Interview: Chinese Churches Need to Transform From Being 'Pastoral' to Being 'Apostolic'

A male church staff held a cross in the159th anniversary commemoration service of Guangzhou Shifu Church in Guangdong on September 19, 2021.
A male church staff held a cross in the159th anniversary commemoration service of Guangzhou Shifu Church in Guangdong on September 19, 2021. (photo:  Guangzhou CC&TSPM)
By Li ShiguangMarch 31st, 2022

Pastor D of eastern China said that the Chinese churches that tended to be more pastoral should grow to be "apostolic" with the changes of the times. 

"In fact, the Chinese churches have had a large number of believers, but to be objective, there are too few who can be like the 300 strong warriors in Gideon." Pastor D who pastors a house church said, "Instead of the number of believers, Chinese churches need to improve the quality of believers."

The so-called apostolic church would center around the pastoral ministry, but more should be done, as the pastor explained. Instead, the church must equip believers to be disciples under the guidance of visions, awaken their identities, and send them to be the servants of the church and society.

As the apostle Paul mentioned, there are five roles in the church - apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. Only when these roles match each other could the whole body of Christ be fulfilled. In the church, everyone could be sent only when they find their own role called by God.

The pastor explained, "Not everyone is an apostle or a prophet. But every believer is born apostolic and prophetic. The believers have great potential, and they are apostolic and prophetic people of God."

"Believers can pray for others by laying their hands on them. They don't need pastors to do these things. Every believer needs to grow up and be empowered. That's why it is important for everyone to be equipped: to be given the power of God. Then there is empowerment: let believers awaken their spiritual authority in their identity. This ability and authority is not given by the pastor but is naturally drawn on the ability and authority of God's children when a believer realizes his identity. Therefore, when a believer is empowered, they can be sent," she added.

"Everyone is built, everyone is a disciple, and everyone is sent by the Lord."

"This doesn't mean that everyone comes to the church to serve full-time as a job. The church is a place where believers are equipped. When a believer is equipped in the church, they need to be sent into their own field to serve."

"Many churches and believers attach great importance to fulfilling the Great Commission entrusted by the Lord Jesus and spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth. But today in the 21st century, when the gospel has been spread for about 2,000 years, maybe not everyone is called to go to the faraway 'unreached' land."

Pastor D reminded, "The unreached lands and the unreached people are actually in every field you are, including the company where you work, or even a person right next to you."

- Translated by Oliver Zuo

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