You Raise Me Up: Developing a Theology and Practice of Self-Care for Clergy in Chinese Context
Pastoral self-care has been rarely studied and practiced in Chinese Church where overwhelming evangelical revival and church growth have caught all attention in the past decades after. This research utilizes an interview of twenty Chinese pastors to explore the reality and the resources in order to develop appropriate praxis of self-care for contemporary Chinese clergy. The findings of the interview revealed that pastoral burnout is less serious than expected and the resources in the context are efficient in facilitating pastoral called life. While pastoral self-care in the western churches is most often emphasized and experienced in physical and devotional nourishments, I argue that construction of relationship of shalom with God, others and nature is primary for pastoral self-care in Chinese context where Guanxi plays the dominant role in mundane life. I also argue that integration of the theology and the resources rooted in Christian and Chinese traditions are crucial for Chinese pastors’ awareness and effort to seek God’s care in their life and ministry. The metaphor of Chinese bamboo umbrella is used to illustrate visually the strategy toward the issue that embodies the wholistic, shalom centered, God empowered self-shepherding in the context.
PHD in Theology
Clergy, China, Job stress, Burn out, Stress
Missions and World Christianity
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