To Whom Shall We Go?December 8, 2009
This year Hong Kong Christian Council celebrated its 55th anniversary in a series of events culminating last month with our Mission Consultation, Thanksgiving Service and Banquet.
The Mission Consultation is held every 10 years or so to plan the future directions for HKCC and the Hong Kong Churches. This year's meeting took place from November 10-12 with the theme: 'To Whom Shall We Go?' There were over 120 participants coming from different denominations, churches and organizations. In addition, special forums were held earlier to gather input from Youth and Women's perspective.
In the past, the consultations have focused on the churches and what we are doing. But this time, HKCC made a conscious effort to look at mission from the point of view of the society and what is going on out there. How can Hong Kong churches be effective in witnessing to the Gospel as we prepare to enter 2010?
The theme 'To Whom Shall We Go?' is based on the Bible passage at the end of John 6. Many disciples were turning back from following Jesus because His teachings were too hard to accept. Jesus turned to the twelve disciples and asked them if they were planning to desert him too. Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
Indeed, whenever we talk about doing mission, we have to understand whose mission it is. It is God's mission, not HKCC's or any one denomination or church. So we must keep our minds open and our hearts humble to seek God's direction for the service we render in the name of Jesus Christ.
I believe that the Hong Kong Church is at a critical juncture in its mission strategy. While most churches are evangelical and focused on church growth and discipleship, Hong Kong Christians are aware of the social, economic and political problems of the community. The challenge is whether they can unite to tackle these pressing issues that concern the daily lives of Hong Kong's 7 million residents. Otherwise, the church faces the risk of becoming irrelevant.
At the end of the Mission Consultation, the participants issued a Statement summarizing our proceedings and laying out 12 items that should be priorities for the next 10 years. These include working for gender justice, poverty alleviation, ministry to racial and sexual minorities, environmental concern, advocacy for migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers, and transparent government. The full document can be found on the HKCC website (click ENG in the top box if the page comes up in Chinese): http://www.hkcc.org.hk/acms/content.asp?site=hkcc&op=showbyid&id=2234
As 2009 comes to a close, I pray that the Hong Kong Church will take up its mission to be Good News for all the people (not just Christians), to be willing to take risks, cross boundaries and display the courage and sacrificial love of Jesus Christ. Thank you for your support of my ministry and the Hong Kong Christian Council as we labor together for a better future for all God's children and our precious Earth.
In the peace of Christ,
Judy Chan is a missionary serving with the Hong Kong Christian Council. She is responsible for communications for the Council. She is also in charge of ecumenical radio broadcasting ministry, English publications and ecumenical partnerships in Hong Kong and overseas.
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