Beijing is the capital city of the People’s Republic of China. A metropolis located in northern China, the city is an exciting mix of ancient and modern. The city’s center contains many historical sights, like the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. However, you can find the Central Business District a few miles east, where Beijing feels like a more modern city with big businesses and more international influence. The city is densely populated, with more than 21 million people living in a city of 6,336 square miles. The weather in Beijing is characterized by longer summers and winters, while autumn and spring tend to be shorter. Although Beijing’s spring is comparatively short, it has many beautiful flowers and blossoming trees that can be seen in the many parks throughout the city. For the Expat, this city is convenient for those who like to keep some of their Western comforts, such as comfortable housing, western food, and a Western community with several events throughout the year where people of various countries can come together.
1. Youth/Children’s Ministry
At BBC, we believe the parents are primarily responsible for raising children and youth according to Scripture, and it’s the church leadership’s responsibility to equip the parents. During the sermon, elementary-age children and under are invited to join our kids’ program. Together, they’ll hear God-centered Bible teaching, enjoy snacks, play, sing songs, and memorize Scripture verses. Our goal is to come alongside parents in providing the children of BBC with a solid Biblical foundation while encouraging them to love God and others. Periodically we hold a Family Sunday so parents can discuss with their children what they learned in age-appropriate ways that assist in family spiritual formation in the home.
BBC also values intergenerational service in our worship. You’ll find our teens regularly helping lead worship, making coffee, collecting the offering, on rotation to assist in teaching the kids, and mixing sound. Our monthly youth events occur in different places across the city, intended to create a parent-free space to come alongside your teens and encourage spiritual discipline and genuine faith inside and outside the family.
2. Adult Ministries
At BBC, we believe authentic Christian communities are essential to a deeper understanding of Biblical truths, developing spiritual formation and disciplines, and accountability. Our geographically-based community groups meet weekly or bi-weekly in Haidian, Chaoyang, and wherever our members and regular attendees live. We also have a monthly women’s ministry at a local restaurant near our Sunday meeting, where we share struggles and victories. For the church men, we offer a once-a-month guys’ night, where we explore a pub together, laugh at shared experiences, discuss topics in apologetics and theology, hold each other accountable for our sinful tendencies, and pray for one another.
History of BBC:
In 2001, a small group of believers began meeting together as an outreach to U.S. Embassy workers, founding Beijing Baptist Church. The church moved from a member’s apartment to the local CTS Plaza Hotel in those first few months. As time passed, the congregation became more internationally and ethnically diverse. Since then, BBC has continued to grow, transform, and relocate according to the congregation’s needs. Today, we meet in Xinyuanlixi, Chaoyang, to accommodate members and attendees from eight districts.
BBC went through a transition period in the lead-up to COVID when a former pastor departed Beijing for family health reasons. A search process was launched, but with the onset of COVID, prospects for recruiting a candidate from overseas dissolved. Many of BBC’s members and attendees were also caught overseas when borders closed, and like many places in the world, meetings moved online, with some members joining from overseas. Around a dozen members remained in the country. When the COVID situation moderated in China, BBC began meeting again in the living rooms of some of its members. BBC members briefly considered the issue of the ongoing sustainability of the church. But they decided to continue meeting together as BBC based on the following: that BBC had been a blessing to so many ex-pats from all nations, scattered across Beijing, with a deep need for spiritual food, fellowship, love, and accountability; that BBC was unique in Beijing in its focus on the primacy of the word, its commitment to Biblical truths, and its desire not to seek to be all things to all people for the sake of ecumenical unity; and, that BBC’s size and welcoming nature and focus had allowed it to genuinely welcome members and provide displaced individuals with deep relationships and a spiritual home. Through God’s providence, BBC appointed two interim pastors from within its congregation to oversee the body through the worst of the COVID period.
After the pandemic and as borders reopen and travel to China becomes normalized, we are stepping up our efforts to recruit a new shepherd and overseer for BBC because of the opportunities open borders provide us and because of the likely growth in spiritual need as expats return to China in growing numbers. God has blessed BBC and allowed us to continue functioning as a church. In contrast, other churches in the city have not made it due to the government’s strict covid policy and its tightening grip on religious organizations. Although, at the beginning of summer 2023, we had seen a decrease in membership, with some families and a few members leaving due to work or wanting to return home. One of these families was the interim pastor and his family, leaving us with two deacons who, along with the members, are keeping the Church going while searching for a new shepherd. God has gotten this church through Covid, where the attendance was down to only around a dozen people meeting in someone’s house; we believe he will also carry us through this time as we are without a pastor. After all, this is God’s church, and we are only stewards of it.
BBC’s Challenges and Opportunities
The church targets ex-pats in Beijing, a large metropolitan city where thousands of ex-pats come from around the world to live, work, or study for three months to over four years. The makeup of the congregation comes from approximately a dozen countries, with just under half from the United States. Forty percent (40%) would not claim English as their first language. We have seven children and teenagers. In addition to our weekly Sunday morning service, we have one community group and several other online meetings that take place weekly. Members and regular attendees come from 7 of the city’s 16 districts.
BBC faces many challenges that Western churches do not meet, such as BBC being an illegal church, facing arbitrary restrictions/ regulations, Stricter borders post-covid, and Constant shift in Membership and Attenders.
