Churches Cannot 'Lie Down' in the Environment of Running in Place, Says Pastor

A church on the grass
A church on the grass (photo:
By Li ShiguangNovember 25th, 2022

Pastor D from East China states that the church should not lie down in an atmosphere of running in place. It should instead strive for development and discipline.

Starting in 2021, the term "running in place" (or involution) became a buzzword. In the post-COVID-19 era, "lying down" has been accepted by many people, including many churches, as their response to a changing environment. They find it hard to survive, not to mention the additional burden of development and growth.

In the past, many churches sought to grow in size. But in recent years, especially since the COVID-19 outbreak, many have found that no longer viable. They have consequently shifted to talking about “internal construction”. But Pastor D believes that internal construction is insufficient - there still needs to be development, growth and expansion. The churches should not only shepherd their believers, but also train them to become disciples who are undertaking a great mission.

Pastor D believes we should not adopt a passive and negative attitude despite a negative environment. Instead, we should adopt a positive attitude when adjusting and responding.

The church must be strategic, he continued, and must not become a headless chicken.

The first point, Pastor D concluded, is to have a good shepherding group. The second is preaching and development, and the third is discipleship training. He stressed that discipleship training can be one-on-one and one-to-many for different audiences. One-on-one training is for members or believers, while one-to-many leadership training is for fellow workers.

Pastor D believes that difficult situations are not only negative – they can be turned around by promoting further growth of the church in difficult situations. He stressed that the church must not lie down, as you cannot shepherd well if you strictly focus on shepherding. The church should have an expanded vision to welcome new believers while improving its training program so that the church can grow.

"We should adopt an active posture and be proactive, rather than retreating, defending, or lying down. The Bible says: ‘Where there is no vision, the people are uncontrolled', and so is the church. The church should be thinking about how it can grow even under difficult circumstances," he concluded. 

- Translated by Oliver Zuo

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