In the Kingdom's Service

Since the 1950s, a cornerstone of Communist control in China has been the “Neighborhood Committee.” These small offices cover several blocks of living areas and have historically been used to monitor every family and collect private information. The Neighborhood Committees are a constant source of suspicion and fear.

So you can imagine our surprise when one of our urban church planters recently shared with us that while praying, he felt God was prompting him to go meet with these local officials.

This church planter began meeting with the Neighborhood Committee and asking for projects he and his friends could help with. The first project they were assigned was to pick up garbage and properly clear sewer drains. Our church planter and his friends — members of a Bible study he had formed — did so, and continue to do so, joyfully.

When asked by the officials why they are doing these good deeds, the church planter explained they are Christians and that helping take care of their community is what God’s Word teaches them. You see, it’s not illegal to be a Christian; it’s just illegal to meet without permission. The church planter and his friends have gained the respect and trust of the local officials and have even been given more “projects” to do for the neighborhood.

As you can imagine, the Neighborhood Committees and their informants make it very difficult for unregistered churches to assemble. But because the church planter has built trust and respect with his local officials, whenever an informant tells about the Bible study group meeting together, the officials tell the informant not to worry because the group is doing good things for the community. Praise God!

Even though house churches in China are still considered illegal and the church planter knows he walks a fine line between community service and being labeled a threat, God’s Word is being spread. Your generous support provides continued encouragement that pastors and church planters know is straight from God.