Suggestion on Solution to Poverty in Rural Churches

A picture of a rural church of Zhoukou holding a service at an unknown date.
A picture of a rural church of Zhoukou holding a service at an unknown date.
By CCD contributor: Jacob Zhao March 26th, 2019

Poverty in a family may cause lots of problems. The couple who has a wedding oath might end up in divorce. Many talents will have to give up their dreams due to family poverty. In the same way, a church's poverty would hinder its ministry work.

In a poor church, there are many who determined to dedicate to the Ministry end up leaving their serving position for the purpose of making a living when they simply cannot support their living for the full-time commitment. Many pursuing believers have lost the opportunity to further develop their gifts only because their church cannot support their studying in theology.

It is known by contacting some poor rural churches that originally these churches were prosperous but only as the number of migrant workers to the cities is increasingly higher, it has led to a decline of attendance in rural churches.

Those who can attend the service are advanced in the age without much income. This puts the ministers of poor rural churches into a dilemma.

The church is the family of God and if its people do as instructed by the Bible, then poverty should not emerge. It is thought that there must be something done inadequately to have generated a shortage in these churches missing the blessings from God.

Many who serve in the poor churches have thought that the reason for poverty is due to the imbalance of social economy and the large gap of rural and urban income.

The Lord said, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.' Is it right that the rural churches have no pathway to walk on?

No! The words of God have definitely no problem and the problem must be from ourselves. To be bold, the true reason causing it hard to maintain its work in such churches is not out of the change of the environment but out of the serving people themselves, out of the over-rigid way and style of our love not being able to break its rigid church regulations.

Taking the example of migrant workers, how many of the migrant believers have gone to the church to say goodbye when they were leaving being too sad to leave?

How many believers have visited other brothers and sisters when returning from cities and say I miss you to death!

If there is none then our service is a failure. We do not have to emphasize that believers have no love because love is relative. If you truly love people and treat them sincerely, the other party will not be ignorant of it. The love we often speak of is actually that of Jesus. What we do, in fact, has much less love in it.

Still taking the example of migrant believers, if the members of a church are as close as brothers and when a brother is leaving, we will not lose his contact. The Internet age has provided us plenty of convenient communication channels such as mobile phones and WeChat.

If the serving people at a church are friendly and intimidate to its believers, we then may definitely add them to the church WeChat platform when they leave for work. It may pastor the believers at any time but also may solve the problem of the lack of gathering point for service away from home. Because the church may pastor at any time, the believers may not fall weak when they are away from their church.

The migrant brothers and sisters may completely transfer their tithing to their church as they receive their own church caring and pastoring. In this way, it may completely guarantee a stable income of the church not losing its fixed income as believers leave for work but may also increase its income as the migrant workers receive a higher income than the local so that the income increases instead. The premise of all these is based on love.

There are many reasons for a family to be poor, but the reason of poverty of a church is only one, the lack of love.

- Translated by Charlie Li

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