Grateful for each and every opportunity I have to connect with people and to speak at an event. Last Sunday I was invited to speak at a Chinese church in Walnut, California, called Vineyard of Harvest. As with a majority of Chinese churches in the United States and Canada, worship services are provided in English and Chinese. At this church, they have 3 separate worship services for Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. I spoke in English at the Mandarin worship service, and someone bi-lingual stood by me doing live phrase-by-phrase translation. The audio to this message titled “Becoming a Church from Generation to Generation” and the slides (also bi-lingual) are online:
This particular Chinese church worship service was unlike any other Chinese church worship services I’ve ever been to, in a good way, and thus redemptive and renewing for me. The energy in the room was expectant, expressive, joyful, and celebratory. I spotted 3 or 4 expressive people worshiping through the waving of banners, in the corners of the auditorium, as to not be distracting. The auditorium and the rest of the building had bright colors painted on the walls, signage was clear everywhere, people were expressively friendly and kind (whether they knew I was the guest speaker or not was a non-issue). The Senior Pastor gave a warm introduction for me and guided people through the post-sermon response time with tremendous energy and enthusiasm. This church seems so receptive to the message that their church was not just for them, and not just for Chinese people. The church is for all peoples, all nations, and all generations. So great to see an ethnic Asian church that’s growing their heartbeat to be more like God’s heart for all peoples, for healing and wholeness, for the next generations to take ownership for their faith through multiplying churches and church planting, and for prioritizing the Gospel above cultural forms.