Rebuild and Renew
This is the theme of SALT’s new course, Book of Nehemiah. Why choose Rebuild and Renew as the theme? Since the 1980s, everyone has marveled at the increase in the number of believers and churches in East Asia. But behind this explosion in size, the church has also been influenced by the corresponding economic growth over the past 30 to 40 years.
One pastor poignantly shared with us: “In the past, poor economic conditions, coupled with waves of oppressive national social movements, made lives difficult for believers. But they were willing to sacrifice, and took pride in suffering for the Lord’s sake.”
“Since the early 1980s, economic conditions and standards of living have improved greatly. As a result, many believers began to value fame and material wealth more and more. Some of them even regard the scale of the church, the splendor of the buildings, and personal achievements as evidence of God’s blessings. This clearly deviates from the Lord’s teachings. The heart of suffering for the Lord is diminishing,” he lamented.
Joseph, who oversees SALT’s East Asian ministry, echoes this concern: “From the book of Nehemiah, we see how God’s people worked together under pressure and danger to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. It reminds believers and churches that they must repent and be renewed in God’s Word. The message of Nehemiah is timely and relevant for the East Asian church today.”
The course, Book of Nehemiah, also has special significance for the SALT team as we continue the process of establishing an indigenous curriculum team. This course serves as a litmus test that if passed, means we can hand over to them the important task of course-writing in the future. This is another critical step in our goal of empowering the national church to stand firm on her own.
This means national trainers will be responsible for the bulk of the writing and editing. We will only give advice and perform the final proofread. As we anticipate worsening weather conditions and reduced communication, we look forward to the day when the course is completed and the baton of “New Course Development” is firmly in their hands. Our national team has not hesitated to embrace Paul’s exhortation, “Do your best to present yourself to God as approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV)