TuesdayBefore 1949 there were many denominations in the church in China but after the Communist rule began, they all disappeared. Recently many house churches have been seriously debating whether they should again become part of a denomination. We praise God for the phenomenal growth of house churches in China, especially those in the cities. May the Lord bless them as they search together for the future direction of their churches--if they should become a registered church, buy their own property, or join a denomination.
House churches are supposed to be without denominational affiliations but they tend not to associate with one another. In fact there is much distrust and bickering among the leaders of these churches with each leader considering himself or herself unique theologically. It is a challenge to preserve genuine unity among the people in house churches. We pray for openness in dialogue and an exchange of ideas and sharing of resources among these churches. May the Lord grant all leaders His humility and help them to live a true example of servant leadership.
The majority of the house churches in China function independently and fail to associate with others in any ministry efforts. Some of them are part of a "team" but even the leaders of the team cannot articulate their theology, their pastoral approaches or their methods of governing. Unfortunately many leaders of house churches see their own style and method of management as the only and correct way to lead a church which creates problems of accountability and even abuse. We pray for those who are hurt under such leadership. May the Lord comfort them and help them to still grow spiritually.
China is the biggest source of outbound tourists globally and many countries are changing their rules for visas as record spending by these Chinese tourists sets off a race around the world for a share of their dollars. As more and more Chinese people visit our countries, we pray that many will take the opportunity to visit local churches and find out more about the Christian faith.
The disposable income in China has been rising steadily recently and would-be travelers got an additional boost during the past year from more a more favorable exchange rate in many countries. Both the United States and China now offer a ten-year visa. Pray that local Christian believers in the countries Chinese tourists visit will be welcoming and helpful towards them. Pray that there will be openings to sensitively share their faith.
The number of visitors from mainland China to Hong Kong during the Chinese Lunar New Year fell for the first time in many years due to a growing resentment of Chinese tourists there. Let us pray about the difficult relationship between tourists from mainland China and the local people in Hong Kong that those who are seeking to bring peace into the situation will have wisdom. Pray over the difficult relationship between mainland Chinese tourists and the local Hong Kong people. Pray for wisdom for all those seeking to bring peace into the situation.
Previous complaints from people in Hong Kong about mainlanders have covered issues such as their buying property there, their exporting milk powder, and mothers giving birth there so their babies can qualify for residency. We pray that the churches in Hong Kong will not allow this kind of contentious feeling to affect their support of churches inside China. In the past many have seen helping churches in China as an obligation but that feeling is waning visibly recently.