Monday, January 16, 2017

Prayer Request 1/17 - 1/23

Educators in China are working to reinforce traditional gender roles and values in the classroom. They worry that a shortage of male teachers has produced a generation of timid, self-centered and effeminate boys.​ ​Historically, women believers have outnumbered males three to one in the churches of China. We pray churches will redouble their efforts to engage in evangelism with men. We pray, too, that ministry leaders will intentionally reach out and disciple young men for Jesus Christ.
While in China boys outnumber girls as a result of the longstanding one-child policy and a cultural preference for sons, they consistently lag in academic performance. Boys consistently trail girls on college entrance exams, and disparities in academic achievement emerge as early as third grade. Many boys drop out of churches because they feel church is boring, they have no friends there, or they are scolded by their teacher for being noisy and mischievous. We pray the Lord will give wisdom and patience in reaching not just the good children but all of them and help them to know Jesus at a young age.
China is aggressively recruiting male teachers as the news media warns of a need to "salvage masculinity in schools". In Fuzhou, colleges and universities are relaxing rules for admission and offering full scholarships and teaching jobs to young men. Teaching a Sunday school class in China is predominantly a task that is given to the ladies of the church.​ We pray God will raise up godly men who see how important it is for the boys in the church to have a good role model of loving God and serving sacrificially.
Some parents in China worry about the prospects their sons have in an uncertain economy so they put their hopes in male role models who they think teach lessons on assertiveness, courage and sacrifice.​ Many Christian parents feel they have less spiritual influence on their sons than on their daughters. May each of us pray consistently for our children to walk closely with the Lord and refuse to give up praying even if they reject our reminders and warnings.
While men are scarce among the ranks of public school teachers worldwide, the gender imbalance is especially pronounced in China, where women occupy four out of five teaching positions in urban areas. We praise the Lord that many churches have started Sunday school for children now but there is a need for more training since the turnover of teachers is serious. We pray for ministry that will be suitable for teenagers and preteens, as well.
In China there are about 270 million students in kindergarten through 12th grade with about 15 million teachers, many of them male, but in the churches, there are very few pastors who will consider having a man serving in children's ministry or teaching the young ones. ​We pray that this erroneous and harmful attitude will change since we know that Jesus rebuked His disciples because they wanted to prevent the little ones from coming to Him.​
​A major obstacle to recruiting male teachers in China as in other parts of the world is the modest wages they receive. While the law in China dictates that pay for teachers should be in step with that of public servants, traditionally Chinese men would rather be a public servant than a teacher.​ The prevailing attitude in the church there is that men are expected to teach adults and women are to teach the children. We praise God for all who faithfully serve as teachers whether men or women. May the Lord grant them wisdom and insight and make their teaching practical and impacting.

中國的教育學者們正努力提昇教室内以男性為主的傳統教師形象與尊崇價值。他們擔心目前課堂裡普遍缺乏男教師的現象,會造成下一代男孩傾向怯懦、自我中心及“缺乏男子氣概“ 。中國教會一向是姐妹人數遠超弟兄,幾乎是三對一的比例。求主感動教會更加關注弟兄的福音工作,教會的領袖和同工也更關心和刻意栽培年輕的弟兄。
因著計劃生育政策以及傳統重男輕女的觀念,造成中國陽盛陰衰的性別失衡現象。男生的學業表現往往相對落後,男女生從小學三年級開始,就出現學習成績的差異。 在高考中,男孩的成績也落後於女孩。許多男孩長大一點就不去教會,因為覺得教會無聊,沒有朋友或是不想接受主日學老師訓示。求神賜給我們智慧及耐心設計出適合不同性別、性向的教學内容,不是單單要求有乖孩子,而是帶領每一個孩童來到主面前,從小就認識主耶穌,以致一生蒙福,不會偏行己路。
阻撓更多男性願意進入教育行業的是中國教師菲薄的薪資(和世界各地的情形相同)。中國法律雖然規定,教師薪資不得低於其他公務員的薪資。不過大多數男仕寧入公門當公務員,也不選擇當老師。 中國教會的傳統和慣例,就是姐妹負責 『帶孩子』教孩童,弟兄帶成人查經。我們為所有忠心負責教導的男性、女性信徒們感恩,願神賜他們智慧及教導恩賜,能幫助一心尋求主的人,更深認識神並活出神的話語,一生蒙福。

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