SPRINGFIELD – Though a crash course in discipleship may not seem like the most ideal method of training believers, for Campus Chinese Baptist Church (CCBC) it’s a necessary approach.
“(Believers) meet bi-weekly and the goal is to speed up their discipleship training as their time with us is short,” said Philip Wong, music leader at CCBC. “We might have one semester with our exchange students and only a few years with our regular students.”
Wong and his wife, Anita, as well as the church’s pastor and wife, Wen-Ping and Lisa Qui, have been instrumental in the growth and direction of CCBC since it started as a Bible study in 2005.
“Initially, there was no student involvement,” Wong said. “Wen-Ping, Lisa, Anita and I pretty much handled everything. And although it was just a Bible study, it took a lot of effort. There were transportations to arrange, meals to cook, lessons and music to prepare and more.”
The couples also provided rides to Wal-Mart for grocery shopping after the Bible study.
“As some of the students acquired cars, they began to fulfill some of the transportation needs and, as we grew in numbers, we started to delegate some of the coordination responsibilities to the students,” Wong said. “Eventually, we selected three students who were more spiritually mature to serve with us in a committee that plans and makes decisions for the Bible study.”
Wong said during the 2009 fall semester, those same students formed the Chinese Christian Student Association on campus at Missouri State University, with Wen-Ping serving as faculty advisor.
“Being an official campus group, we could then reserve a meeting room at Plaster Student Union for Friday nights,” Wong said.
As more and more students were willing and learning to serve, the ministry gradually developed from a small group Bible study to a full-fledged church. Wong described CCBC’s launch service, which took place Oct. 10, 2010
(or 10-10-10) as a huge success.
He said there were several late arrivals that day which caused some disheartenment. “I closed my eyes, bowed silently and said to God, ‘I have faith in You,’” Wong said.
And God proved faithful. Soon dozens of people began pouring in, so many that Wong had to get more chairs from the storage room.
“No one could have written a better script,” he said. “God allowed all these things to happen not only to test our faith, but He also wanted us to have the most memorable first day and teach us that His grace is always sufficient.”
KAYLA RINKER / contributing writer