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.
In addition to church leaders and ordinary Christians using online forums to discuss matters of faith, academics are joining the conversation as well. On his blog, Professor Liu Peng recently wrote about the relationship between poverty and “spiritual backwardness,” which refers to a spiritual void, or lack of spiritual beliefs. Writing from the perspective of sociology, Professor Peng argues that the most serious type of poverty in China is the “poverty of faith,” and unless that is addressed the problem of material poverty cannot be solved.
Life in the Chinese Countryside
Since China's great gǎigé kāifàng (Reform and Opening) experiment was begun by reformists in the Communist Party of China (CPC) under Deng Xiaoping in late 1978, tens of thousands of articles—in print and online—have been written about the huge changes and nearly miraculous standard-of-living improvements that have happened throughout China.
Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development by Bryant Myers. Maryknoll, NY, Orbis Books, 1999. 279 pages with index; soft cover; ISBN: 1570752753; $22.00.
A book review by Daniel Eyler