China (MNN) ― In the last few months, reports of Chinese Christians being persecuted have increased. President Obama even talked about the need for religious freedom in China. We have reported house church pastors being arrested, churches being closed, and Christians facing abuse. These acts of oppression, however, are not keeping pastors from expanding their work.
Vice President of Operations at WorldServe Ministries Ken Leggatt says many Chinese pastors have a passion to reach their people with the Gospel. WorldServe is helping with that. "What we're doing is taking a one-way ticket into a new community to establish a church plant and to spread the Gospel in to an unchurched or unreached area within the country, going to an area in which ethnic minorities within the country have yet to hear the Gospel."
WorldServe has started an Adopt-A-Pastor program to help these believers who are going where many have never gone before. Leggatt says it's for "new pastors, new seminary student graduates, or people who have pastored an existing church but are going into a new area."
It's not an on-going hand-out, says Leggatt. "The program will support pastors for two to three years. Pastors be developing a church and growing that into a body of tithing members who ultimately will support him. At that point, the funds will be reassigned to a new person, going into a new community."
WorldServe has a goal. "We'd love to see more than 1,000 pastors supported in China. It's a huge nation with 1.4 billion people, and there's a lot of work still to do."
WorldServe's Adopt-a-Pastor program is designed to develop partnerships by recruiting North American families who will provide $80 of support each month. This will build in a prayer support team that will regularly pray for this church-planting pastor. 179 people currently are involved in the program."