Pastor Shares Challenges After Decade’s Ministry

A man standing beside a wall with a Bible casts a shadow of himself carrying the cross.
A man standing beside a wall with a Bible casts a shadow of himself carrying the cross. (photo:
By Christine Lau April 29th, 2024

Those who follow Jesus Christ walk a narrow path, and challenges accompany them every step of the way, especially for those who serve Jesus as pastors. 

Pastor Luo has been serving in South China for over a decade. After graduating from seminary, he moved to a completely new and unfamiliar city to plant churches and mentor seminary students. Recently, in an interview with a Chinese online Christian newspaper the Christian Times, he spoke about his internal and external challenges.

He said he was under psychological pressure due to the ministry and church development. As believers are too busy to spend time on spiritual matters, he finds it exhausting to nurture them. Moreover, the church requires people to take on the tasks of its organization, administration, training disciples, and leading small groups, but there is a lack of believers willing to serve.

The church Luo serves is mainly composed of migrant workers, most of whom struggle to earn a living by spending much time at work. Some Christians work long hours, even on Sundays. Pastor Luo has observed that while some are willing to serve God, believers' pursuit of faith has diminished significantly compared to the situation before 2010. This makes ministry more challenging for him.

External challenges include economic pressure, preaching challenges, and circumstantial pressure. Full-time pastors have no other source of income because they don’t do other jobs. It is challenging to spread the gospel, as people are always on their phones and few are willing to talk. Now it is necessary to build relationships to share the gospel. While accompanying sick believers, conversations with other patients can be carried on in the wards.

However, the most stressful thing for Pastor Luo this year was that a Christian man intended to serve full-time, as the man had to support three children and pay off his mortgage. Luo said that after receiving his request, he was worried all night and couldn't sleep. The church's finances is stretched, and supporting full-time workers is challenging, he added. Most full-time workers in the church need to borrow money because the church truly has no money, he continued.

Despite the ministry pressure and financial stress, Luo remains committed to planting churches and expanding the congregation. He decides to entrust all these difficulties to God. "It's important to keep moving forward towards our goals, but we should also proceed based on reality." He believes that with one more person serving, the church's economy would improve. With the hope that more people would engage in full-time ministry, he said, "I wish there would be more people serving and planting churches in God's house."

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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