There are some closures of churches in China as a result of mergers and pastors being laid off or resigned. These led to the discussion of how churches should plan and care for unemployed pastors and the financial impacts on their families. We pray for faith in God and new directions for pastors who have been in ministry a long time and now are without work, especially those who are in their middle age. May the Lord raise up believers to care for GodĚ servants.
It can be said that churches in China no longer have a shortage of pastors. The reality is that there are many pastors who are not serving and are unfortunately disrespected by believers because they have not fulfilled the LordĚs calling to ministry. We pray that none of us will be quick to judge or harden our hearts saying: "Go in peace, be warm and be filled"(James 2:16); ignoring or refusing to help others in need.
To provide financial security for their pastors, churches in China should at least contribute to the government-sponsored retirement plan for those who serve full-time. Churches should offer the basic benefits available to employees in other professions. The Bible teaches us to love one another, and we ask God to remind us that we cannot claim to love God, but refuse to love and care for those who serve Him. Let us honor God by first honoring His workers.
Churches should not overlook the welfare of their shepherds or consider it as unimportant. No churches should ever shrink away from this financial responsibility, by telling them to "Have faith, just trust God for your living expenses.Ě We pray that no believer or church leader would ever say, "God will take care of you." and then refuse to care for the needs of those who are or have been shepherding them.
The challenge of shepherding a church in China is a daunting task because believers are often very critical whether of each other or even their pastors.often very critical, prone to verbally attack each other's and their pastors included. Many believers have deep emotional wounds or a hurtful upbringing. We pray for healing and the transformation by the Holy Spirit for these believers in every facet of their lives. May His Name be praised and our lives renewed daily by His love.
Although China no longer has a shortage of pastors, there is still a lack of those who are well-equipped and adequately trained. Too many believers are merely church attendees and badly need spiritual and physical caring. Pastors who try to meet the spiritual needs in their churches are overwhelmed by the enormous emotional, relational and family problems many believers suffer. We pray that each church will do its best to help with healing and build healthy families.
The poison of the Cultural Revolution still has deep roots among the churches in China. Church leaders are spiritually lonely, but will not share their inadequacy or feeling with their co-workers in fear of being savagely judged. It is said that many lack management ethics, and care only about their respectability and the appearance of holiness. We pray for GodĚs mercy for His churches and HIs servants in China because we are all sinners saved by grace. May the Lord revive His churches, not merely in numbers of members but with a deep love for Him and spiritual leaders becoming transparent and with a servant's heart.
現今教會「牧者荒」的情況已沒有過去嚴重，甚至出現許多牧者沒有全職服事的工場。求主提醒信徒不可冷淡對待目前沒服事工場的牧者，或將他們推到社會上去，再重新選擇謀生的差事。求神打破我們的冷漠，不是只說： 「平平安安的去吧！願你們穿得暖，吃得飽」；卻狠着心不供給他們身體所需用的。（雅 2:16）