A Brief Talk on Transformation of Urban Church and Breakthrough in Shepherding
By Elsie Hu, November 22, 2016 01:11 AM
Compared with rural churches, urban churches have more resources and better prospects. However, the colorful urban life has also brought about more challenges to the church. Brother Liu, a preacher from an urban church in Hefei City, gave a brief introduction of the current development of urban churches.
Brother Liu mentioned that with the rapid development of the urban economy, there arise more and more choices in people's life. Brother Liu said: "There are different kinds of churches. However, each church has different theological ideas."
There are traditional churches, Pentecostal churches, and evangelical churches. They usually go their own way without communication with other churches.
Rural churches need transformation, so do urban churches. Brother Liu argues that the challenges faced by urban churches are as follows.
Most urban churches couldn't keep pace with the times. Christians are out of touch with non-Christians. The church usually over emphasizes sanctification. Some Christians think they cannot love the secular world. Gradually the church is separated from real society. The church should be integrated into the society instead of having indoor activities only.
The form of activities is single. Pastors preach the gospel to attract more believers. New believers come to the church for gatherings and Bible learning. The cycle repeats itself and believers become tired.
Urban churches need to carry out more forms of activities to satisfy the needs of people and attract their attention.
The knowledge structure and ideologies of preachers shall be transformed. Even in urban churches, the thoughts of some preachers still remain in the past. They believe that the church is his home and that believers ought to be centered on him.
"In fact, this idea is wrong." Brother Liu said, "The church shall consider for the believers. They shall never think of themselves only. A preacher shall have a practical understanding of our society. Teaching modern young people with old knowledge is not suitable. They will fail to keep up with the needs of nowadays believers.
Brother Liu also mentioned that the church has some difficulty in shepherding believers. It is more convenient for the church in rural areas to organize activities due to flexible time and good location.
However, believers in the city are busy, it is almost impossible to get together every weekday. They have to wait until the evening to organize a Bible study. Sometimes it is even hard to get together in the evening, and they have to wait until the weekend.
In addition, "the church needs to guide the believers so that believers themselves would establish relations with God."
Brother Liu said that believers should be independent and able to shepherd themselves. After all, the pastor cannot accompany believers every moment.
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