China Christian Council Study of Sichuan Churches’ Social Work Ministry

2011, December 11th to 17th, three co-workers from the Chinese Christian Council's Social Services Department, accompanied by Professor Chen Li of Shanghai Normal University and Professor Liu Bin-Zhi of Chongqing Normal University, traveled as one delegation to Sichuan Province, visiting the three cities of Chengdu, Luzhou, and Dazhou, and researching the social work ministries of three churches in the province.

 

The purpose of the delegation’s visit was firstly to discover the churches’ current knowledge and situation regarding social services; secondly to discover what difficulties grassroots churches face when carrying out social services work; and thirdly to seek the comments and suggestions of the Sichuan churches in regards to training that would develop their social service capabilities.

 

After discussions between the research delegation and officials of the Sichuan Christian Council, and after developing a thorough understanding of the churches of Chengdu, Luzhou, and Dazhou, the research delegation studied the grassroots churches of Sichuan Province that they visited. By focusing on their visits, discussions, and newfound understanding, they sought to investigate the purposes listed above.

 

Discussion session between the research delegation and officials of the Sichuan Christian Council

 

Experts from the research delegation chat with Sichuan Province Seminary students

 

There are more than 460,000 congregation members in the Sichuan churches, but only 168 clergy members and 41 pastors who preach in a church with less than 180 seats.

 

In recent years, the Sichuan churches have worked tirelessly in carrying out social work, especially after the Wenchuan earthquake, and has become more actively involved in disaster relief work, caring for victims, and vigorously expanding medical care and material aid, amongst other projects. The implementation of these initiatives has considerably improved contact and relations between the church and outsiders, and is a great testimony of their faith.

 

Members of the research delegation in discussion with pastoral staff of the Chengdu City branch of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement.

 

The billboard of social work ministry by Chengdu Church

 

The research delegation visit Luzhou Church

 

The Gospel Hospital of Luzhou

 

Luzhou Church Kindergarten

 

The research delegation meets with the Dazhou Church

 

Dazhou City Church’s Community Clinic

 

Dazhou City Church Care Center

 

Through this visit’s efforts, the research delegation gained an even greater grasp and understanding of grassroots churches’ current social services ministry situation and the social work capabilities of grassroots-level pastoral staff, and listened extensively to the comments and suggestions of the pastoral staff regarding training to develop their social service capabilities.

 

The delegation’s efforts will help to promote the church’s extensive development of social service capability training, especially in developing the Sichuan churches’ capabilities but also on a national scale, to an even greater level.

 

 

 


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