Shenzhen Founds Christian Theology Research Center to Promote Church Shepherding

By Yi Yang, July 17, 2018 02:07 AM

The Shenzhen Christian Theology Research Center was inaugurated on June 30, 2018. (Shenzhen CCC&TSPM)

On June 30, 2018, Shenzhen Christian Theology Research Center was inaugurated to promote church shepherding toward normalization, specilization, and refinement.

Rev. Cai Bosheng, chairman of the Shenzhen TSPM, shared the intention and aim of the center.

Since the reform and opening up, the church in Shenzhen has kept pace with the urban construction and development, whose scale has reached to a certain level. During the transformation, the church has been facing challenges in shepherding and management.

He said,"Targeted at the shepherding needs of Shenzhen urban churches, the research center will carry out studies on special topics, for instance, exploring and studying the sinicization of Christianity, nurturing cities, pastoral counseling,emotional care, marriage and families, parenting, worship and liturgy, hospice care, and social service.This will facilitate the shepherding ministry of the church in Shenzhen to walk toward normalization, specialization, and refinement to advance reconciliation between the society and church and to meet the development needs of urban churches."

A symposium on the sinicization of Christianity was also held, where six scholars and experts discussed about Chinese theology, folk customs, history, the times and circumstances, worship and liturgy as well as core values.

History of Shenzhen Church

The gospel was primarily introduced into Shenzhen in 1846, by the Rhenish Missionary Society and the Basel Mission. They established 27 churches and preaching stations, most of which were located in Baoan District.

Shenzhen Church was founded in 1898 in Luohu District by the Rhenish Missionary Society. In May 1984, it was reopened after a halt caused by the Cultural Revolution.

In the beginning, only over 70 people attended the service on Sunday. As the attendance increased, the number of the Sunday services was raised to three.Choirs, Teochew and English services, Bible studies and prayer meetings, meetings for women and young people, and training for volunteers were added. Two catechumen classes were held annually.

Owing to the urban construction plan, the church was removed and relocated in a rented factory in April 1997. The Sunday attendance exceeded 3,500. The ministries were expanded to Sunday schools and bookstores.

In 1998, the Shenzhen government provided a 4,400 square meters (1.08 acres) land in Futian District (including green belt) for the new church of construction land. The new church was put into use on December 9, 2001.

Now there are more than 30 churches in the city, baptizing over 2,000 people every year. The number of the congregation totals more than 100,000.

In September 2011, the Shenzhen CCC&TSPM launched the municipal Christian training center. One year later, the Shenzhen Christian Committee for Culture and Arts and Tianlu Troupe were set up. In October 2013, the business society of the Shenzhen TSPM was founded. On August 9, 2014, the 30th-anniversary celebrations of the Shenzhen church's reopening was conducted. On February 26, 2017, the Shenzhen Enci Relief Service Development Center was registered to implement social service.

- Translated by Karen Luo

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