TuesdayFor many Chinese churches, their outreach and caring will include smaller meeting points in the remote areas. Pastors must travel back and forth to lead services as part of their responsibility, because there is no one else to help out, and often the result is less than desired. We pray that more churches will cooperate with one another, and building up a younger generation of ministry leaders. We too ask the Lord to rise up those believers who are inactive, stir them to get involved and willing to share the Gospel with others.
Since they are only children due to the “one child” policy of the government and they have been born into an era of increasing prosperity, young people across China consistently say they tend not to share their parents’ compulsion to save for retirement and the education of their children. Many say these young people are very self-centered. We pray for believers who will be willing to befriend the youth, understanding and embracing them with a less judgmental and critical spirit. May the Lord give us more leaders who will make youth their priority.
Young Chinese in China spend nearly as much on new clothes each month as they spend on food or rent. But, since at least twenty-five percent of recent college graduates have failed to find jobs, these young people have to rely on family or savings to afford such a lifestyle while they look for a job. We pray for Christian parents whose children cannot find a job. May the Lord give them an encouraging spirit that will continue to trust in the God Who will provide for their children and remind their children to pray and stay close to God.
In China, young college graduates refuse to take jobs in the factories but still want to spend money and buy things. They say, “I want a job for which I was trained or else my education is wasted. I don’t want to work in a factory.” Often the people in the churches do not think highly of young people because they do not contribute financially to the church, immature and are generally unreliable. We pray that churches will give young people opportunities to serve and give them room to grow or even to fail. May the Lord give us a gracious spirit to mentor young believers.
In China one thing that complicates matters is the fact that many of the young people avoid lower-end service jobs as well as jobs in the factories. The rate of graduation from high school in China is rapidly approaching three–quarters of a million yearly and the number of university graduates has nearly quintupled since 2000. We pray for church leaders who will give praise, affirmation, and encouragement to young people who are believers. We must be willing to let young people serve and to train and teach them as well as to learn from them.
Cultural norms in China discourage high school and college graduates from accepting jobs in factories or even restaurants. For many young people, the most prized job is a position in a governmental or Communist Party bureaucracy, and their parents will do everything in their power to help them get such a job. Believers there have the same low view of those who serve in the churches because of the low pay and lack of benefits they receive. May the Lord have mercy on all the churches because this is the biggest reason why many are called but few are able to get past the opposition of their parents.
Twenty-five or more percent of recent college graduates are unemployed. Economists question how the Chinese economy will produce enough desirable jobs to bring down the unemployment statistics for youth, particularly among college graduates, a group that has been among the most politically volatile. We give thanks for the many college students coming to know Jesus on campus through Bible studies but many of them are lost to follow-up once they are on their own or move to another city. We pray the Lord will protect these young Christians and that their mentors will connect them quickly to new churches.