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How “Runology” Is Changing Ministry to Diaspora Chinese

We are in the midst of another wave of immigration from China. With all that has gone on in relationship to missions in China this presents a great opportunity to impact China from the outside in. There are several issues that we need to be aware of related to this new wave of immigrants landing on our shores.

  1. This wave of immigrants is landing in different locations. There are several reasons for this. One is that they are landing in locations where their children can get into school. Some school districts make it hard for undocumented children to enroll in their schools. Though this group is coming with money, they are landing in places where housing is more affordable, and where they can find work.

  2. These people are leaving China for different reasons than they have in the past. I have heard the expected reasons, including fleeing persecution, lack of religious freedoms, and educational and economic opportunities. But often I am hearing people referring to “Xi thought” as the reason that they are leaving. Many parents want to get their children out of China to avoid “Xi thought.” The persecution that is taking place in China is wide sweeping and against all of the people of China. Therefore, more and more people want to leave.

  3. Included in this wave of people leaving China we are finding former unregistered church leaders. These pastors, deacons, elders, and church members are bringing decades of experience leading churches in China, and they represent a great opportunity to impact China from the outside in. By that I mean they can plan diaspora churches that will reach more of those people that have recently left China. At this time there are efforts in several locations to see hundreds of house churches planted among these people. These newcomers seeking to start these churches are going to need help.

What kind of help are they going to need?

  1. Many of these leaders feel guilty for leaving their churches behind. They can be encouraged by pointing out that in the Book of Acts God extended his kingdom by dispersing the church through persecution. They are now part of another dispersion that could lead to the same kind of growth.

  2. They will need people helping them to adapt to life in a new country. We know that moving to a new country can be challenging and stressful. Someone that can help them navigate the confusing new life they face would be very helpful.

  3. They will need ministry coaches that will help them develop these new churches.
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Image credit: City Church CA via UnSplash.

Jim Graham

Jim has served Chinese people, both in China and the diaspora for over 40 years. He spent 17 years serving in Taiwan. He has been involved in evangelism, discipleship, church planting, and leadership development over those years.View Full Bio

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