TuesdayA career in the People's Liberation Army is becoming less attractive for talented young Chinese, even as the country's military is increasingly in need of educated soldiers, sailors and airmen to operate its rapidly growing arsenal of advanced weapons. We praise the Lord for the churches in China, especially those in the cities where there are many well-educated believers and pray for pastors who are equally well-educated to be able to minister to the young and more intellectual members.
The one-child policy in China which is now well into its third decade has led to a generation of only children in the cities who have an option of a variety of careers and that makes a career in the military less attractive. Becoming a pastor used to be an option for young believers in the villages but now they simply go to work in the cities where wages are good. Let us pray about the ever-worsening shortage of workers in the rural churches of China. Many churches have been without shepherds for years.
After decades of peace, young Chinese are not keen on joining the military. Retired soldiers no longer receive the favorable treatment from government-owned enterprises they once did, so the incentives to join the military are fewer now. Pastors' salaries have historically been poor and have not been adjusted for inflation. Some churches still insist their shepherd should be poor in order to live by faith. We pray again for churches to correct this wrong idea and treat their pastors with respect.
China plans to increase military spending by 10 percent to about $145 billion USD this year. But, as China becomes prosperous, young people are not as interested in joining the military. It is a fact that churches in China will spend much on buildings but very little for the compensation of their pastors. We pray the Lord will revive His churches so they will first take good care of their shepherds and honor God's servants with adequate salaries.
In the Eastern Chinese province of Shandong, a heavily populated region that has traditionally supplied a disproportionate share of the military forces of China, the number of recruits has steadily dropped in the past six years. Burnout is a huge problem for pastors in China. They are spiritually, physically, and emotionally spent. We pray for renewal of all of the pastors there so they can serve with direction, preach with inspiration, and regain the passion they once had.
In the past, parents in Shandong used to vie to get their children enlisted in the Chinese army, and some even tried to bribe the recruitment officials, but now the opposite is true. The shortage of pastors in China is a longstanding problem with little evidence of improvement. We pray for those who will answer God's call to ministry to know that serving the Lord is not only a great blessing but is glorious and pleasing to God.
Many of the young people attracted to a career in the army in China do not have the skills needed to advance the army. Pastors in China are expected to perform many duties, big or small, much like a caretaker. They pour out so much but receive so little replenishment. We pray that pastors will receive renewal from above and appreciation from their church members.