Vision & Mission
The Essence of A Mission
The essence of a "mission", which is distinguished from its earthly organization, is its heavenly vocation. Every vocation is a commission of God and every commission of God is the result of the vision given by the Lord.
This "vocation" becomes a "mission", when it is a life manifested in action according to His purpose. Some of us are called into the service of the Lord, having received the same vision, or perhaps commit to it out of personal desire for Him; they are accepted into the same mission because they seek to serve the purpose of God upon the same foundation. Therefore, we say, the essence of this mission is the direct result of God¡¦s commission by the vision, which is a spiritual life, first and foremost, before a visible organization of men. Those who are truly called into this mission may know that their lives and their livelihood are inseparable from His vision and commission, not even death can do them part.
The Testimony of Christ Mission (ˇ§Missionˇ¨) began its ministry in Taiwan in 1965, and expanded its work to the United States in 1972. The essence of "Missionˇ¨ is its heavenly vocation. Every vocation is a commission of God, and every commission of God is the result of the vision given by the Lord. The ministers of Mission are people who are called into the service of the Lord, having received the same vision, or who commit to it out of personal desire for Him; they are accepted into Mission because they seek to serve the purpose of God upon the same foundation.
II. The Organization and Ministries of Testimony of Christ Mission (ˇ§Missionˇ¨) are summarized as follows:
1. Home of Ministers
a. Formed by Missionˇ¦s senior and core leaders, responsible for the direction and detailed planning of Mission
b. Accepting invitation to help other Christian churches by providing spiritual edifications
c. Holding regular training programs and semiannual conferences to build up saints and churches
2. Home of Disciples
a. Confirming and accepting ministers who have received the Lordˇ¦s calling to serve
b. Providing structured training programs for those ministers
c. Sending ministers to plant churches or serve at established churches
3. Testimony Publisher and Testimony Bookroom
a. Providing and managing spiritual literatures
b. Publishing Christian books and worship hymn books
c. Supplying free or low cost spiritual literatures via internet
III. The Relationship between Testimony of Christ Mission (ˇ§Missionˇ¨) and Churches are as follows:
1. Apostles and ministers sent by Mission are responsible for planting churches and continuing to build them up so that church members can grow in their respective God-given gifts/talents.
2. The elders and deacons of each church are responsible for the administration and ministries of their own church.
3. All the churches that hold the same vision as that of Mission (such as various Christian assemblies in the U.S. and Taiwan as listed in Appendix 2 below) will work on the same testimony for the Lord at their own churches. Administratively, all such assemblies are independent of Mission. Mission serves only as the coordinator of all the assemblies.
4. Missionˇ¦s financial principle is ˇ§living by faithˇ¨: Accepting offerings of saints or churches as they are led by the Lord. Mission also faithfully applies all the offerings to spiritual matters and ministries only.
The Vision and The Way
By Brother Newman Sze
The vision and the way is the most important thing of His church today. The vision belongs to no one, but it is the central theme of the New Testament; it is the vision that Paul preaches. The way is not any man's way, but the way of life of those who restore the testimony of the Lord throughout the 2,000 years of church history which is also known as the way of the cross and the footsteps of His flock.
Moses is the leader of the Old Testament and the light from his five books illuminates all the prophetic offices of God. Moses¡¦ influence can be traced easily in every ministry of the Bible including even the New Testament era with one exception which is the ministry of the apostle Paul. Just as Ephesians 3:2-5 clearly states, "If indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit." Paul, the great leader of the New Testament, receives the one and only revelation of the glorious church and he is given a unique ministry that is not made know to the sons of men in the previous generations.
What is the "mystery of Christ"? The "mystery of Christ" is the revelation of His glorious church. Concerning this revelation, Paul speaks further in Eph 3:9-11, "To bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord." As we know, the apex of Paul¡¦s revelation is now related to us in the Epistle to the Ephesians and the Colossians, that both are conveying the vision of the glorious church.
Ephesians states that the church is the body of Christ. "The church is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all. (Eph 1:23)" Chapter 4 speaks of the great building up of the body and verses 11 to 13 says, "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ." This glorious church is purely in the realm of the Holy Spirit.
Colossians states that Christ is the Head of the church. "He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. (Col 1:18)"
Putting these two books, Ephesians and Colossians, together gives us the complete revelation of the church, which is the vision that the church must holdfast today.
Then we want to know that the "way of church" is the way of life, also know as the way of the cross, which is left for us as the footprints of the flock in the church history of 2,000 years.
However, we must note that soon after the "apostolic era", the church utterly squanders away the inheritance that the apostles has left behind in the first and second century, while secretly, the Holy Spirit begins the great works of restoration throughout the dark-age of the church under the sovereign guidance of the Hand of God. Shocking as it may be to the many that the works of the apostles can fall apart so quickly in a short time. But, we know today, the inheritance that the Holy Spirit restores in His church for 2,000 years abides forever.
In retrospect, we see, as the Holy Spirit recovers the inheritance in His church through many great saints, the workings of the Holy Spirit is executed through the various capacity of the life of the spirit in the saints, whom are raised up by God in time according to the order of God.
We have written a small booklet on "the Outlines of the Restoration History of the Church", which presents the inheritance restored in its sequence. This is the richness of the house of God made ready for the saints to inherit today. The footsteps of these saints are what we called "the way of church" and "the way of life".
The pursuit of the experience in spiritual life is neither a way of head knowledge, nor a way of men¡¦s works, nor a way of organization, but the way of life that is left for us by His flock in spiritual understanding. As we are being gently guided back onto the beginning of the Way, we also experience, consequently prove in our steps, a steady maturing of spiritual life. Hence, we realize that the greatest responsibility of any shepherd today is the building up of God¡¦s children in the experience of His life, step by step, for the proper growing of the stature of His body.
Now, we must be on extra alert, knowing that the enemy will try to distract us, because the enemy has been focusing his attack on the vision and the way of the church in all generations. Therefore, let us holdfast to the only vision of the New Testament, which is given to all the saints through the ministry of the apostle Paul, the way of the life and the way of the cross.
"The Testimony" of May 2003
The Financial Principle of the Testimony of Christ Mission
A mission is a group of co-workers with a vocation. Why we use the name "the Testimony of Christ Mission"? Because the co-workers aim at "the testimony of Christ", while we do what we can to holdfast to the vision and the way. Over thirty years of church building in America, the mission has established many churches on the same foundation. All the works of the mission are for the church and the children of God.
Some of our works are these: free printing and distributing spiritual periodicals, publishing spiritual books, (more than 70 books in all), disciples and new ministers training, helping the living expenses of many saints, starting new ministries in both Taiwan and the U.S.A., and some works in mainland China.
The works of the mission has a large operation cost, which is often limited and directly proportional to the offering of the children of God. Therefore, we will like to share this burden with all the saints who love the Lord, in hope of your participating in the service of God, which we pray never to be delayed. May God bless you for all your joyful giving for this ministry.
Please write your check payable to "Testimony of Christ Mission"
and mail to 8141 Hellman Ave., Rosemead, CA 91770, U.S.A.