Have you read the book, Pastor Hsi (One of China's Christians), first published in 1900 by Mrs. Howard Taylor? My wife Margaret and I recently read a copy owned by her 98-year-old father which was printed in 1905, making it 107 years old! Reprinted editions are still available.
The book is possibly one of the most practical, spiritually encouraging, inspiring, challenging and ministry instructive biographies ever written. It is a book, which would greatly help missionaries, Christian workers and pastors in life and ministry today.
This very practical book will help readers learn from godly men and women from the past so as not to reinvent the wheel of life and ministry or make mistakes which could be avoided by simply reading and then applying godly principles such as the following:
1. Pastor Hsi (pronounced "she") prayed about everything.
2. He prayed and fasted for days at a time; especially during difficult times.
3. He was a man of great trust in God.
4. The book gives excellent illustrations on how to deal with difficult relationships.
5. Guidelines for growing in grace.
6. Encouragement for persevering under trials.
7. How to shepherd and train leaders.
8. Pastor Hsi was very practical in ministry.
9. He developed a very successful income generating ministry which completely supported the work and many full-time Christian workers.
10. Pastor and Mrs. Hsi worked very hard and lived sacrificial lives.
11. The young Chinese church was exceptional in hospitality.
12. The Chinese leaders and church had a great vision for the lost and worked well with the China Inland Mission (CIM) and constantly asked and prayed for more CIM missionaries for inland China.
13. The church prayed and pleaded for single women missionaries to work with women.
14. Pastor Hsi and his many disciples had a burning passion for the millions of Chinese without Christ and were continually praying and planning for advancement of the gospel!
In reading this excellent book, I was especially challenged to grow in grace and godliness and to renew my "passion for expansion," not to expand just for growth but for the sake of people without Christ!
For example, in my beloved adopted country the Philippines, even with the growth of the church, there is still an estimated 95% of the population of 100 million without Christ. This is 95 million people! Throughout the world there are 145 million orphans and 160 million street children most never having heard the gospel or receiving any type of compassionate care.
Therefore, should we not all pray that our ministry, mission and organization will grow to reach more for Christ and discipled? To pray that our teams will expand throughout the area, the country, and the regions of the world we are serving?
To pray, "Oh Lord, please be gracious to us Your people, Your church and raise up many more men and women like Pastor and Mrs. Hsi of China. Please do it Lord for Your glory and the salvation of many!"
“ . . . Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Colossians 1:27-29).
Let’s pray for one another and a great advancement of the gospel!