Interview With 'Double-Faced' Rural Pastor

A rural church
A rural church (photo:
By Li ShiguangAugust 19th, 2022

In recent years, due to historical reasons, it is common for pastors and church workers to have other jobs in many Chinese churches. These pastors and church workers would work to support their families while serving the church and the believers. We've got quite used to this kind of phenomenon. But what do the pastors who have other jobs while serving the church really think about their situation?

Recently, the Christian Times, an online Chinese Christian newspaper, interviewed Brother Z. He revealed that he would constantly feel that he was like a double-faced person because he would be a Christian while serving the church, but when he was busy with his work in his farm, he felt like that he was not like a Christian. As a pastor, he should focus on working in the church, but he often felt that it was hard for him to do this. Sometimes he had to be a farmer and earn money to support his family, but at times he would be a pastor and preach in the church and serve the believers. After switching so often between jobs, sometimes he would feel confused about who he really was.

"Since last year, I've been wondering about whether the pastors should focus most of their attention on the church or their other jobs. For the church workers in rural areas, it seems that the other jobs are the things which they're often busy with, while serving in the church seems to be just a secondary occupation," he confessed. 

Brother Z felt ashamed when he talk about this. "Sometimes I would feel guilty and sorry. The work on the farm is unavoidable, and we have to finish it. But we could not give up the service in the church too, because the church and other brothers and sisters would need it. That is quite a big problem for us," he added. 

"I think that as a Christian, no matter whether we are pastors or believers, we should play our roles well in the church, family, and society."

Brother Z thought that keeping the balance between family and church is very important for pastors.

In fact, keeping balance is a very hard thing in real life. If a person spends much time in the church or the company, he or she would have less time at home and vice versa.  Brother Z thought that a pastor should try his or her best to keep a balance, though it would be hard due to all kinds of reasons in reality.

"As the leaders in the church, we would finish the work at church when we're needed there, though we may also be needed at home. But if there is something really important at home, for example, the kids get sick or the wheat needs to be harvested, we would need to handle those things first. However, most of the time, I would finish the work in the church first and then start to handle the things at home."

These are the problems that pastors in rural areas would encounter. He urged rural pastors to think about the priorities of our work and arrange the time and order of them well so that they could complete their normal work well while serving well in the church.

- Translated by Nicolas Cao 

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