China (MNN) – China has enjoyed an increase in both religious and economic freedom over the past few decades. People are becoming wealthier and have more opportunity to attend church.
“This openness that China has experienced over the last 25 to 30 years is now spilling over into spiritual needs,” Erik Burklin, President of China Partner, says.
“Many of the people in China are hungry to know the spiritual truth. They’re trying to figure out, ‘What’s going on? If there is a God, can I have a relationship with this God?’
“But now, the issue is, how do we develop these churches to become healthy, as people come to faith in Jesus? How can we disciple them? How can we teach them from the Word so they can live as Christians as Jesus wants us to live according to His Word?”
This is where organizations like China Partner come in. China Partner works to establish long-term spiritual growth in China by training and providing resources for future and current pastors.
“We all know that if we don’t pour into the next generation, the younger generation, the ones that are coming up and are emerging into leadership; if we don’t pour into that generation, the future of the church is going to die.”
China Partner was recently invited to seminaries in the provinces of Hubei and Fujian, considered to be part of the “Bible Belt” of China. While there, they helped out with youth ministry and modern church music training, as well as lay leadership training in some of the towns.
“It was phenomenal just to be a part of that,” Burklin says. “Whenever we go, we are overrun and so encouraged to see people who love Jesus, who love God, who love the Bible, but have never had formal theological or Bible school training. When they come to these training sessions we help them with, they are so hungry to learn.”
Can you come alongside this organization in prayer? Burklin asks that you pray for a continued spiritual awakening, especially among the young people.
“I think God will use the Chinese young people to bring about a new awakening amongst that nation and their neighboring countries. I think young people in general are also unassuming, they’re somewhat naïve. I think that’s one of the joys with working with young people.
“I think they don’t really have that fear factor that some of the older Christians have…I think that’s another reason why we at China Partner believe so much in pouring into the next generation, pouring into emerging leadership, because we know they will do great things for God.”