When the vision for ChinaSource first took shape in the mid 1990s, the emphasis was very much on expatriate organizations serving the church in China.
Bibles were still scarce in some areas; trained leaders were in short supply. The church was primarily rural and, in many ways, under resourced. There was much to be done.
Today the question foreign organizations are asking (or should be asking) is how to serve with the church in China.
How to learn alongside China’s future theologians as they write dissertations in China or abroad, assume faculty position in official or unofficial theological training institutions, launch new online journals, engage with fellow academics on Chinese university campuses, and publish articles for a global audience?
How to encourage a new generation of pastors whose daily challenges in many ways mirror those of their counterparts in other global urban centers?
How to engage with local NGO leaders as they provide a biblical response to a host of social concerns in the wake of massive urbanization and rapid cultural change?
How to join hands with a fledgling movement that is training, sending, and supporting cross-cultural workers from China to go to parts of the world that have been hitherto inaccessible to the Gospel.
There is still much to be done, but the role of outside organizations and individuals has changed. In keeping with this shift, ChinaSource’s revised mission statement envisions:
a trusted platform facilitating the flow of critical knowledge and leading-edge research among the Christian communities inside China and around the world and engaging them in collaborating to serve the Chinese church and society.
Our organizational emphasis has shifted from providing to bridging—serving as a platform upon which believers inside and outside China can inform, encourage, and equip one another in their shared purpose of advancing God’s kingdom in China and beyond. To be an effective bridge means being rooted in China, on the one hand, while maintaining broad connections with the global church. Hundreds of contributors to ChinaSource’s publications and conferences over the years have helped provide this rootedness and connectivity. In the coming years we look forward to greatly expanding this number as our “bridge traffic” increases.
To build this bridge we also rely on the prayer and financial support of those who value the opportunity for greater collaboration between China’s church and the global Christian community. If ChinaSource has been a helpful resource to you, perhaps you could consider a mid-year gift to support our bridge-building efforts in the coming months.
Brent Fulton is the founder of ChinaSource. Prior to assuming his current position, he served from 1995 to 2000 as the managing director of the Institute for Chinese Studies at Wheaton College. From 1987 to 1995 he served as founding US director of China Ministries International, and from 1985 to... View Full Bio
Are you enjoying a cup of good coffee or fragrant tea while reading the latest ChinaSource post? Consider donating the cost of that “cuppa” to support our content so we can continue to serve you with the latest on Christianity in China.