Monday, April 9, 2012


posted by Alan
click on pictures to see them full size

Last month I was asked to write an article for TALK Magazine, a magazine for expats here in Shanghai. With Easter coming up, they wanted a piece about bring a Christian in Shanghai and some of the difficulties we face. As the Community Life Director at Shanghai Community Fellowship, the largest international Christian church in Shanghai, I deal with hundreds of people who are here living away from home, in need of community. When we came to Shanghai, I never planned or even really wanted to work for the Church, but how often does our life actually turn out the way we plan it anyway?

I don't often share too much about my job on this blog, but it's my passion and it's what I do. So (with lots of help from my amazing and supportive wife) here's the article:

“SCF started in 1996 but we still have people tell us 'How did I miss you?" Sometimes people come here with the expectation that they will not be able to find a Christian community thinking that because they are in China such a thing does not exist. They are often pleasantly surprised to find a vibrant Christian church in the heart of Shanghai”
Dale Cuckow, Senior Pastor
Shanghai Community Fellowship

As Easter Sunday approaches, we at Shanghai Community Fellowship (SCF) continue to search for new ways to reach out to the international community to let them know we’re here.

The ways that people come to us vary. A quick search online for Christians in Shanghai will bring people directly to our website and many Christians who are actively seeking a church are in contact with us before touching down at Pudong Int’l Airport. For others, it may be through a personal relationship that they are first invited. But for many, the pressures of life in a city such as ours have left them battered and in search of support.

The difficulties that stem from being a Christian in Shanghai lie not in a lack of a strong Christian community, but in every vice, desire, and temptation being readily available. As with anybody, succumbing to them can have devastating effects on careers, relationships, families and lives. To face these pressures, we rely on God’s provision in the form of accountability, support, and love through our church family. And this is what it looks like: A community made up of people from over 60 different nations committed to glorifying God by transforming lives. SCF strives to extend God’s love by providing such a community, not only at our Sunday afternoon services, but through small groups, educational resources, service opportunities and prayer. We even offer a course for non-Christians to ask questions about the Christian faith.

While occasions such as Easter tend to draw many non-regular church attendees, it is the desire of Shanghai Community Fellowship to see every individual who walks through our doors experience the lasting love of Jesus Christ through the church body that he has established here. Our doors are open to every foreign passport holder in Shanghai who is seeking solace amidst the chaos of city life. God’s intention in bringing us here is not merely for us to survive, but to thrive. And in order to thrive, a strong, loving community is vital.

I’m looking forward to personally welcoming you to ours on Sunday.

Alan Gong
SCF Community Life Director

1 comment:

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