Over the past several decades a critical need has been training a new generation of leaders for a church in which rapid growth had far outstripped the supply of trained pastors. Theological training, Bible study material, and practical ministry skills were all part of the solution as a variety of training programs were rolled out in various forms around China.
Today Christian leaders in China face a different set of challenges. Many have been blessed to receive formal training, but a rapidly changing ministry environment brings with it new requirements for effectiveness. ChinaSource has identified two key areas and, together with several partner organizations, has launched initiatives to address these.
Going Deeper with Leaders
Following last year’s Walking with Leaders consultation in Asia, ChinaSource has co-sponsored a number of coach training events in China and Hong Kong. Believing that coaching can be a powerful means of encouraging leaders within a church or organization, we have brought together experienced professional trainers to help Chinese pastors and other leaders take important first steps in adopting a coaching approach in their leadership. Many have found the shift from a top-down leadership style to a more facilitative posture to be significant for dealing with those whom they lead. To date nearly 100 leaders have received training. More coach training events are scheduled in days to come.
Meanwhile, another important component of this initiative is being launched through a series of spiritual formation retreats. These retreats will serve local Chinese Christians who are working specifically with people on the margins of society, including the homeless and those with disabilities. These Christian workers, often in danger of burnout because of the intensity and demands of their ministries, will be personally refreshed as they take time away from their daily routine to receive what the Lord has for them. In the process they will be equipped to bring spiritual formation exercises back into their own organizations in order to minister to their team members and those whom the organization serves.
Good and Faithful Stewards
China’s urban church is uniquely positioned with an unprecedented degree of influence in the society and with access to resources, both human and financial, which previous generations of Chinese Christians did not have. Whether they are pastors, business leaders, or professionals in other fields, China’s urban Christians have a responsibility to use for God’s glory all that He has entrusted to them.
To help this generation of urban believers in their own stewardship journey, ChinaSource has launched the Faith and Generosity in China Initiative. The first objective is to strengthen and deepen their faith that they may provide a more authentic and compelling witness within Chinese society. We believe that Chinese Christians could potentially lead the way in building a culture of generosity, which currently does not exist in China.
The initiative features training and the translation of stewardship and generosity materials, supported by a social media campaign that will be an accessible and invaluable resource to pastors, Christian business leaders, lay leaders and Chinese Christians in general. As a result of the initiative we expect to see a measurable increase in the knowledge and practice of Christ-centered generosity among Chinese Christians and a marked increase in teaching stewardship in Chinese churches.
- Lift up Christian leaders in China who are being equipped through coach training and through spiritual formation retreats. May these experiences be life-changing for them and for those whom they lead.
- Pray for the translation and contextualization of books and social media resources that will equip Chinese Christians in stewardship and generosity. Ask the Lord to use these resources in the lives of pastors, business leaders and others in China.
- Continue to lift up ChinaSource as we partner with others in identifying and addressing critical needs within the church in China.
- Join us in seeking the Lord for His provision in the ongoing work of these initiatives.
Image courtesy of Chinese Lanterns by Becca S, on Flickr
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