For a missionary, raising support is no easy task. When we were preparing for our first term of service, I wasn’t sure how we were ever going to raise the required budget. But for Chinese missionaries, the task is even harder. Coming from a culture that is not accustomed to supporting missionaries, obtaining financial backing is an uphill struggle.
The Chinese church passionately desires participation in missionary sending. A study performed with long-term Chinese missionaries reveals four main current sources of support for Chinese mission activity. Common methods of missionary fund-raising are examined and frequently encountered fund-raising difficulties are reviewed. The Chinese church has difficulty financially supporting mission service and at the current time alternative strategies for Chinese missionary funding are still needed.
Earlier this month we posted the first part of an article from Territory about a Chinese missionary’s call to Nepal. The first part of the article discussed the author’s struggles amid social pressures in China. As the Chinese church increasingly looks outside of China’s borders to engage in ministry this article provides insight into what factored into one Chinese missionary’s call to foreign missions. This week in part two we see how his struggles influenced his call to ministry, as well as the lessons he learned about foreign missions and about himself while in Nepal.
The growth of the Chinese church over the past several decades cannot be overstated. What the Lord has accomplished is truly beyond anything we could have ever asked or imagined.
When I first went overseas, I thought things like medical insurance and retirement planning weren’t too important. Further, as funding for those two items added to the overall budget and that budget needed to be raised through supporters I personally contacted, I felt that these items were excessive. It seemed to me at the time that these items only delayed my matriculation to the field and added to the church’s financial burden in sending me and my family. I reasoned that God would take care of us anyway. Twenty years later, with retirement age nearing, (which won’t necessarily cause me to retire), I am grateful for the foresight of organizational leadership. And with my family members needing multiple previously unforeseen surgeries, I am grateful for the care we have received.
Financial issues significantly impact Chinese missionary-sending sustainability. For those Chinese physicians with mission field experience, greater degrees of field experience correlate with a greater ascribed degree of importance placed on these financial issues. Currently prospective Chinese medical missionary financial expectations are high. These expectations do not necessarily match with the lived reality of Chinese non-medical missionaries. Financial support models which can facilitate sending of Chinese missionary physicians need development.
Questions for those who are working themselves out of a job, or for those who should be . . .
Chinese children generally want to please their parents. Traditional Chinese culture encourages this, and those children who fall outside of this cultural norm may even be looked down upon by their peers. So what do Chinese Christians do if they want to become missionaries? How can they blend their responsibilities toward parents with the calling they feel from God to go to a foreign country to share the gospel?
The Chinese church passionately desires participation in missionary sending to unreached peoples. Nevertheless Chinese missionary attrition rates are high. A study performed using interviews with long-term Chinese missionaries and focus groups with short-term Chinese medical missionaries revealed several factors related to missionary attrition. This article examines the role of one of those factors—parent and extended family issues—and offers suggestions for resolving difficulties.
The church in China is in a period of incredible growth. Concurrent with this exponential numerical growth, Chinese Christians have developed a passionate interest in taking the gospel to parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe where relatively few Christians live scattered among two billion non-Christian people.
The Chinese church has a growing passion to participate in missionary sending to unreached peoples. Nevertheless, previous studies have highlighted a lack of cultural awareness and linguistic ability among Chinese missionaries hindering missionary effectiveness. I recently conducted interviews with Chinese missionaries. Data from these interviews suggest that Chinese missionaries are being better trained and becoming increasingly adept at culturally contextualizing the gospel message. This kind of forward progress should be strongly encouraged.
In the latest issue of ChinaSource Quarterly, two Christians in China offer their thoughts on the future of Chinese mission sending structures.
As the sending of cross-cultural workers from China gains momentum, many international sending organizations see China as a rich source of potential new workers for the harvest.
The author asks the question: “Is the Chinese church truly ready to face the task of world evangelism?” He goes on to discuss ten issues facing the mission endeavor as Chinese churches begin to send out workers. He addresses the focus of missions, its work, management, and goals among other topics. He also highlights the need for supportive care for the missionaries themselves.
Many indigenous mission agencies have already been born in China; however, most are still in the beginning stages needing nurture, help, and support. Since Mr. Chang has worked with international mission agencies in China, he understands many of the issues faced by these new, indigenous organizations. More recently he, along with key leaders from several churches, got together and started to brainstorm about forming a local mission organization to bring God’s word to minority people groups in China.
