A church in Huojia County of Henan Province opened a Christian cultural exhibition hall during the celebration of its tenth anniversary in October 2016. Visitors from more than seventy churches came in the first week. Over one hundred groups of Christians paid a visit to the exhibits in the first half of 2017.
Wu Quansi, the leader of Daxinzhuang Church, introduced the purpose of the exhibits: to help people return to orthodox Christian faith and promote theology. "The Christian faith is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. However, as time goes by many denominations and heresies have been born."
The exhibition is divided into three parts: texts, printing plates, and murals. The texts include the Apostles' Creed and the Lord's Prayer, the introduction of Jesus and his disciples and the birth of the church in the New Testament, an overview of church history, the earliest preachers, the introduction of Christianity into China, the distinction between Catholicism and Christianity, and the contributions made by missionaries to education in China; the plates cover the summary and outline of each book of the Bible, the Jewish calendar, and one hundred Bible questions; the murals are of subjects like the Last Supper.
Brother Zhao from Huojia CCC&TSPM, who has been to the exhibits, states that the exhibition is suitable for the rural church, especially the three-word rhymes that are easy to remember, and that the guides are believers who have a proper understanding of the Bible. "There are more than 30 churches and gatherings in Huojia County. I hope that every church should take featured and targeted measures to nurture the congregation and attach importance to the construction of believers' lives."
"It's also appropriate for believers, church workers, and theological workers." In addition, advice from visitors suggested that the content of the exhibition can be designed into a picture book that can be taken away. Currently, the church has two exhibition rooms and is planning to build another one.
The pulpit ministry plays a vital role as some well-educated believers start to come into the church in the highly urbanized county. Serving in the church for around three decades, Wu said that preachers are required to be at least graduates from provincial Bible schools, be talented, or have a good reputation. The congregation is mostly female and elderly served by a few preachers, so the church invites preachers from nearby brother churches to give sermons.
Built in 2003 and completed three years later, Daxinzhuang Church can hold 1,000 people. The regular church attendance is just over 400 and believers who migrate to cities for jobs return during the Chinese new year. In the 1990s the church reached unbelievers through performing local dramas. Now it preaches the Gospel through holding weddings and funerals.
Translated by Karen Luo