Hudson Taylor and God-sized Goals

Hudson Taylor and God-sized Goals

Hudson Taylor and God-sized Goals

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Hudson_Taylor_1865 One of the greatest goal setters in history was Hudson Taylor. Taylor was born in Yorkshire, England in 1832. As a skeptical teenager he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ after reading a tract found in his father’s store. Not only was his life changed, he sensed God calling him to China to be a missionary. To prepare, he began to study medicine, and the Chinese language. He was also an avid reader of the Bible, studying it daily in Greek and Hebrew.

Taylor couldn’t escape the thought that millions of Chinese were dying every year without ever hearing of Jesus Christ. At age 21 he finally got his chance to sail to China. He landed in Shanghai and partnered there with a few dozen missionaries. That’s when he noticed a cultural barrier between them and those they wanted to reach. The western missionaries were sharing the gospel in European dress. Hudson was the first missionary to dress like the Chinese – in pigtails and Chinese clothes (as all Chinese men wore). Needless to say, he received a lot of criticism.

He also made another “out of the box” decision. Shanghai was a port town on the coast. Taylor wanted to take the gospel into the interior where there was no witness for Jesus at all. Soon, dressed in Chinese garb, he and his friend Joseph Edkins, took a small canoe and headed into the interior. Using his medical skills, medicine, compassion, and the sharing of the gospel some were converted. More importantly a fire was lit.

In 1861 he returned to England because of illness, and while away a God-sized goal took hold of his heart. Taylor’s vision was to have a Christian evangelistic presence in all 12 of the unreached inland provinces. He then started an organization called the China Inland Mission, and published a pamphlet that became widely read in England called, “China’s Spiritual Needs and Claims.” Then, in 1866 he and 22 young missionaries headed back to China.

Hudson Taylor was a man of tremendous faith. He so trusted in God’s ability to provide he never asked for financial support for himself or the mission. Instead he made his every concern and need known to God in prayer. He was fond of saying, “God’s work done God’s way never lacks God’s provision.”

By the time of his death in 1905, the China Inland Mission had 825 missionaries living in all 18 provinces, with more than 300 mission stations, and 25,000 converts to Christ.

The church today in China is strong and growing powerfully even with the persecution and repression suffered under communism. In fact, the more the Chinese church suffered the more quickly it grew. Estimates say that there are roughly 200 million Christians in China today. God’s work in this great country all began when Hudson Taylor answered the call to go where the need was greatest.

What is your God-sized goal? Dream today. Ask yourself, “What could God do through me by his power, for his glory?” Then, write it down, put a date on it, and offer it to God in prayer. With him all things are possible.

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