The three-year pandemic has deeply impacted diversified sectors in China, including the church. As attendance at many church worship services has declined compared to before the pandemic, it is crucial to think about how to maintain the church's vibrancy in such circumstances.
Recently, Pastor Z from an emerging family church in East China shared several insights on how to maintain the vitality of his pastoral care in the church.
Emphasis on evangelizing family members and living a devout life
Z emphasizes to all believers in the church that the primary targets for evangelism should be their own family members, including spouses, parents, and children who have not yet embraced the faith. He stresses the importance of faith inheritance, encouraging parents not to worry excessively about their children’s studies but to entrust them to God. Parents should not only teach the truth to their children but also lead by example, as this significantly impacts whether the kids’ lives will be transformed. He pointed out that children come to know God through their parents. If parents are devout, faith naturally gets passed down.
The majority of church members are youth
In Z's church, the majority of the congregation is made up of young people. He aims to maintain the church's vibrancy through gatherings specifically tailored for the youth. In terms of the personal lives of believers, Z strongly emphasizes that they should experience peace and joy. Additionally, his church places significant emphasis on nurturing young workers. He stated, "The church I pastor now places great emphasis on involving young people." The church stresses equality among coworkers, allowing them to speak up and avoiding thinking too highly of the pastor.
Focus on personal spiritual growth and prayer
Pastor Z highlighted that his church places significant emphasis on the devotional practice of believers. Besides regular gatherings, the church also conducts small-group Bible studies. He shared that the church has consistently held morning prayers for over five years without interruption. Interceding for others during morning prayers is a significant focus, such as praying for unbelieving spouses, family members, and the city they live in. Apart from daily morning prayers, the church sets aside a day each month for collective fasting and prayer on these topics.
Train husbands as core workers
Z stated that his church hasn't been significantly affected during the pandemic years. The church is structured around families, with faithful husbands serving as core members.
Reflecting on past pastoral experiences, this pastor remarked, "Female Christians are passionate in their faith but tend to be emotionally driven. Additionally, their role should be that of helpers." Consequently, his church transitioned from having female believers as core workers to having male ones serve as the core.
His church emphasizes organizing male believers to study together, letting them participate in men's camps and brotherhood fellowships. He expressed that after establishing a relationship with God, they willingly emulate Christ's love within their families, embodying God's love, humility, and gentleness.
He highlighted that when families are solid, the church will also be stable. In the face of the church's current limitations to small group gatherings and increased mobility, Z remarked, "If there are seven or eight families with husbands serving in the church, the church will be stable. If the church is moving, we are just meeting somewhere else."
- Translated by Abigail Wu