Churches tend to focus much of their energy on the external development of their churches—the expansion of church buildings, the growth of membership, and the increase in the number of church staff. However, in today's Chinese churches, it is actually the internal development issues of the churches that are causing churches to divide in many cases.
Wang Zhenhai (pseudonym) is a brother who has served for many years in an urban church in the northern part of China. After witnessing the division of many churches, Wang believed that if the pastors and staff in a church do not work together, they will not be able to accomplish anything.
Wang said that when pastors and church leaders are united, their connection goes beyond the human level. This is because when they are closely united, the Holy Spirit begins to work in them. As a result, they are able to generate better ideas in ministry.
Many church members have stopped attending church after the three-year pandemic of COVID; therefore, these churches are experiencing a decline in attendance to varying degrees and are shrinking in size. Despite this situation, however, the church where Wang serves continues to plant new churches and has seen a significant increase in its membership. In this regard, Wang emphasized that the unity of church leaders and pastors is of utmost importance for the development of the church, and all other things—church staff development, all-church retreats, family worship, and small group ministry—are secondary.
However, this has become a great challenge in many churches because everyone insists on their own view, and no one will yield. Therefore, Wang reminded, "We must realize that only God Himself is the owner of the church. A church may have many pastors and staff and an even larger congregation, but none of them owns the church."
Although the church where Wang serves has experienced significant growth, all the pastors and church leaders still meet weekly to discuss and reach consensus on all important issues.
In addition, Wang pointed out that a church may be perfect in many aspects, but it still needs a comprehensive administrative system to maintain the unity of the pastoral staff; otherwise, as the examples of many churches show, the development and revival of the church, which often brings significant growth, can easily be the time when divisions occur.
"In many churches today, there is much discord among church leaders, pastors, and staff because the various staff groups and ministry teams all go their own way and act on their own will. As a result, there is no way for the church to grow, which makes it very difficult to fulfill the Great Commission," Wang said.
A sound administrative system can help a church develop. By helping the church maintain a larger staff, it enables ministry teams to be more fully staffed and effective, making ministry less difficult. When each of us is willing to work in ministry with various teams of church leaders and staff, as well as other believers, using our God-given gifts and talents, the church can certainly accomplish greater things.
- Tranlsated by Joyce Leung