As the churches in Northeast China is growing rapidly, the demand for pastoral work rises, according to a report of a U.S.-based Christian organization serving Chinese churches.
The latest issue of "Pray for China" magazine of the Christian Communication Inc. of USA (CCIUSA) features the situation of churches in Northeast China. The report says that the total number of believers now reaches 1.5 million, accounting for around 1.5 percent of the 94-million strong total population.
While the number of believers is still growing rapidly, some false teachings are spreading among churches. Some churches have specifically organized a systematic discipleship training to protect the believers from falling into the trap. The leader of discipleship training must be first trained for one or two years before he raises other leaders.
According to the report, there are only three training institution in Northeast to serve 1.5 million Christians, therefore there is a desperate need to provide theological education and discipleship training so that the Chinese people can build up their own churches, the report says.
The report gave a brief analysis on the social and economical situation. After China’s open reform policy, many big government-owned enterprises have to be closed down. Many people in Northeast China face unemployment. In face of poverty, they have a strong thirst for the word of God. They are also more ready to accept the Gospel as they are not likely to be tempted by materials like those living in coastal cities in the east. Great opportunity for evangelism is therefore opened up in Northeast.
Yet, the greatest challenge faced by the missionaries, according to the report, is the traditional culture that has been deeply rooted among the ethnic minorities in the remote region. Except the Chosun tribe, almost all the others have never heard of the gospel.
CCIUSA urges Christians to pray for churches in Northeast China, especially for the protection of churches and believers from false teaching; the theological education and discipleship training for local churches so that native Chinese leaders can be set up; and the opportunity to spread the Gospel to the ethnic minorities.
CCIUSA is also praying for the Sunday School ministry that the teachers can prepare suitable materials for the children.