Joy in the House of the Lord

Bruce Menning

READ : Psalm 100

Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing. (v. 2)

In Europe churches are becoming museums. In America, declining membership is the common experience of many older denominations. But in Latin America, Africa, and Asia the church is growing at unprecedented rates. The geographical center of Christianity in the 21st century is clearly shifting to the global South.

So it was not surprising—but nevertheless a great joy—to personally experience the growth and vitality of the church in East Asia. After a few trips to China, I’ve come to expect that church buildings there will be filled to overflowing for multiple services every Sunday. It’s been said that in the West pastors are looking for a flock while in China flocks are looking for a pastor.

In Shenyang, our delegation was invited to attend a Wednesday morning Bible study. After meeting the pastor of the church, a young woman, we were ushered into the sanctuary. Twelve hundred believers packed the pews, Bibles opened, listening intently to the lesson of the day presented by a laywoman. Like deer longing for flowing streams, believers in China thirst for the Word of God and hunger for Christian fellowship. Do we do the same?

PRAYER

I give thanks for believers around the world who praise your name, study your Word, and enjoy fellowship with friends in Christ. Amen.