There has been much discussion on "poor preachers" in the Chinese church. The reasons behind the phenomenon are quite complex: irrational church systems, interior dissension, preachers' insufficient faith and love, a lack of consciousness of supporting preachers, and the church's limited financial condition... Rev. Li from Jilin believes the solution to the problem is that preachers and believers should return to the Bible and repent in front of God for a church revival.
"Preachers anointed by God should have faith. Rather than blame believers, they should repent first." The pastor claimed that church revival starts with preachers' repentance.
Above all, preachers should repent for the message in the pulpit. Preachers should give a proper interpretation of the Bible first because it's unnecessary to teach psychology and marriage. A large portion of churches currently preach comforting words about donations and things like psychology and prosperity theology. Preachers are afraid to deliver sermons about repentance and holiness, let alone about evangelism and missions. It seems to make believers happy, but those who have a smattering of knowledge about the Christian faith gradually lose direction, turning into religious believers who follow ritual without having real faith. As a consequence of this, believers hardly know God and love preachers instead.
Secondly, preachers need to repent for their behaviors and values. When one replaces his or her own values under biblical values, he or she will receive help from the Holy Spirit and change will follow. Jude 1:11 claims, "Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion." Actually preachers are required to explain the Bible and live it out, being model believers." Rev. Li stressed.
Third, preachers should be loyal to their missions. James 5:17 says, "Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years." He pointed out that the prophet Elijah was able to endure loneliness, pain, and hunger for he was true to his mission, knowing what he ought to do. What is the connection between Elijah and preachers in our age? He held that preachers should be faithful to their missions so as to be firm, free from being lured by the world and swayed by the environment.
Apart from preachers' repentance, believers also need to repent to welcome church revival. Rev. Li emphasized that believers who look down upon preachers despise God and should repent.
"Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? " (1 Corinthians 9:7)
"For it is written in the Law of Moses: 'Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.' Is it about oxen that God is concerned? " (1 Corinthians 9:9)
These verses are biblical teachings about providing for preachers. However, believers don't have respect for preachers if they don't know God without hearts thirsting after God.
The pastor concluded at length that the fundamental solution to the underpaying problem lies in preachers returning to the Bible, studying it and repenting. They should examine themselves before God and correct their values and deeds with God's word. Then they should preach the message of truth to believers, which brings real transformation.
-Translated by Karen Luo