Dong Churches Dying from Lack of Growth

We praise the Lord for the growth he is bringing in the lives of Dong Christians like the writer of the praise song shared in the last entry. However, many Dong Christians are still feeding on spiritual milk. Many have not grown out of their spiritual infancy.

Proverbs 1:32-33

For the simple are killed by their turning away,

   and the complacency of fools destroys them;

Though those verses sound harsh, they are quite true for the Dong situation. Most of the Dong churches are struggling. They have not grown, and have stayed "simple" like those in the verse above. And just as this verse states, these simple churches and believers are being "killed by their turning away."

The infant Dong churches are slowly dying through attrition. People have stopped attending the meetings and several churches will soon cease to exist (or become completely useless) if people continue to leave. The Dong churches are dying because the believers are turning away. But why are they turning away?

They are simple, or (to use more New Testament phrasing) they are still feeding on spiritual milk. 'Simple' is sometimes used in a positive sense, but this verse from Proverbs is not using it that way. It is comparing 'simple' and 'fools.' The simple are unknowledgeable and do not seek out the answers to the problems at hand.
They do not know how to grow, have not been taught how to grow, and are not growing. For whatever reason, they do not have an active walk with God. And lacking a walk with God, they soon lose interest or forget the great gift they have been given.
Whether the lack of growth slowly kills the church or complacency toward Christ directly destroys them, the Dong churches need change, and we should pray for such. Here is the rest of the sentence from the verse in Proverbs:
Proverbs 1:32-33

For the simple are killed by their turning away,

   and the complacency of fools destroys them;

 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure

   and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.

How can they keep from spiritual death? Listening to God. Then, instead of being killed and destroyed, they will dwell secure and be at ease. Let us pray for them in this time of need, even if they themselves do not realize how great the need is.
Lord Jesus, even for us with so many resources, it is often hard to listen to you. It must be so much more difficult for Dong people, most of whom cannot read the Bible in Dong, cannot understand it in Chinese, and have very little contact with mature Christians to help them along the way. We know you care; we know you want the Dong people to be able to hear your voice and grow in you. So, we ask that you would help in every way possible to give them direction, raise them up in the Word, and protect them as your children.

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