Chinese Churches Should Focus on Ministry, Outreach Now, Says Pastor

A picture of a bifurcated road
A picture of a bifurcated road (photo:
By Li ShiguangJanuary 30th, 2023

Many churches in China are conservative and reserved because of their history, certain traditions, and the way they are set up. In view of this situation, Brother Wang Ning, a pastor in East China, urges that the church in China should abandon one-way thinking. They should adopt a two-way strategy and pay attention to internal ministry and outreach.

Wang Ning says that as far as he is concerned, the mentality of many pastors is still one-way and conservative, and there are some inadequacies in their ideas. Especially in today's environment, it can be said that it is the most important work to do a good job in pastoral ministry, but at the same time, it is inadequate to just do well in ministry.

Wang believes that every church should face the problems of internal ministry and outreach at the same time. Due to the way things are now, many churches' internal pastoral care has changed from being centralized to being done in small groups, or "cells." Although such a transformation may not always be positive, in any case, pastoral care is at least doable and can be done behind closed doors.

Therefore, the real difficulty often lies in outreach. Many churches face significant challenges during outreach: how to participate in the cultural mission and social care, how to be salt in society, how to influence neighbors and communities, and how to allow more people to see the good testimony of Christians and then accept the gospel. Historically speaking, many churches have many shortcomings in outreach.

It is necessary to attend to both the internal ministry of the church as well as its outreach activities. One of these is the passive strategy of pastoring people together within the church. However, each church is a part of the universal church and carries the weight of the important mission of evangelism, which must come from the church. Therefore, outreach is a strategy that requires both activity and aggression.

He explains, "What is the active strategy of a church? Especially in the time after the pandemic, the church is affected by many things inside and outside of it. What should the church do at this time? Do you just close the door and hide? Hiding in the group, hiding in the family, hiding in many places, and disappearing in society and community. If this is the case for a long time, then the influence and great mission of the church will gradually decline.”

Brother Wang himself has been involved in church ministry for many years. At the beginning of the ministry, the church was relatively small, and there were not so many things to do. However, with the development of the church and the expansion of his own vision, he found that he had more and more things to do and gradually began to be very busy. Although there was also the help of other colleagues, Wang himself was still in a busy state of "high load" for a long time. Because he was in a busy state for a long time, there was almost no time to rest, which made him very tired. Therefore, he looked forward to having colleagues help him so that he could concentrate on one thing instead of doing everything.

Wang said, "It would be great if a church could be led by two pastors." One pastor is in charge of the internal ministry, doing systematic internalization and in-depth herding, while the other pastor is in charge of outreach, doing a good job of expanding the mission of the kingdom of God. The two pastors usually work with each other and then coordinate with each other when needed. "This kind of division of labor and partnership is really beautiful.”

(The names of the characters in the text are all pseudonyms.)

-Translated by Charlie Li

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