Thursday, April 15, 2010


When you think of church in China I'm not sure what you think of but I was laboring under some incorrect assumptions.

  • Churches are allowed to meet as long as they are approved by the government.
  • The pastor is allowed to preach what she wants to as long as she is not bashing the government.
  • Most of the pastors are female.
  • They have choirs with real choir robes. :-)
  • Before church starts, there is hymn practice. Some hymns you would recognize.
  • The ushers are usually all female too and let me tell you they don't mess around. You sit where they tell you and do what they tell you!
  • Their churches are what we would consider here, mega churches!
The first church we went to had 5 services with a membership of about 5,000 people. It was Palm Sunday so the choir walked in with palm branches (just telling you that because it was abnormally normal). There was a translator at the service we went to so I got to wear these big black earphones. You remember the ones with the padded earpieces?! Although it was hard to hear at times and sometimes the translation was a little strange, the Truth was preached that morning. This service was about an hour long. This picture is of a painting on the outside of the church and then a lady who really wanted a picture with Kristina.

The second church we went to was on the outskirts of Beijing. We went there because a friend of Kristina's knew the pastor. This church was smaller...I'm guessing maybe 800-1,000. This was Easter Sunday so the choir walked in with Calla Lilies. The first part of the service was your basic church service, singing, praying, sermon. (No translator at this service.) Then the pastor baptized (sprinkling) 37 people. Very cool and at this point we all think church is over. Little did we know that the variety show portion of church was just starting. There was singing, dancing, skits, and poetry. I so wish I could have understood what they were saying. One of the dramas, was two older ladies who were sisters who went back and forth (I think using poetry) "arguing" about who could memorize the most verses. Even in Chinese it was cute. So this portion of the service comes to an end and again we think now church is over (we are at the two hour mark). Little did we know that the choir cantata portion of the morning was just starting. Let's just say at the end of the 3 hour service, I had definitely gone to church!!

Inside of church

The three people with flowers were baptized that morning. The pastor is in the middle with the black on.


Angela said...

This is AWESOME! I'm so glad you have blogged all of this! :]

Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing the things that all of us have wondered about China but haven't been able to experience!