Bearded Gospel Men: Hudson Taylor

“China is not to be won for Christ by quiet, ease-loving men and women … The stamp of men and women we need is such as will put Jesus, China, [and] souls first and foremost in everything and at every time—even life itself must be secondary.”

Hudson Taylor (via Christian History)

If you know anything about Hudson Taylor, you know he was a missionary to China. What you may not know is that while he was a baby Taylor’s parents were praying God would send him to China. This was at a time when hardly any missionaries were targeting the country. He was converted as a teen while in the midst of an extended time of prayer, and from that moment on he began preparing himself for mission work in China.

He arrived in Shanghai as a 21 year old. Twenty one. Because Taylor wasn’t interedted in relying on translators to preach the gospel, he committed himself to true cultural immersion, including dressing in Chinese clothes and growing a pony tail (as was the custom among Chinese men). This made sense to our missional brother, but brought criticism from other missionaries. Undeterred, Taylor followed God’s calling to take the gospel into China’s interior.

Hudson Taylor saw that for the gospel to take root in China’s and reach greater numbers God would need to raise up more men. So he began recruiting other Christians to go and make disciples where there was such a desperate need. In 1865 he wrote,China’s Spiritual Need and Claims, and organized a network of sorts, China Inland Mission. Taylor and CIM not only brought the Gospel to China’s interior, but it helped to build the strong and vibrant underground church that exists in China today.

Hudson Taylor was a bold, yet selfless man who sacrificed much in preaching the gospel, helping to translate the Bible in Chinese, starting churches, and creating a network, and the church today is blessed by what God has done through him. In all of this we see that Taylor was a most definitely a bearded gospel man.

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