When we say BBC is an Illegal church, this might cause reason for concern, and any applicant that decides to apply should keep in mind that China is not as open to religious freedoms as the West. Although China has its version of “religious freedom,” it is not the same as the West; to be a legal church, one must have to meet government standards and be in a Government approved location before the church can get approved for a license, these standards are constantly changing, and it’s up to the government’s discretion to grant the license or not. Most churches are illegal in China, known as underground churches or House Churches. For the most part, BBC has remained safe and “under the radar,” we take precautions to prevent getting in trouble. As the pandemic taught everyone worldwide that anyone staying in China can be subject to arbitrary restrictions and regulations enforced by local governments, being an “underground” church somehow avoids this. But it should still be noted that China does not share the same religious freedoms that others around the world share, and for anyone coming to China to do any type of ministry, they need to consider the calling prayerfully; this is defiantly a “missionary” type position and a family with kids should consider extra funding to help support them because there is a chance the salary that BBC will pay won’t be enough for a large family.
Post Covid China also has slightly stricter borders, and whereas before many missionaries and pastors could get in on a tourist visa, now that is not the case, so visas would need to be obtained through other means, such as work, studies, or Family visas if family members are Chinese citizens. Although a visa is more challenging to get than pre-covid, it is still possible to get a visa.
Besides the common challenge that many churches face, we at BBC are currently facing a leadership Challenge; a deacon and our pastor just left, and BBC is left with two deacons who started doing the Elders responsibility as well as the deacon’s work this fall we will be left with one deacon and no elders. Despite these troubles, BBC is still moving along as usual while being prayerful for a pastor.
Although BBC faces some challenges, countless opportunities are still available for kingdom growth. In 2020 62,000 expats lived in Beijing. This number will likely increase because China is opening up. There is much room for BBC to Grow, and there are many foreigners to reach in Beijing because there is still a large expat community in Beijing. Sense BBC mainly ministers to ex-pats, and sense ex-pats tend to come and go, which means there is always a constant shift in membership and attendees coming through BBC. This gives BBC a fantastic opportunity to reach people in other countries to train, disciple, evangelize and send out people from countries where the gospel is not freely preached. At least twice a year, there is always an influx of Students who will come and will join for a semester or longer which provides an excellent opportunity to reach students for the gospel, not to mention when new expats come to another country, they always want to seek community which gives BBC a perfect opportunity to provide.
4. Challenges of the Job and what to expect coming in:
We need a Pastor, but we don’t want to sugarcoat everything to attract more candidates; this job will present challenges just like any pastoral job will and possibly present other problems that none of us have experienced before. It’s worth saying that although there are ways to get a visa, it is entirely out of our control, even if we find the perfect candidate. This job shouldn’t be looked at like a stable church job in the West would be, this is more of a church plant type job, and the new pastor would have to help cast a vision and a direction for the church to go in, the leadership is also constantly changing because people are always moving which means the pastor would continuously need to be finding teaching, mentoring and guiding individuals into positions of leadership, the pastor will be stretched and its possible the pastor would come into a church with no other form of leadership. Any candidate that applies should apply in faith, have a mind for missions, and be flexible and adaptable to any circumstance or situation that arises.
Lead Pastor of Beijing Baptist Church, an international church for expats. While acting as lead pastor of Beijing Baptist Church, the main focus should be caring for and leading the membership and regular attendees of BBC. Beyond this, the pastor may also focus on outreach to expats outside of BBC, currently in Beijing. The pastor of BBC will not be involved in any direct outreach program to Chinese nationals.
As the lead pastor of Beijing Baptist Church (BBC), one will be expected to perform the following responsibilities. (It should be noted that these responsibilities may need to be more comprehensive).
● Feeding the body at BBC through the faithful teaching and preaching of the Word of God, admonishing and encouraging the body through sound doctrine, and judging doctrinal issues.
● Continually seek personal spiritual growth through prayer and ongoing Bible study.
● Pray and care for the body and provide vision, encouragement, and oversight.
● Maintain timely communication (WeChat, email, phone calls, etc.) with the congregation and individual members/regular attendees as necessary.
● Prepare a sermon each week or facilitate and administrate the equipping of men to preach on Sunday mornings.
● Work with the worship team to structure services and select scripture readings and songs.
● Work with children’s and youth ministry leaders providing broad guidance, support, and oversight.
● Regularly conduct meetings with the membership of BBC to discuss and vote on current matters in the church.
● Oversee community groups and their leaders. (The head pastor currently performs this role but may also be delegated to another BBC member.)
● Administer and delegate the ceremonies and biblical ordinances of the church.
● Mentor and disciple BBC attendees and train in certain areas as needs are identified.
● With one or more church officers, undertake preparation courses with BBC membership applicants and baptism applicants. It will be necessary for membership applicants to screen applications and conduct interviews with them to assess whether it is suitable for them to be put into the membership for consideration as potential new members.
● Provide personal pre-marital, marital, crisis, and conflict resolution counseling in a safe and un-intimidating setting, being aware of his limitations and referring to professionals when necessary.
● Work with other officers at BBC (elders, deacons, treasurer, and clerk) to soundly administer the affairs of BBC, in line with the BBC constitution.
Educational Background & Experience:
Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor of Science in Bible, if not a Masters in Theological Studies or a Masters of Divinity. Alternatively, a candidate with pastoral experience would be considered in the absence of formal training.
Please direct all responses to our Deacons and the Pastoral Search Committee at email@example.com.