China (MNN) — Across China, churches are growing. But the same can’t be said of seminaries. The number of church leaders attending seminaries has dropped in recent years.
Kurt Rovenstine with Bibles for China says economics could be a major factor. “In every conversation, we have with our folks in China, that’s part of what we talk about. Life is a lot harder in China than it has been in the past. Many people have got to stay home and take care of their families, even though the call of God is very strong.”
“The obligation to provide for your family and those kinds of things needs to be considered as well.”
China’s zero-COVID policy has kept many citizens quarantined for months or even years. Officials have shown no sign of changing the restrictions.
Travel remains incredibly difficult, Rovenstine says. “One of our primary contacts there was finally able to get out. She planned to visit four cities, meet with leaders, continue to develop relationships, and share our greetings. She was only able to visit two cities.”
Rovenstine says while long-term seminarian numbers have dwindled, many leaders continue to take shorter programs. “We would probably call them lay leaders in the United States. It’s somebody that would serve as a local church pastor. Lots of people are getting grassroots training in seminaries through one-year programs. That seems to have a little more traction.”
Celebrate the continued growth of the Church in China. Ask God to strengthen Chinese Christians as they work creatively in difficult situations.
Header photo courtesy of Bibles for China on Facebook.