Trained to Bring the Gospel to the Workplace
If anyone understands the social, economic, and development needs of Hong Kong, it’s Patrick Nip.
“Hong Kong is a city with a high GDP per capita, but we also have some structural issues that we need to tackle. It’s a very busy international city, but I come across people who are disadvantaged. There are a lot of needs,” he says.
As the head of the Hong Kong government’s social welfare department, a department that accounts for 19 percent of government spending, he is able to both observe and to meet some of the most desperate physical needs of his community. As a follower of Christ and a graduate of the China Graduate School of Theology (CGST), led by Langham Scholar Dr. Stephen Lee, he has the unique opportunity to show how God’s love can meet the spiritual needs of Hong Kong’s most vulnerable souls.
A Life Transformed, A Mind Renewed
Shortly before Patrick entered the University of Hong Kong as a student of economics, he gave his life to Christ. Drawn in by the book of Romans, he began to meditate on chapter 12—thinking through what it means to be a living sacrifice, to be transformed by the renewing of the mind, to discern God’s good, acceptable and perfect will.
“I began to reflect a lot on my life, and the relevance of my faith to my life,” he says.
As he studied Scripture, he noticed God’s Word reordering his priorities and values. Patrick shares that even as many regarded him to be a dedicated student, a loving son—the Holy Spirit was revealing to him his sin of jealousy, greed, self-centeredness. Slowly but surely, transforming Patrick and conforming his heart.
“Previously, I was very task oriented,” he says. “As a Christian, I learned to be people oriented. Jesus Christ was very people oriented. And relationships with God, with family, with friends—these things are eternal. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I learned to focus on people instead of things.”
A Servant Leader in the Workplace
It was Patrick’s heart for people and desire to share the hope of Christ that led him to consider theological training.
“I wanted my faith to be relevant to my life and the every day choices that I made, and so during my first few years of working for the government, I applied to seminary and met with a professor of theology,” he says. “He advised me that God also wants Christians in the workplace, so that we can have the opportunity to share the Gospel, to share our lives with those that may not be easily reached by a pastor.”
Patrick took this advice and enrolled in CGST’s diploma course.
“I wanted to have a deeper foundation and understanding of the Bible so that Scripture could guide my values, decisions, and choices at work and in life,” he says. “I wanted God’s Word to guide my interactions with other people.”
Patrick views his work as the director of the social welfare department as one way that he is able to minister to Hong Kong.
“We provide services to the poor, the needy and the disadvantaged. More important, though, is to have a spirit in the community that supports each other,” he notes. “To those who are lonely, to show care and support, and at it’s heart, the department cares about the poor and needy.”
As part of his role, Patrick works with church leaders and faith-based NGOs to support mentoring programs that address the immediate physical and long-term spiritual needs of people.
“By doing this, we are helping people to become healthy. Through these mentoring relationships, it’s one way that Christians in the community can contribute. They are doing what they learn from the Scripture,” he says.
And, Patrick says he’s seen lives transformed. A visit to a rehab center allowed him the chance to meet with a former addict who had given his life to Christ and now mentors others. A visit to a homeless shelter allowed him the chance to pray with a man who shared that faith gives him hope in the hard times.
“You see how important Scripture is to daily life and the many issues the city is facing,” Patrick says. “It is important we have a firm biblical basis to analyze problems, and find and take bold solutions to address these issues. The Word of God, it can make an impact beyond our imagination.”
To see God’s Word making an impact beyond what we could imagine—that’s why the Langham Partnership exists. With help from partners like you, we are able to support theological leaders like Stephen Lee at CGST, leaders who then go on to raise up future generations of leaders, like Patrick Nip, who model the Gospel in their culture.
*Editor’s Note: Today, Patrick Nip serves as Hong Kong’s Director of Information Services.