Pastoral ministry is typically not a desired vocation among Chinese Christians. Although pastors in China are revered for their rich spiritual gifts and selfless service to the church, pastoral ministry itself is poor, lonely, and draining. In this article from Green Olive Books, the author, a layperson, highlights the difficulties of being a pastor in China, as well as the need for Chinese Christians to better support their pastors.
China Christian Daily recently posted a list of the most popular news stories from the China Christian Times. Some may be surprising.
Theological books and resources from the West are widely available in China today and have become increasingly popular. What the Chinese church lacks, however, are books written by Chinese pastors and theologians. In the article below, originally published in Gospel Times, a pastor gives his thoughts on why Chinese pastors don’t write books.
If you happen to find yourself in Beijing this Christmas, be sure to stop by the Haidian Christian Church to see the Christmas Tree in the square in front of the church. This is a report from Gospel Times about the lighting of the tree.
Because of the growing popularity of Christmas in China, this season provides individual Christians and churches numerous opportunities for outreach. In this article, originally posted on at Gospel Times, a pastor reminds believers of the need to make room in their hearts for Christ as they prepare for Christmas.
As China has become more prosperous, it has also become more open to outside influences. This is true of the church as well. In recent years prosperity theology has been gaining influence, mainly through the translated books and resources of Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen. In this article, originally published in the Gospel Times, the author (a pastor) reflects on why this teaching is attractive to many in China.
An article from the Gospel Times in which a pastor reflects on what it means to be a pastor, particularly in a society that knows and understands little about the profession.
Last week we posted the first part of an interview with a rural pastor that was published on the mainland site Christian Times. The topic of the conversation was models for training in rural churches. This week we post the rest of the interview.
An editor from Christian Times recently had an extended conversation with a rural pastor (born in the 1980s) about his thoughts regarding the current situation of China’s rural church. They talked about the problems and potential, particularly as they relate to the need for training. What follows is a translation of the article. Due to the length of the article, we will publish it in two parts. This is part one.
As China has urbanized the challenges facing the church increasingly mirror those in other urban societies.
The Gospel Times recently published an article written by a pastor in Xiamen on what he considers to be some of the key challenges facing the church in China today. Here is a translation of the article.
Churches in China are increasingly looking for ways to use the internet to evangelize and encourage believers. This article, originally published in the mainland site Gospel Times is about a church in Liaoning province that posts daily video devotionals online to one of China’s largest video-sharing sites.
In March China Christian Daily published an interview with a pastor from Dalian about the importance of properly managing church finances in Chinese churches. He highlights some of the difficulties that churches in China have in this area and some suggestions for improvement.
The China Partnership website recently carried the story of an urban pastor who planted 16 churches in a major Chinese city. The article profiles the transformation in this pastor’s thinking concerning the nature and purpose of the church.
Pastors in China share how they are encouraging their people to prepare for Easter.
A ChinaSource "3 Questions" interview with Dr. G. Wright Doyle, director of Global China Center, editor of Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity, and co-editor of Studies in Chinese Christianity, published by Wipf and Stock.
The exhortation of a pastor in China to "Build a church without walls."
It is easy to think of the China Inland Mission era as being in the distant past. This article, translated from the mainland site Christian Times reminds us that it is not as far away as we thought.
For this post, we have translated a sermon given by Pastor Wang Yi, of Early Rain Reformed Church, one of the prominent house churches in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. In it, Pastor Wang reflects on what it means to build a church.
In this week’s Chinese Church Voices, we republish a post from the excellent China Partnership Blog. Last autumn China Partnership held a conference in Atlanta, centered on the topic “The Church in a Global-Local World.” Many of the speakers at the conference were church leaders from China. One of them gave a talk titled “The State of Chinese Urban Churches.” The speaker looks at the situation from three different perspectives: the Chinese value system, the political system, and the expansion of Christianity. China Partnership originally published it on their blog in February. It is reposted here in full, with permission.
Most Three-Self churches in China conduct baptism services on Easter Sunday each year. In this translated article from the Gospel Times, the writer shares questions that the pastors at two large churches in China ask of each person being baptized.
Due to the so-called “Church and Cross Demolition” campaign, the churches of Zhejiang Province have been in the news a lot over the past year. Whether on TV, online, or in our local newspapers, we have probably all seen heart-breaking pictures of demolished churches and crosses.
While many would applaud the church’s “post-denominational” character as evidence of the unity of the church in China, others today are asking whether a return to denominations is not only inevitable but should, in fact, be welcomed.
On March 4, 2015, the OMF Global China Newsletter posted an article titled "Challenges for the Church in China." In it the author highlights four key challenges.
With a plethora of Christian leader development programs on offer in China, it is difficult to know which are appropriate, not to mention which will ultimately prove effective.
Churches in China (both registered and unregistered) are taking advantage of the popularity of Christmas to teach people about the true meaning of the festival.
In July, I wrote a post titled "Ten Lessons from the Church in China" in which I highlighted ten responses by foreign Christians in China to the question "what specific lessons can the church in the West learn from the church in China?"
In recent years Calvinism has become an increasingly common topic of discussion within Chinese Christian circles. This trend has not gone unnoticed, and many scholars of Christianity in China are working to document and understand the growth of Reformed Christianity within the mainland.
