Throughout China, ambitious projects with multibillion-dollar price tags are already underway. These include the world’s largest bridge and the biggest airport. We praise God for the many churches that have reopened and even more undergoing rebuilding since 1980. We pray for that churches in China will see the importance of investing in theological education, training of church workers and have an adequate compensation for pastors.
Some modern audacious engineering feats in China include the longest natural gas pipeline and a canal diverting water 1,500 miles from the south to the parched section of the north (at a price tag of $80 billion) Every couple of days, a new church is completed in China because believers are willing to give toward building projects.We pray for churches that are poor or unable to have their own facilities that the Lord will give them courage to spread the gospel and be eager in doing His work.
Building enormous infrastructure projects seems to be a Chinese tradition, from the Great Wall to the Grand Canal and the Three Gorges Dam. For centuries, China has used colossal public-works projects to showcase its engineering prowess and project its economic might. Believers tend to flock to new churches with fancy and expansive facilities too. We pray that affluent churches will always be channels of God’s blessing and never forget to help those poor rural churches around them.
Shanghai, a spectacularly rich metropolis of 25 million residents, is considered a model for a Chinese city. Undergirding the city is a patchwork of supersize infrastructure — huge airports, subway lines, sewage systems and power plants. A competition to build newer churches has become a trend in some affluent Chinese cities. We pray for spiritual building, rather than merely physical construction for many churches that have become “big church buildings but with few believers”.
Shanghai is building the world’s largest Disney Resort. The city can afford the huge price tags because it is a fast-growing financial center and a major tourist destination. Other Chinese cities try to copy Shanghai but don’t have the means to pay for such huge projects. We can say that some church leaders serve with impure motives and attitudes, thus creating confusion, and hurting their sheep in their churches. We pray for the conviction of Holy Spirit on our own motives of how we serve Him. May the Lord purify His own churches.
Tianjin, a city 70 miles southeast of Beijing, has borrowed heavily to create what some have called a replica of New York City. However, that area is a virtual ghost town with dozens of office towers and luxury developments sitting empty or half completed. In recent years, “success theology” has confused many believers. Churches are judged by whether God has blessed them by the size of their building and attendance. We pray for grace for those who serve Him faithfully and gives to the Lord sacrificially.
The city of Lanzhou is in northwest China, its local government plans to flatten the tops of 700 low-level mountains to make way for a new business district, despite concerns about the damage to the local ecosystem. Many churches have become cold and believers are materialistic, they expect preachers to do the all the ministries because they are paid. We pray for revival, a strong sense that churches are in a crisis and an urgent need to rediscover the passion for evangelism.