首要推荐的100 个国内族群(100 Priority Unreached People Groups in China)
A Catalog of Websites on Missions
Items requiring your intercession.
Chinese physicians who want to be missionaries outside of China face significant challenges. One of these is maintaining a Chinese medical license once outside the country. Another is obtaining the required continuing medical education units required by law. In addition, obtaining a license to practice medicine in another country is a difficult process. The author addresses these and other issues facing medical doctors who desire to do mission work and also suggests possible solutions for some of the difficulties.
The guest editors' point of view.
A review of 首要推荐的100 个国内族群 (100 Priority Unreached People Groups in China) published by Mission China 2030.
Edited by two Chinese missiologists and available only in Chinese, this prayer guide lists the top 100 unreached people groups in China with the purpose of encouraging China’s churches to adopt these groups. In addition to listing China’s minority groups, it also contains an extensive article on the status of evangelization among minority people groups.
A ChinaSource 3 Questions interview with David Joannes, president and founder of Within Reach Global and author of The Space between Memories.
Current presentations and discussions about China’s emerging cross-cultural mission movement often make reference to “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR), the Chinese government’s push to develop infrastructure and industry along China’s former silk route.
A look at a Chinese, indigenous sending agency and the work they are doing to send workers out to reach the nations.
Earlier this month, the mainland publication Church China published a long article examining the importance of solid theological preparation for Chinese involved in the Great Commission. Last week we translated portions of the article. In part two, we continue with the translated portions, followed by short summaries and observations by the translator (in italics).
Earlier this month, the mainland publication Church China published a long article examining the importance of solid theological preparation for Chinese involved in the Great Commission. What follows in this post, and next week’s post are translated portions of the article, along with short summaries and observations (in italics) by the translator.
On December 31, Christianity Today published a piece titled “Made in China: The Next Mass Missionary Movement.” This article provides an excellent introduction to the topic and some of the related issues.
To help provide context and background, we thought now would be a good time to highlight some of the resources that ChinaSource has published on the topic over the years. We hope these will be helpful to those wanting to learn more.
In September, over 900 church leaders from mainland China attended a large Chinese church missions conference in Hong Kong. At the conference, they announced the launch of an initiative to send 20,000 missionaries from China. A month later churches all across China began to put legs to this initiative with a 1·1·1 Missions Campaign. One large house church in Beijing launched this campaign by handing out “globe banks.” Those in attendance were asked to donate money to missions by putting coins into the globe each day. We have translated the accompanying brochure.
Over the past couple of months, we have published on Chinese Church Voices a number of posts about the growing awareness of the importance and practice of cross-cultural missions by Chinese churches.
On November 26, the mainland site Christian Times published a long interview with a house church pastor in Shenzhen who has been leading short-term mission trips to Burma and other neighboring countries for several years. The title of the piece is “Shenzhen Pastor Talks about the Joy and Pain of Cross-Cultural Missions, Calling on the Church to Have the Courage to Pay the Price."
On November 26, the mainland site Christian Times published a long interview with a house church pastor in Shenzhen who has been leading short-term mission trips to Burma and other neighboring countries for several years. The title of the piece is “Shenzhen Pastor Talks About the Joy and Pain of Cross-Cultural Missions, Calling on the Church to Have the Courage to Pay the Price."
In recent years, some churches in China have begun to think about and become more involved in cross-cultural ministry among China’s ethnic minorities. In August the Mainland site Gospel Times published an article about efforts by some churches in eastern and northeastern China to establish churches in minority areas.
As the church in China has become increasingly global in its outlook and better connected relationally (if not organizationally) to the larger global church, its leaders are seriously weighing their role in the task of world evangelization. This cross-cultural vision is not new, either for the Chinese church globally or for the church in China; however, it is the resources, connections and capabilities of the urban church that are now making possible the emergence of a new missions movement from within China.
The past decade has seen a groundswell of passion among Christians in China to pursue cross-cultural ministry. A corresponding wave of activity among outside organizations and churches has aimed at equipping China's church for this task.
The past three decades have seen tens of thousands of Christians from outside China engaged in myriad activities aimed at serving the Chinese church and society. Today their role is changing. New skills – one in particular – are needed to work out what this role and what their relationship to China's church should look like in days to come.