Interview: Churches to Shift from Local Mentality to Ecological Perception

A picture of two hands holding the miniature earth and tree
A picture of two hands holding the miniature earth and tree (photo:
By Li ShiguangApril 24th, 2023

Paying attention only to the tree itself is not sufficient when cultivating a healthy tree. One must also give equal attention to the ecological environment in which it grows, such as the soil, climate, hydrology, and surroundings.

Recently, the Christian Times interviewed Brother Wang Zhong, who has served in an urban church in East China for many years. He suggests that churches should shift from the traditional local mentality to a holistic environmental perception.

By chance, Brother Wang came across the book Let the Church be the Church: An Ecclesiology by Pastor Lin Hong Hsin, which had a significant influence on him.

Brother Wang believes that many pastors only focus on a small area around their churches and do not consider the concept of "church ecology" at all. In reality, as long as the relevant ecosystem is established, a tree or a church will grow naturally.

Wang thinks that many in the church community still care about “grass and trees” but have limited knowledge about the ecological environment surrounding them.

“We should put a significant amount of effort into constructing a healthy church ecosystem. When such a system is well-established, many churches will naturally revive.”

He further explained, “In the past, many things were done in a mixed fashion, and there was not much division of labor and order. As long as something was thought to be good, valuable, and meaningful, everyone would do it. This was also the case in the church, for example, caring for the elderly or counseling marital affairs and family. Because everyone recognized the importance of something, they could easily imitate others, and everyone would follow the trend.”

“But now everyone has gradually found their own characteristics. It turns out that each of us may be more suitable for a certain ministry. Just like this, everyone gradually finds their own position that is more suitable to them. They then serve together according to their positions, thus slowly forming a good ecological circle,” he added. 

“We have come up with a general framework and conceived an ecological circle within the Christian community. People of different ages, believers or unbelievers, are all our serving targets. We would serve them well. We now take the destitute elderly and broken families as our serving targets, which are part of the charity. Next, we would have the following projects: businesses, pastoral care, and music worship. They are newly developed projects. We want to build a large ecosystem of pastoral care that can radiate into different fields,” he said.

- Translated by Charlie Li

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