last kick. Though we don't know much like the child, when we obey the direction to kick, the goal is scored. Let our church grow up to be a missionary church."

Featuring Rethink the Fullness of Gospel, the Chinese Mission Convention took place from December 28 to 30. Organized by Ambassadors for Christ, an American Chinese Christian Ministry and sponsored by the Chinese Bible Church of San Diego and other Chinese American churches, the event aimed to equip and disciple Chinese believers and build churches 

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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