Many think of research when they think of ChinaSource. But that’s only part of the story.
ChinaSource’s recently 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.
Over the years we have often referred to ourselves as a “think tank” on China’s church and Christian service in China. Through our various publications, conferences, special projects, and partnerships with others in the ministry and academic worlds we have had a role in identifying critical issues. We have helped to clarify how these affect China’s Christians and those who serve with them. As our revised mission statement suggests, this process involves working with those both inside and outside of China who are on the cutting edge of understanding these issues.
While we do endeavor to be a trusted platform for sharing balanced, accurate, and relevant China knowledge, our role does not stop there.
Since its founding more than 20 years ago, ChinaSource has majored on two things: knowledge and relationships. We have always seen these as two sides of the same coin.
The process of gathering and disseminating knowledge itself requires relationship. It is only by cultivating a broad network of knowledgeable partners who are willing to share what they know that ChinaSource has been able to fulfill its role as a platform for sharing this knowledge. It is only by bringing together people with divergent views and perspectives that we can fully appreciate the breadth of what God is doing through his people in China. For anyone who desires to serve effectively, a big part of knowing is being able to identify who else is out there—who do I need to be talking to, learning from, and serving with in order to fully carry out what I’ve been called to do?
We engage many in this process, but the engagement goes beyond simply facilitating the sharing of knowledge. Learning from one another and getting to know one another is the prerequisite for collaboration. Not only are we more effective when we work together, but the very act of collaboration and the quality of our relationships are in fact an integral part of our witness as followers of Christ.
Creating the conditions for collaboration requires bridging culture and distance, language and traditions. It requires the wise use of technology and the warmth of personal interaction. It means making space for both tried and true methods as well as new ideas. It requires trust.
This collaboration results in service. Knowledge is put to practical use and relationships of trust and interdependence allow for all to bring their best to the task. Our mission is ultimately fulfilled as these relationships are bridged and the gospel is lived out through the efforts of those who have been called to serve.
Brent Fulton is the president of ChinaSource and the editor of the ChinaSource Quarterly. 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... View Full Bio
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