As we all know, if any industry wants to have a good development, its soft power must be inseparable from the element of talents, and similarly, the development of the church cannot ignore the importance and cultivation of the believers with talents.
Pastor C, a pastor in South China, recently spoke about the importance of cultivating believers with gifts for the church: like building a good church, cultivating a good believer with gifts is equally important
It is very important for the Chinese church to cultivate believers with the "three gifts": knowledge, wisdom, and courage, he urges.
He observes, "Over the past 40 years, a general trend in the church in mainland China has been that first-class people are in companies and third-class people are in the church. The church in Taiwan at that time had launched a movement to have first-class people become preachers and third-class people go to work in a company. At that time, many believers with gifts and talents in Taiwan responded to this call, so the vitality and influence of their churches became great. When the church in Taiwan became saturated with talent around 2000, the church renewed its call: 'First-class believers with gifts and talents go to companies, and third-class believers with gifts and talents are in the church.' This case tells us the importance of valuing the believers with gifts and talents."
Regarding the understanding of the believers with 'three gifts,' he explained, "The first 'gift' is knowledge. Preachers should have not only theological knowledge but also basic general knowledge of society. If church leaders consider, 'If their own children or the children of believers can't get into university, then let them study theology!' -- if such a concept is not changed, the church has no future. Churches and pastors should create an atmosphere where Christians first encourage their children to go to university before they are eligible to participate in church ministry. Such a change in mindset, though it will take time, is very necessary."
"The second 'gift' is wisdom." He went on to give an example and said, "Some preachers don't like to study, don't like to study independently, for example, some enter seminaries right out of high school and then get involved in full-time ministry, lacking a certain amount of social experience, and there are many preachers who have families and they can't even cook."
He made an analogy that "preachers need to be frogs walking with a well," meaning that they must admit to themselves as frogs at the bottom of a well wherever they go, bravely acknowledging their limited and narrow knowledge while still eager to expand their knowledge and wisdom.
Pastor C said, "The purpose of preachers to read and improve their experience is both to enrich their own hearts and at the same time to promote pastoral competence. Especially in the course of ministry, when facing the confusion of brothers and sisters from different walks of life, when they communicate with the pastor, it is a great test of the preacher's level of wisdom, and if he or she is not able to give a wise answer, it is difficult to increase credit to the pastor. it will be difficult to add points to the pastor, and may even reduce the influence of the pastoral council."
"The third 'gift' is courage." Pastor C continued, "How can preachers develop churches under difficult circumstances? The courage of the preacher becomes very necessary. If the preacher has no fear in his heart and does the work of the Lord with faith and confidence, it will bring spiritual revival and numerical revival to the whole church. On the contrary, preachers facing difficult circumstances and serving the church with timidity will add sorrow and fear to the hearts of believers."
Pastor C's church has people of all ages from the age of baby boomers to millennials. According to him, cultivating believers with the gifts does not require waiting until all qualifications are mature before giving them missions and positions, but letting them do it first, and then following up and cultivating them. Like in the army, old soldiers train new soldiers.
At the same time, he also emphasized, "Whether it is a prayer team, a supervisory team, or any other ministry team in the church, ministers in any position must find their own team to belong to and continuously pursue growth in the 'three gifts' so that they can serve the Lord's church more professionally."
- Translated by Richard Zou