By Carl Stagner
There was no other feasible option. To nurture and develop young ministers in mainland China, Pastor Alan had to carefully cross national borders with resources, tools, and insights. Though it wasn’t the safest route, it was safer than the alternative. As government restrictions have relaxed and international relationships have changed, God has presented the Church of God with an opportunity to better train and equip more Chinese pastors than ever before. Through Global Strategy’s Project Link, the Church of God is now in the early stages of making a Taiwan Mission Center a reality. For the first time in recent history, Chinese pastors will be able to gather in Taiwan to grow as Christ-centered leaders in Asia.
Once construction is complete, the urban Taiwan Mission Center will house up to twenty guests at a time. These emerging leaders will benefit from sound teaching and application on theology, church growth, Christian education, and Church of God history. Unlike typical minister training, Pastor Alan will take the strategy of the Taiwan Mission Center to an unusual, but highly practical, level. The facility will also be used for vocational training to equip pastors with the skills they need to minister bi-vocationally. Because Pastor Alan has a relationship with a coffee-grower and roaster, pastors will be trained to work as baristas.
Andrew Gale, Project Link coordinator, explains. “Local churches often struggle to financially support a pastor. Especially in situations where pastors have to be a little more reserved, or at least know that they are more closely watched, supporting a pastor financially can be even more of a challenge. Having a separate vocation makes pastoring much more viable.”
Besides the practical benefits of vocational training, imagine the outreach opportunities these pastors will have as they conduct day-to-day tasks outside of the traditional church setting!
Pastor Alan couldn’t be more excited about what God has in store for the Taiwan Mission Center. “Asia-Pacific is the most diverse region of races, languages, cultures, and religions in the world,” he explains. “Every country in this region has their own specific needs in ministry fields, which makes our mission in Asia-Pacific difficult if we see this from only one perspective. That’s why we are so excited to see this new Taiwan Mission Center finished and become the strategic, developing and training center of missions for the Church of God in Asia and the Pacific. Taiwan is one of the most accepting and adaptable countries of diverse cultures and races in the region, which makes it the best location for the new Mission Center. We are very much looking forward to seeing the work finished, but we are more excited about what we can do through it in the future!”
China makes up one-fifth of the world’s population. This new Taiwan Mission Center is expected to serve as a strategic hub for mission work in China. Those who know the history of Christianity and China know this is very good news.
The project is sustainable, too. Not only will a church rent the facility for weekly worship services, but also the Church of God in Taiwan will continue to raise money for the project. The Church of God in the United States and Canada is urged to prayerfully consider donating to support this historic project (Project # 42.40463).
Learn more about Project Link at www.chogglobal.org/projects/.