During the missionary days of Hudson Taylor in China, they exercised great patience in not running “before the Spirit of God in the matter of…full-time helpers in the work.” New indigenous Chinese believers were pursuing their vocations and at the same time evangelizing their own people. If China Inland Mission (CIM) were to employ these Christians, even with a modest salary, they “realized it would prove a hindrance in the long run rather than a help. To pay young converts, however sincere, for making known the gospel and to pay them with money from foreign sources would inevitably weaken their influence, if not their own Christian character.
How was China to be evangelized, but by the Chinese Church? And how were the converts ever to know the joy of unpaid, voluntary service out of love to the Lord Jesus Christ, unless the missionaries could be patient and wait for their spiritual development.”
Taylor himself learned the skills of medicine so that he could offer medical help, charge for medications, yet evangelize the natives at the same time. This example was not only modeled by Hudson, but became a requirement for those entering the CIM work. This method was very successful and spread to every corner of their work in China. It was self-sustaining in many ways.
Howard Taylor, Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, Moody Publishers, 2009, pages 95-96.
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