Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Prayer Request 3/17 - 3/23

Many in China were very savvy consumers. The viral epidemic had turned them into online buyers, even to buying groceries from the neighborhood markets. Online purchases transcend any restriction of movement. We pray that churches will begin to brainstorm how to provide spiritual feeding and equipping online, in addition to the Sunday preaching.
The viral epidemic caused all the churches to be not able to have normal worship and pastors unable to meet the members. Many churches did the only option possible by conducting services online or using social media. We pray that churches in China will put effort into sharing, communicating with the media. Most importantly, producing quality and solid spiritual content that will nourish their members and benefit other churches too.
During the lock-down in China, believers could only contact each other via social media. But, only a few churches could provide teaching online or have the ability or experience of sharing their teaching online. We pray that more pastors will be able to use the internet and social media effectively in their ministry,and there will be a revival among believers because of these useful tools.
Preaching must be practical and spiritually relevant because many preachers in China give the impression of speaking from an ivory tower. Followers will naturally look for online content if they feel unfed spiritually, especially young believers. We pray that leaders and believers will see how to use all kinds of media, text, voice, and video to get the word of God to believers.
During the viral epidemic in China, the only businesses operating profitably have been those able to get orders online and deliver to customers. May the gracious God give church leaders who possess vision and ability to teach, and believers who are mature and willing to serve. Just as Paul said, “ And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Tim 2:2 NIV)
Of course, churches are not take-out restaurants or businesses, but we must be innovative (not imitating) in how to lead people to Jesus.We pray for His wisdom for churches in preaching the gospel, leading people to Christ and building up His Body. We must reach out to more people, lest we are marginalized and our light ceases to shine.
In the past, inviting friends and relatives to church meetings has been the way of evangelism in China. But, the new religious policies and the viral epidemic have shut this door. In China, the only viable and effective way of ministry now is to care in a small group and conduct one-to-one discipleship. We pray that many believers will emerge well-equipped and deeply love the Lord.

這次新冠肺炎疫情令教會無法正常聚會,許多牧者甚至不能與信徒相見;也有教會使用社交媒體或進行線上聚會。顯然,網絡聚會成為當下基督徒唯一可行的「聚集」方式。求主幫助教會在資訊、溝通和媒體上下功夫,最重要是內容要紮實;有屬靈份量的內容不但能造就自己教會的信徒,更因資源共享而能幫助各地的肢體在主裡一起同心互勉, 一起成長。
中國信徒因疫情被迫隔離留在家中,只能使用互聯網與外界聯繫,可惜並沒有多少教會能有能力和經驗即時提供網絡上的屬靈資源。在這次疫災中,也試驗出好些信徒的實際靈命狀況:平日少有靈修和禱告,也沒有獨立追求成長的習慣。求主興起中國教會在運用互聯網等社交媒體, 幫助信徒靈命增長,例如網上牧養、講道、相交,甚至佈道。又提醒信徒切實將神的話行出來,「好比一個聰明人,把房子蓋在磐石上,雨淋、水沖、風吹,撞著那房子,房子總不倒塌,因為根基立在磐石上。」(太7:24-25)
經歷這次疫情,很多企業才發現「線上獲客」能力的本質。由於客人不能進門,而那些仍能持續營業的,正是那些能接受網上訂單,也能做到把貨物送到客戶門前的公司。求主施恩給眾教會,為神家預備更多有遠見的領袖,積極栽培那些善於教導人的主僕 ,又興起靈命成熟,甘心擺上的信徒承擔職事。「你在許多見證人面前聽見我所教訓的,也要交託那忠心能教導別人的人。」(提後2:2)