Pastors Must Live Out Their Teachings

A picture of the internal view of a church
A picture of the internal view of a church
By Li ShiguangJanuary 3rd, 2024

One pastor believed there are many things a church should do, firstly to teach the word of God; and, more importantly, to have believers live out this word in their daily lives.

Currently, Reverend Gao of a city church in east China, born in the 1980s, who has served for twenty to thirty years, considered the most challenging aspect for believers is to practice God’s word.

The pastor saw faith as simple: It's one life influencing another. He declared pastors need to say "I'll go first" rather than "Show me how," and then many will follow suit.

Jesus spoke with authority, and the key was that He spoke and acted; the Pharisees understood many truths and were skilled at teaching but did not practice what they preached. This pastor thought that today's church faces many difficulties, one of which is that many pastors and believers take their faith too lightly and regard it merely as a noble idea without putting it into practice.

Firstly, the church needs to change people's mindsets. For instance, after studying the Bible, pastors should lead believers in practical exercises in their actual lives. Secondly, as mentioned in the Book of James: if believers see someone without clothes or food and only wish them well without helping, it's not genuine care and love. This pastor emphasized that care and love shouldn't be empty words or slogans but should be our genuine actions.

Gao said that some believers who have been in the church for a long time know the names of believers and exchange greetings at gatherings. He mentioned that they may not know their background, story, faith, or family, as they haven’t built deep relationships with others. He believed such people could not be considered Christians but rather religious adherents. Religious adherents, in his view, practice a highly formalized faith and attend worship for the sake of following rituals or customs but lose the true meaning of worship.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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