Bridging the Gap Between Sunday and Monday
“Business people are too busy to be holy,” says Jane Kong. “Too busy to pray. Too busy for sparing time for reading the Bible.” While she could be describing the spiritual climate in just about any major metropolitan city, she’s talking about Hong Kong, where the focus on individualism, materialism and competition often leave little time for the study of God’s Word—even among committed Christians.
Dr. Stephen Lee, who received his doctorate in Old Testament from Edinburgh University with the assistance of the Langham Partnership, elaborates: “Christian faith is not a value shared by the majority of the people here in Hong Kong. Money is. So … we are trying our best as the church of Christ to be a good role model.” Dr. Lee’s role as the president of the China Graduate School of Theology (CGST)–one of the leading theological schools in all of Asia–means that he is wonderfully positioned to exert a Christ-centered, gospel influence in Hong Kong and beyond.
This burden to influence China with the Gospel is one shared by many current and former students at CGST, students like Jane Kong. It was while studying at CGST that she felt God softening her heart toward Christians in the workplace.
“God helped me to see that there are many Christians who are very gifted, and if they are being mobilized in the workplace, their gifts can be a blessing to the many,” she says. “But business owners have a kind of split spirituality. They usually don’t think Monday and Sunday can be connected. Monday they are secular, and Sunday they need to be holy.”
“Business people can be a planting of the Lord for His glory in the marketplace.”
In order to bridge this gap between Sunday and Monday, Jane and several colleagues founded THE OAKS, a ministry that encourages and empowers Christian business owners to bring their faith into the marketplace.
Inspired by Isaiah 61:3 and the oaks of righteousness, Jane believes that “business people can be a planting of the Lord for His glory in the marketplace.”
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor. –Isaiah 61:3
“THE OAKS is very blessed,” says Jane. “We are able to have a community for these business owners, these brothers and sisters who are very lonely in their journey. It is encouraging to see them grow in God’s Word, and to integrate their faith in the marketplace.”
One way the ministry fosters this community of believers is to host regular prayer breakfasts—a time for people to come together not just for networking, but for studying God’s Word.
“They experience that God’s Word is full of life and connected to their daily operations in business, “ Jane emphasizes. “We want to build a connection between Sunday and Monday, to encourage them that Christ Jesus is present in the marketplace.”
Jane is just one example of what can happen when local leaders respond to the Gospel with solid training from well-equipped theological leaders like Stephen Lee. Langham Partnership exists to raise up these leaders who will have multiplied influence on the hearts and minds of many for Christ.
Learn more about how you can partner with Langham to equip and multiply leaders like Jane around the world.