A Chinese pastor friend and I visited a church here in Harbin that has no relation to our work here this afternoon. It was a house church like ours and had about 20 people in attendance. Service began 3:30 in the afternoon with learning a new hymn. There was a period of reciting the Lord’s Prayer and 10 Commandments followed by several translated hymns one I remeber being Holy Holy Holy as well as some Chinese hymns I recognized from own song books. The oratory and singing was led by the pastors wife while the pastor accompanied on the piano. At first I thought the pastor’s wife was the pastor as many of China’s house churches are led by women, but this church had about an equal amount of bot men and women.
After a half hour of singing the sermon lasted for an hour and a half. I do not know if the church had any denomination but as far as I could tell the preaching was sound, though it was purely topical. After the message the pastor encourage people to read at least 10 chapters of the Bible everyday and later give a testimony of their reading. Afterwards we learn the pastor just returned from Seminary which is in Beijing, about a 1000 miles from us.
I hope we have another chance to ask him more about his seminary whether it is part of a house church or if it is one of the government sanctioned ones (and I highly doubt it based on the soundness of his preaching). The visit helped us see where our strengths and our weaknesses are as a church.