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What Should Chinese Pastors Do During “Dual Suspension”?

What Should Chinese Pastors Do During “Dual Suspension”?

Three young pastors from northeast China discussed how to carry out online pastoral care in the program Three young pastors from northeast China discussed how to carry out online pastoral care in the program "Light Sharing" on a live platform on April 25, 2020. (Screenshot)
ByWa Qi March 17, 2021
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As many registered churches in China remain closed down amid new coronavirus wave, pastors need to rearrange their ministries and lives accordingly.

The policy of “dual suspension” for religious venues refers to “closing religious activity sites and suspending collective religious gatherings."

I hereby offer nine suggestions.

1. Take “dual suspension” as a chance to review ministries.

While “out of employment,” pastors can review successes and failures in their own ministries over the past years, exploring problems and reasons to make their work more targeted and effective in future.

Meanwhile, elaborate ministry plans can be made, including short-term pastoring strategies and long-term goals.

2. Take “dual suspension” as an opportunity to share messages.

As the pulpit ministry has turned from onsite to online, old methods for preparing sermon outline are not applicable to virtual preaching. The best option should be writing a full manuscript sermon since the content needs to be concrete.

Compared to in-person preaching, virtual sermons take more time and energy.

The “dual suspension” also offers pastors more preparation time.

They can take time to study one book of the Bible, go over some theology courses, or sort out past messages.

3. Make use of “dual suspension” to equip yourself.

Pastors stay at home more than ever as their churches are closed down.

To equip themselves, they can read a Christian book, take a theological course, or revise a set of spiritual books or theological subjects.

4. Use “dual suspension” to expand outreach.

The suspension of religious activities forces churches to go online.

The tremendous change poses a lesson to some pastors who are too busy to be engaged in virtual meetings. Some of them are not familiar with relevant processes or even unable to acquire techniques.

They need to humble themselves and learn from professionals on how to operate live streaming. Training on network skills can be carried out for church staff.

5. During “dual suspension,” connect believers and co-workers.

Little time is personally spent with an individual believer or co-worker, as the main job of pastors is sermon preparation and holding collective meetings on normal days.

Hence, some time can be used to communicate with a couple of church members or co-workers. Visitation, personal tea meeting, walking, or even a field trip, can possibly increase understanding of individual members or workers, and establish more intimate relationships.

6. Despite “dual suspension,” consolidate your family altar.

Pastors’ busy church work often leads to neglect of their family members.

They can spend more time with their family and care for their spiritual needs. Leading their families to worship God at home is a good way to consolidate the family altar.

7. Take “dual suspension” as a chance to care about your relatives and friends.

Pastors can call their relatives and friends or chat with them. Share God’s salvation with those who stay in the same cities or towns.

8. Serve the society during “dual suspension.”

In accordance with the local pandemic control, some communities short of hands are recruiting volunteers.

Pastors can volunteer to give a hand or take the initiative to be good Samaritans to needy people around them.

9. Recuperate yourself during “dual suspension.”

Due to busy work, some pastors are physically and emotionally exhausted and even suffer from health emergencies. In case they fail to seek for any treatment or recuperation, they can adjust their life and work. Take a rest at home, recuperate from tiredness, or take a physical examination at a hospital.

- Translated by Karen Luo

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