Caleb Zhang: Chinese Perspectives on Presbyterian Polity

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(Guest post by Caleb Zhang, MDiv student from China who recently attended the PCA General Assembly in Greensboro, NC. Caleb has over a decade of pastoral experience in the Chinese church)

caleb

I have several thoughts to share about my experience at General Assembly.

First of all, I was very much amazed by this big gathering of ministers, which represented the unity of the body of Christ. I am still thinking about how it might work among Chinese churches in China since I have been back from GA. It seems to be impossible for Chinese churches to have a unity like this. It is very obvious in our culture that Chinese churches can not get along well with each other—including Chinese churches in America. In China, people start a church like opening a grocery store. There is no institutions for most of churches. It is important and urgent to have a Church institution to bind churches together.

Secondly, it is totally new to me to observe the voting process in the business section. There are so much for me to learn in this part. I am touched by seeing the patience and love through how people presented their study results of the role of the women in the ministry and how people proclaimed their concerns about the results. It is so easy for people to become enemies with each other in our culture if they have different ideas about an issue.

Thirdly, I love to see the rich resources in the big family of GA which can be shared with all the churches. For instance, the CDM (Committee on Discipleship Ministries) provides all kinds of training programs for local churches according to their needs. I love to see one day in China churches can share their resources with other churches. It saves lots of time and money without doing repeating jobs.

Fourthly, I have been humbled to see how God calls His people to do His ministries in so many different ways and fields after being around those booths. In China there are so many vacancy areas need to be developed through God’s people in the near future. I would love to see the variety of ministries in China as well.

Lastly, those separated seminars are good. But personally I love to have more big gatherings for discussing some specific national wide issues among the churches.

I am thankful that I caught the opportunity to visit GA before I am heading back China.

One comment

  1. Thanks for sharing your insights, Caleb! We need prayers and lots of hardwork! I believe the primary issues are the understanding of church polity, the biblical plurality of church elders and maturity in applying the doctrines of the church.

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