Formed in 1997 at the Billy Graham Center of Wheaton College, ChinaSource began as a collaborative effort of several North American evangelical entities. Recognizing the growing importance of China on the world scene, these organizations came together to create a clearinghouse of information and relationships serving the global Christian community.
A year later, we launched the ChinaSource Journal (later renamed ChinaSource Quarterly) as a platform for China ministry leaders and practitioners to share their expertise around specific themes. We undertook an extensive survey of organizations serving in China, examining where and how their work was being done.
Throughout the 2000s we held consultations, beginning in North America and later in Asia, that brought together leaders from scores of organizations to share updates, develop new strategies, and explore practical avenues for collaboration.
In 2000, ChinaSource merged with the Institute of Chinese Studies, a research organ founded in the late 1970s at the US Center for World Mission for the purpose of promoting outreach to Chinese people groups. In Asia, we began holding consultations that brought together leaders from many organizations to share updates, develop strategies, and explore practical avenues of collaboration.
In 2002, we held the first China Challenge conference, providing a venue for churches, agencies, and individuals interested in exploring opportunities in China. This conference was held annually until 2011.
With the wave of urban migration sweeping over China in the mid 2000s, the focus of ChinaSource shifted to China’s cities, where a new generation of church leaders was beginning to emerge. To better serve this growing need, we facilitated consultations around urban ministry, business as mission, and migrant worker ministries. These consultations brought together both Chinese and expatriate believers. Multi-agency initiatives were launched in these areas to fuel the development of new ministry efforts.
In the 2010s we began building our online presence, providing balanced and timely information about China and the church in China through our content and online training programs. New initiatives focused on Christian education, mentoring leaders, and stewardship and generosity have brought multiple agencies together with Chinese Christians to address some of these concerns.
In an era when the roles of both Chinese believers and foreign workers are changing, ChinaSource continues in its commitment to serve as the premier resource for relevant China knowledge and as a catalyst for effective partnerships.