Over the past couple of years, you may have read news articles about growing tensions between the government and the Chinese church. Though these issues have often been overemphasized and misrepresented by the Western media, they do signify changing relations between the church and government in China. Both the government and the church are seriously considering one another and asking what stances they should take towards each other.
Additionally, as China’s house church continues to grow, it continues to diversify. As with any advance of the gospel, Chinese Christians are wrestling with questions of Biblical interpretation, historic theology, indigenous theology, and church polity. These are just a few large categories that the Chinese house church is now working through. As you can imagine, there is a plethora of topics within each category that must be contextualized for Chinese culture.
In the light of these developments, the Chinese church from many different sectors is starting to robustly theologize. Pray this week for God to give his children in China immense wisdom as they search the scriptures and begin to systemize their theology, interpretation of scripture, and presence in the world.
How to pray:
– Pray for extremely wise church leadership. Pray for leaders with a variety of gifts – academic, pastoral, preaching, counseling, strategizing, administration, evangelism. Pray for the Chinese house church as it works incredibly hard to pour resources into the training of all of these kinds of leaders. Pray for good cooperation between leaders with different gifts towards the common goal of expanding God’s kingdom in China.
– Pray for the Chinese house church to find and maintain unity in diversity. The full spectrum of theological persuasions can now be found in China. Pray that the house church will be an example to the global church of honestly and earnestly discussing differences, but from the stance of unity. Pray for churches to support and serve each other despite differences.
– Pray for the Chinese house church, particularly the younger generation, to remember and honor its history. The life of the Chinese house church is changing with China’s shifting political realities, and this brings with it room to consider theological and structural issues, but also a potential to forget with what cost the faith has grown in China.
– Pray for the relationship between the house church and the government. Pray for efforts in the house church to develop a robust theology of its presence in the world generally, and its relationship to the state particularly. Pray for the house church to be bold in openly and publicly presenting its positions. Pray for safety and protection for its leaders.