The Uncut Stones

As Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses – an altar of uncut stones – on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the LORD burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings.” Joshua 8:31

As I travel around the world, I get the privilege to meet with many western ministry leaders who want to partner together with the Chinese church. We are so humbled by these many partners.

However, during these visits, I am often impressed with the things I see when I visit their headquarters – the buildings, structure, fundraising efforts, carefully planned departments, offices with name tags on the door, etc. They just seem so… professional. So legit. So admirable.

I would be lying if I said that these visits to large western ministries didn’t impress upon me the desire to help our Chinese friends to model their ministries after the ones I see in the west. Comparatively, the underground house church in China can sometimes feel a little underwhelming. Pastors don’t have offices. Churches don’t have buildings. Congregations can’t even post their meetings on social media.

However, God takes me to this verse in Joshua about the uncut stones. In the unreached nations of the world, it is an important reminder that we are not to go into foreign lands and make things in our image. We don’t pull out our own tools and chisel the stones into shapes and sizes that we think are attractive and acceptable. We are only capable of making thing in our image, but God makes things in His image.

Joshua 1:8 is a reminder for us all when partnering with churches in the 10/40 Window that His creation, the uncut stones, are always more perfect for His purposes.

Eugene Bach
The China Office

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