The men's soccer team in China ranks dismally at only number 73 in the world. However, the president has vowed to turn the country into a "soccer superpower" that will host, qualify for, and by 2050 win the World Cup. Many believers sincerely believe that China will become the largest Christian country in the world. We pray for revival fire, that all believers will forsake their lust for material goods, and the churches will again fearlessly focus on evangelism.
Even though China is not in the World Cup at all, Chinese companies are heavily involved as sponsors, promoting their dairy products, electric scooters and movie theaters, unrelated to soccer itself. Churches in China are facing pressure and close scrutiny from officials. Let us beseech God on their behalf, as they conduct their ministries and especially summer outreach programs for the young people this summer.
Advertising in the World Cup will definitely give Chinese companies a way to promote their brands globally and to show their patriotism but it is hard to say whether these companies will becomes household names outside China. There are many well-known urban churches in China that have multiple worship locations and dynamic pastors. They often serve as the inspiration and model for church growth. We pray for these churches to remain fervent in their outreach and building of fellowship groups in their communities.
Many house churches are undergoing a transformation, especially those in bigger cities. Churches that have successfully transformed are able to attract young believers, appeal to the well-educated middle class and grow. Although the number of Christians in China has increased in the past 30 years, spiritual maturation is still lacking in general. We pray that churches will not only teach Bible knowledge but also help believers to live a victorious life in this crooked age.
The Communist Party of China actively recruits college students. Many students also eagerly join because they believe Party membership provides the elite status among their peers and benefits in advancement in whatever careers they pursue later. We pray for young people from Christian homes who are struggling with the decision of whether to join the Party or not. May the Lord reveal His will in their lives and may they know He has a great plan for them without compromising their faith.
Young converts who return to China from abroad have a limited experience in churches in the West since they live on campus. For them, to worship in China is a huge adjustment because they do not even know the difference between the registered and house churches.Churches in China do not usually embrace those converted abroad, suspecting whether their faith was genuine. We pray that churches in China will reach out to the new believers and commit to disciple them, rather than looking down on them.
Many young people have accepted Jesus while they studied abroad but since they were busy studying and received little discipleship, their faith is shallow. After they return to China, their walk with Jesus quickly becomes distant and they stop attending church. Churches in China hesitate to follow up on those who were converted abroad, considering them to be without spiritual foundation and immature. We pray that these churches will have the vision and burden to help these young believers grow spiritually.