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A Way Forward

In June, Chen Jing wrote a piece for us titled ”The Chinese Church in Transition.”

He suggested that the church in China is going through a “profound transition and entering a new era.” In it he presented some of the new challenges as well as new ecclesiastical models that were being developed. He stressed that whatever the church in China looks like in the coming years, it will have to be “thoroughly contextualized in Chinese society.”

I recently had the privilege of participating in the Asia 2021 Congress, held online in October. The purpose of the Congress is to “see a church and missions movement emerge from our unique Asian context.”

Asia 2020 is organized by a Steering Committee consisting of Asian Christian leaders closely associated with World Evangelical Alliance and the Lausanne Movement, and is officially co-sponsored by Asia Evangelical Alliance, Asia Lausanne, and Asia Theological Association. Other endorsing partners whose Asian leaders are involved include CCCOWE, Asian Access, and other organizations serving in the Asian context.

Asia 2020 is part of a broader agenda involving evangelical Christians in the Majority World (MW), consisting of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The topic of the Congress was “Megatrends in the Asian Church.” Plenary speakers included Bishop Ephriam Tendero (World Evangelical Alliance), Todd Johnson (Center for the Study of Global Christianity), Hwa Yung (Lausanne), and Asisi Fernando (Youth for Christ). A full list of the speakers can be found on the website.

In the run-up to the congress, they posted a number of recorded webinars on a variety of topics, such as “The Church as an Agent for Transformation,” “Missiological Issues in Asia Today,” “Philip Jenkins’s ‘The Next Christendom,'” and “East Meets Middle East.”

All of these videos are available for viewing on the website, but there is one in particular that I want to highlight: “China’s Urban Churches Moving Forwardby Franklin Wang. In this webinar, Wang shares how Zion Church has adapted to the new realities and how, despite pressures and “storms” (restrictions and COVID-19), the church is growing and moving forward. They call it “church 3.0.”

While new models of church in China are still adapting and evolving, this is an interesting glimpse into what one church is doing.

It is worth your time to watch the entire video, which includes a Q&A time at the end.

Visit the website and scroll down to the section marked “English Webinars” to see all the presentations including “China’s Urban Churches Moving Forward.”

They are all excellent.

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Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio

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