Church growth in China too fast to keep up with
Chinese church leader says there is only one Pastor for every 40,000 Christians
10/28/09 China (CEN) — One of the greatest challenges facing churches in China is training enough pastors to keep up with the booming Christian population, said the president of a Christian organization in China.
The Rev. Gao Feng, president of the government-approved China Christian Council, told the head of the World Council of Churches, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, that in his home province there is only one trained pastor for 40,000 Christians.
“One of the challenges is that we need to train more pastors,” stated Gao, who at 47 years old is the youngest president in CCC’s history, last Friday.
Because of the shortage of trained pastors, Gao explained, churches in China have relied on lay leaders. There are nearly 150,000 lay leaders – who, for the most part, do not have formal theological training – working as pastors in local churches.
The China Christian Council, which Gao has led since 2008, serves as the Chinese government’s umbrella organization for Protestant churches. To be legal in China, churches need to register and operate under the CCC.
But millions of Chinese Christians have refused to work with the CCC because of its affiliation with the government.