On my visit to some churches in Dalian in mid September, I saw church development and revival and heard insights on church growth and faith. These signs deeply moved and enlightened me.
One of the inspirations I noticed is that while shepherding its congregation, a church that considers, benefits, and serves believers is a true home of believers.
Since the church is severely aging, death is an unavoidable issue. Some Dalian churches offer coordinated traditional Christian services for deceased believers, including dressing the dead up, arranging the cancellation of their permanently registered residence, informing their families, presiding over funerals, giving sermons and choruses, cremation, contacting local cemeteries, and burial. The whole process is free of charge. Almost some churches provide this kind of one-stop service a few times a week.
Normal care and Visitation
For emergencies, a few churches provide timely services and help when they can, such as sending sick patients to the hospital, saving their lives, and providing material support. In some church nursing homes, the church celebrates the birthday of elderly believers and also distributes a small gift to each of senior participators.
On important holidays like Christmas and the Chinese New Year, they give drop-in visits, worship and praise, and steady communication.
In one instance, a church kept bringing a paralyzed believer to and from a hospital every day for half a year until he passed away.
Normal care means that the church has fixed fellowships and Christian contacts. It offers perennial assistance anytime, including medical care, doing chores, reading the Bible at believers' homes, prayer, and constant communication.
For disadvantaged believers, some churches set a special show window where messages asking for help are published.
They make full use of their large congregations to help believers tackle their daily problems like taking care of their children, finding recreation opportunities, partners, and jobs.
- Translated by Karen Luo