Chinese Church Voices is running a series of articles taken from a lengthy interview with a Reformed unregistered church pastor in China. The fact that the Christian website in China where the interview originated gave the topic such in-depth attention, and the fact that this particular pastor (and many others like him) are such strong advocates of Reformed theology, raise the question of why denominations have become so attractive to Christians in China.
Reformed theology has found fertile ground in China, particularly among urban unregistered churches.
Reformed theology has found fertile ground in China, particularly among urban unregistered churches.
In August, the Christian Times published a two-part interview with a pastor from a Reformed church in China. We have translated and divided that interview into three sections. In this section (our Part 3) “Pastor Daniel” discusses the importance of attitude in preaching Reformed doctrine, specific lessons learned, and how it has impacted renewal in many urban churches in China.
This is the second part of an interview with a Reformed church pastor that was originally published in the Christian Times.
The BBC article "The Chinese cult that kills 'demons'" prompted a reader to ask recently, "Have you heard of this cult?"
One of the interesting developments in the church in China over the past decade is growing popularity and influence of Reformed theology, particularly within urban house churches. This has come about as the Christians in China have had increasing opportunities to interact with the church outside of China, either directly, or via the Internet. Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion has been translated into Chinese, as have the writings of prominent voices in the “New Calvinism” movement in the United States, such as Tim Keller, D.A. Carson, and John Piper. Probably the most influential figure, however, is Rev. Stephen Tong, head of the Reformed Evangelical Church of Indonesia.
The piece translated below is from a post on the Weixin (WeChat) page of the Beijing Gospel Church, one of the citys more prominent house churches. The writer is sharing his thoughts on the nature of worship in the church.
Recently I found myself in a discussion with several colleagues about what it takes to "partner well" in China.
Rev. Stephen Um, pastor of City Life Presbyterian Church in Boston, recently talked with the folks at China Partnership about his observations and hope for the Chinese church.
A previous generation of Chinese Christians, cut off from all outside contact and separated from their leaders, was forced to rely upon the Lord alone as they sought the way forward. This seeking after God was an important part of their maturing process, and their testimonies bear witness to his faithfulness. While acknowledging that China and its church are at a much different place today, it is nevertheless worth considering whether outside intervention may unintentionally serve to short-circuit the process by which God seeks to mature the current generation of Chinese church leaders.
Generosity is an unequivocal characteristic of the life of a follower of Jesus Christ. It is the joyful life that flows freely and richly from a heart that has been set free by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the way Christians bear the image of the God who "so loved the world that He gave "
A big part of observing China is trying to figure out what is really going on. For those following recent events regarding the church in China, this has been especially true.
As the church in China continues to grow and mature, one of the issues that is coming to the fore is that of music. Until recently, much of the music played and sung in Chinese churches has been on the traditional side translated western hymns or indigenous folk-style music (popular in rural churches). Only in the past few years have we seen the emergence of what might be described as Christian Contemporary Music, popular, as one might expect, among the younger generation, particularly in the cities.
We live in an era when partnership between the church in China and the global church is both desired and increasingly possible. The challenges facing the church in China have evolved significantly in recent decades A survey of these challenges may lead some to conclude that church life in China today is not that much different from church life in the West or among overseas Chinese communities in Asia. Postmodernism, urbanization, secularization, and family breakdown are endemic to industrialized and post-industrialized societies the world over. The difference for China is that it has experienced in thirty years what in most other nations has taken place over a century or more.
As the church in China continues to grow and mature, opportunities to connect and partner with churches in the West continue to grow as well. In many cases, these partnerships provide opportunities for churches in China to learn from the experiences of the churches in the West. This is a good thing.
While much is written about the explosive growth of the church among the Han (dominant ethnic group in China), less is written about the spread of Christianity among the minority peoples. The article translated below is about a county in Yunnan Province that is praying and raising money to build a church.
Last month we highlighted a video from the Grace to the City Convention held in Hong Kong in March, which featured the participants singing the popular Getty hymn, "In Christ Alone."
"Brother Mark" played a key role in coordinating Walking with Leaders a consultation on mentoring, coaching, and spiritual formation in China hosted by ChinaSource last month in Hong Kong. Here are excerpts from a conversation we had with Brother Mark following the event.
The 2006 China Church Leadership Study, conducted jointly by ChinaSource and Geneva Global Research, identified seven types of Christian leaders in China. While three of these are in traditional church roles at various levels, the other four function largely outside the bounds of the local church and represent the growing role of Christians in China's larger society.
The Mainland site Gospel Times recently published an article about the poor living conditions of preachers in the countryside. The article contains stories and photos of preachers in three different counties in southwest China. Below is a translation of one of those stories. The article is set within the context of the Sanjiang Church, an unusually expensive and ornate church in Wenzhou that was demolished last month.
In March of this year, more than 1500 pastors and church leaders from around China gathered at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong for a conference called Grace to the City Convention. The keynote speaker was Dr. Timothy Keller, of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City who, with the assistance of a phenomenal interpreter, spoke on the themes of grace, contextualization, integration, and movement. In addition, the participants heard four pastors from four different areas of China give their perspectives on these themes. A team of musicians from Harbin led the worship.