In the urban churches in China there are believers of all backgrounds but they are clearly younger and more educated now than they were formerly. Each church has these groups: college students/young intellectuals or professionals, middle age or older believers, retirees, and migrant workers. We pray that leaders in the urban churches will have a vision and good strategies to minister to the special needs of each of the diverse groups and care for them as good shepherds.
College students and young intellectuals in China are more open today to make contact with churches and even attend services than before. Often this openness comes when they are searching for the answer to difficulties they face. Churches in China need a new generation of pastors who understand and minister to college students. In the meantime, we pray these young seekers will have patience, humility, and the willingness to serve in their churches.
In China, people in urban churches are younger and more highly educated than before because of the large number of college students and professionals. The overall quality in the churches has improved also as these young people grow spiritually and become willing to even serve as pastors of churches. We praise the Lord for these new pastors who are able to minister to a vastly more educated believer now. We pray that the Lord will guard their hearts to serve and that they will do so by faith and prayer, not just by their gifts and strength
In China, some of the intellectuals in the churches are professional people who have good-paying jobs and a respectable status in the community. However, they are generally busy and not likely to become involved in the church. At the present time this group is mainly made up of people who were educated abroad. These believers who were exposed to churches overseas often have difficulty with the lack of transparency and the highly authoritative administrative style of the churches in China. We pray for them as they adjust, that they will be humble, not deliberately judging but being willing to serve God there.
A small number of believers in the urban churches in China are those who have returned from study abroad. Since the economic reform and opening of China thirty years ago, about 160,000 students have returned to China after they finished their studies abroad. Many of these people have become Christians while they were in foreign countries. These people do have a certain influence in the churches in China because of their ability to contribute financially, but they do have issues when it comes to mixing well with the believers already there. Let us pray for them specifically that the Lord will connect them with mature believers who can spur them to grow spiritually and be willing to submit to the leadership of their church.
In the urban churches in China, there is a large group of middle-aged and older believers who are mostly retirees. Many grew up in Christian homes and have been believers all of their lives. Many are very pious and firm in their faith. We pray that these Christians will be greatly used by God as they serve Him with their time and spiritual knowledge in their churches. May the Lord use them, especially in caring for fellow believers and helping their pastors in visitation.
Some of the believers in urban churches in China are relatively new Christians. They have come to know the Lord through relatives or friends who have shared the gospel with them and some were baptized while they visited their children abroad. We pray that these new believers will continue to mature in the Word of God and stay fervently following the Lord as well as beginning to fervently serve in their churches and begin to lead others to Jesus Christ with their powerful testimonies of transformed lives.
中國改革開放以來，約有 16 萬人回國，是所謂的海歸。這批人中有不少在國外時成爲基督徒。 這部分人在國內城市教會的整體人數還不多，但具有一定的影響力，在經濟方面的奉獻也比較多。海歸信徒通常不易全面融入教會，我們求主預備成熟的信徒，成為他們的良師好友，激勵靈命繼續成長，也能願意委身中國式的教會領導。