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Ministry of SAC in Hong Kong

by on March 29, 2011

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On Monday morning John Menear, the Vicar of St Andrews, led a team through a bible devotion from 1 Thessalonians 1. In this passage Paul gave thanks for the Thessalonians work of faith, their labour in love and ultimately their endurance in hope, which allowed them to be patient and prepared to give things up because they knew in the fullness of time, the Lord will reward them with all the riches of eternal life. The fruit of the Thessalonians has been sown by Paul’s example and personal relationship with the Thessalonians as he preached the gospel to them.

John reminded us from this passage that as ministers of the gospel we are to be grounded and earthed in the congregation and live transparent lives so that that the gospel can be shown in real and practical ways for people to see the work of the gospel in our lives.

John and the staff team also gave an overview of the ministry of St Andrews Church (SAC) and the unique cultural aspects of ministry in Hong Kong. SAC is an Anglican international english speaking church with 2 daughter churches in Sha Tin and Sai Kung. There are three dioceses: East Kowloon, West Kowloon and Hong Kong. Macau is considered as missionary area.

Those who attend SAC are English speakers: those how have become Christian and disciples overseas in ministries similar to SAC, those families returning abroad and those who want their children to learn English.

In Hong Kong 4% of the population are Christian, 35% are Buddhists and the vast majority of Hong kong people follow a cultural and traditional Chinese religious practice and superstition.

Dale Hanson, the Minister of daughter church in Sha Tin explained that most people in Hong Kong are still living with parents and most are faced to live in an environment with idols and other religious practice in the home. Idols can also be in the workplaces. Hong Kong people work very long hours and are very time poor. Power, sex and money are common idols. Internet pornography is a real issue. It is also very common for business men to participate in sexual entertainment as part of doing business.

Dan Evers the Associate Minister in charge of Family Ministries shared that it is very common in Chinese families to have dysfunctional father-son relationship. Fathers are usually self indulgent and absent in children’s lives. Therefore the wife often wears the pants. As a result a lot of the married couples have dysfunctional mother-son relationships. Mothers end up seeking emotional support from their children and their spouses because the father is absent due to work and other reasons.

Despite the challenges, John says that Working in HK is fascinating and there are some aspects of the Chinese cultural which are good. Chinese do have a spiritual understanding which gives inroads to Christianity compared to the very hardened secularist mindset in the West.

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One Comment
  1. Casper permalink

    Living in Singapore we face similar family situations and also similar demographics in our church.

    What kind of ministries has the SAC community found more effective in working with those needs? I know HK has a lot more conspicuous poverty that can be reached out clearly to but what is effective with the middle class who are pretty ok on the outside but seriously messed up on the inside and often not interested in intellectual bible expositions on that situation?

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