Any time you work and minister in a closed or restricted access nation, you have to be creative in your approach to ministry. That is, how can you go about reaching people for Christ and stay under the radar at the same time?

In our setup at Within Reach Global, we have found that the English Corner platform works the best for us. In fact, if you Baidu (China’s version of Google) search “best English Corner in [our city]” you will find that ours comes up first! That’s pretty awesome for us.

Now we have began another ministry outreach center at The Bridge, reaching up to 100,000 college students from 8 universities from a number of different unreached and even unengaged people groups. Again, we have employed the English Corner platform to reach these young people with the gospel.

But having said all that, our ministry approach continues to shift on a regular basis as we seek to stay avant garde and relevant in regard to the rapid changing culture of China. [CLICK TO TWEET]

What Alan Hirsch encourages truly resonates in our hearts, that “if you look at what Jesus is doing, he’s got a whole lot of pre-conversion disciples.” Meaning, people are on a journey toward meeting the Savior—a journey toward redemption—and if our focus is primarily on discipleship first, evangelism occurs automatically.

Here’s the scenario: we have over 100 Chinese college students regularly attending our English Corners at The Bridge and The Hub. [CLICK TO TWEET] But our focus is not primarily on helping them with their language skills, although that’s part of it. Our focus is also not primarily on evangelism, which is working backwards toward getting them connected to Jesus, discipled and actively part of a house church…

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David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global
David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.
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