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An American college president predicted that within 25 years, a Chinese university can be one of the top 10 universities in the world. Qinghua, China's highest-ranking university, is 49th in the world now. In the past decade, the number of Chinese colleges has doubled (to 2200) and the number of college students has increased fivefold to 5 million. College student ministry is very rewarding. However, follow-up and connecting graduates to churches are more difficult. Let us pray for all those who accepted Jesus or were baptized but are no longer attending churches. May the Spirit quicken their hearts and bring them back to local churches or fellowships.
Why does the average Chinese person love to buy houses? Because there are few options for investments or means to preserve wealth. The Chinese also cannot depend on retirement benefits offered by the government or their companies. Buying houses provides rental income. This is a big reason China's housing market has been red-hot year after year. Believers are also caught up in the frenzy of buying houses. Many own houses but still they feel they are cash-poor and cannot afford to give offerings. Let us pray that all of us would trust the Lord to provide what we need and that we would be faithful stewards of what God entrusts us.
The revival of house churches of the last century gave rise to legendary and powerful leaders among several large church groups. These leaders share some common traits, personal charisma and a real mix of individualism and adventure. Unfortunately, quite a number of these leaders have fallen since. It is commonly agreed that China churches badly need leaders who are transparent and demonstrate servant-leadership. We pray especially those in their 30-50, may the Lord continue to transform them, preparing them to lead not by their own strength but humility of Christ.
The "left-over-men" is a term that has been coined for all the bachelors who are of marriageable age in China where the male-female ratio is so badly skewed. Even young men unless they have certain advantages such as having a family saving money to help them, are likely to have difficulty finding a wife in the highly-competitive marriage market. We pray for all the brothers in the churches who are single. For those who are waiting for God's choice, we pray along with them. May the Lord be their peace whether they are married or alone. We pray, too, that they will be able to be more involved in the church, not just because they have more free time but because they are willing to help.
Many young people have graduated from seminary training in China but many of them are not clear about the true meaning of sacrificial service, or they are not so gifted or able to serve as those who worked in the churches in the past, and the drop-out rate is alarmingly high. There are those who say the quality of today's students is not so good as that of those in the years past. However, we know that God can use all who are humble and weak and so we keep praying for those who are being trained now. May the Lord give them wisdom, integrity, humility, and passion for His flock.
One reason Chinese save is that it is difficult for them to borrow. Only 11% of younger households have a mortgage for their home and those who do, try to pay it off within five years. Celebrating the last payment on a couple's mortgage is considered a milestone.Many young people will work very hard all week, including Sundays, in order to save. Many churches have no young couples and are unable to form a core group of that age. Let us pray for the desire of numerous churches to reach out to young families. May the Lord raise up countless young families who not only fit into the church but also serve there.
Corruption at every level is a huge problem not only for the government but also for Christians who are trying to provide community services with donated money and equipment. There is an overwhelmingly cynical feeling that money donated for good causes will somehow end up in the fat wallets of officials. We pray for those who must deal with people who seek bribes from Christians in ministry and those in business, too. May the Lord give them wisdom and integrity.