Story: From Successful Businessman to Full-Time Preacher

A Bible with a cross on a piano
A Bible with a cross on a piano
By Li ShiguangAugust 11th, 2023

A pastor's family had several preachers, but only one was ordained. When it came time for him to decide between continuing in business or changing his profession to become a preacher, his family unanimously voted in favor of him becoming a preacher.

Pastor Chen Hongyuan (pseudonym), in his 50s, has served the Lord for nearly 30 years and is the fourth generation of Christian in his family.

According to Pastor Chen, his paternal great-grandmother became a believer over 100 years ago. The family's faith was passed down through generations, from his great-grandmother to his grandparents, parents, himself, and his siblings.

He never met his paternal great-grandmother. His grandfather was an elderly preacher, and his home was a place where the church congregation would often gather, with many unfamiliar people staying there. His grandfather passed away when he was about 15 or 16 years old. His uncle was also a preacher, and his paternal grandfather and grandmother were both Christians.

"Although I grew up in a Christian family from a young age, all the teachings at home were very traditional, focusing on outward aspects like personal behavior and speech. Many of the rational discourses and legalistic content from the elders were not actually liked by the children."

He did not initially aspire to be a pastor. He chose to venture into business, and in the late 80s and early 90s, he had a successful clothing business away from his hometown.

One summer, he returned to his hometown to see his family. Also, because he was exhausted from long years in business, he wanted to take some time off at home, which coincided with the off-season of the clothing industry. 

After returning home, the church held a training program for preachers, and most of the participants were not preachers. Young Chen joined the training program and graduated two to three months later.

Afterwards, he was faced with the challenge of choosing between his business and becoming a full-time minister. Some people can be preachers and continue to do business at the same time. Though his business was flourishing, it kept him far from home. If he were to accept the church's appointment to become a Pastor, it would require completely giving up his own career. 

Chen mentioned that during that time, although his faith was not very strong, he felt that being a pastor was a very sacred calling. He sought God's guidance but did not seem to receive a clear response. So he gathered his family and sought their opinions.

"Originally, I thought they would strongly oppose it, and we might even argue intensely. But surprisingly, they all agreed that I should become a pastor. The only hesitation was within myself," Pastor Chen recalled.

Many years later, Pastor Chen is very grateful. "Since that's the case, I decided to obey and completely give up my career. After that, I became a full-time preacher, and I have been serving God and His church ever since. I was in my twenties back then, and now I'm in my fifties. More than half of my time has been devoted to serving God and His church."

- Translated by Nonye Nancy

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