May was a busy month for the ChinaSource team, as several of us were involved in conferences in Asia and elsewhere. Here are some snapshots of how we witnessed the Lord working in the midst of these events.
Together for his glory in China,
One of the core values that has always anchored the work and ministry of ChinaSource is the spirit of collaboration. Embodying this trait and ensuring that it undergirds all that we do, however, takes both hard work and intention.
Over the last month, members of the ChinaSource team have been on the road attending various conferences, meeting with partners, and interacting with brothers and sisters from China. We have witnessed in a powerful way what the Holy Spirit can do with 20 years of building relationships, encouraging partnership, and the resulting fruit.
We’d like to take a moment and share with you some highlights:
- Synergy Summit hosted by Vision Synergy: This meeting was an opportunity to engage with leaders of ministry networks and partnerships from around the world. We had the privilege of sharing lessons we’ve learned in the past two decades as a networking organization as well as learning from those who are doing similar things in other parts of the world.
- World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Summit hosted by YWAM: The summit explored how WEA can better serve the various national fellowships around the world. The question of WEA’s relationship to the church in China in light of China’s growing international presence was also discussed.
- A leadership development conference: The gathering focused on developing leaders, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. There Scott Rodin, former ChinaSource board chair, presented a one-day workshop for about 90 participants, most of whom were from China, on the topic, “Becoming a Steward Leader.”
- Reformation 500 and the Gospel Conference: For three-and-a-half days in Hong Kong, 3,700 believers gathered (3,000+ who were from China) to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Along with hearing from international and mainland Chinese pastors, we caught up with overseas friends serving in China and interacted with many of the Chinese attendees.
- ChinaSource Connect: On May 27, we held a Connect event in Hong Kong, bringing together friends and partners of ChinaSource. Over 80 people were in attendance with a mix of old and new friends serving in a diverse mix of ministry opportunities, sharing how the changing climate is affecting their respective activities in China.
These five recent events are only a portion of how the Lord is using ChinaSource to bring about collaboration. We are honoured to continue to serve the China-ministry community and partner with each of you who stands with us to help build God’s Kingdom in China.
Brent Fulton speaking at ChinaSource Connect in Hong Kong
ChinaSource Quarterly 2017 Summer Issue
Christian Living in the City
The summer issue of ChinaSource Quarterly, “Christian Living in the City” was published earlier this week. Focusing on urban church theology, guest editors Mary Ma and LI Jin have put together a well-rounded look at the increasingly complex urban church environment in China today.
Among the questions addressed are:
- What kind of church planting models are emerging, and why?
- How does the socioeconomic status of China’s urban migrant believers affect their expressions of faith?
- What are the theological convictions undergirding the urban church movement as it takes new steps to engage with society?
- What changes have defined the urban church as it has developed over time?
- How are China’s urban believers utilizing social media?
- What obstacles stand in the way of non-believers coming into the church?
- How do political ideology and consumer capitalism together create the unique socio-theological conditions facing the church?
- How can believers outside China be praying for China’s urban believers?
Concerning the relationship between China’s Christians and their urban environment, Mary Ma writes:
Wherever Christians live, city or countryside, their social environment is a magnifying lens of their heart condition. There exists no holy soil to which Christians can retreat; at the same time, there is no darkness that the gospel of Jesus Christ cannot conquer—including even the dark corners of the city. Living in the city challenges Christians to be more alert to spiritual temptations and, at the same time, more confident in the power of the gospel.
To gain more insight into the theology of China’s urban church, read the summer issue of ChinaSource Quarterly.
News and Notes
- Brent Fulton represented ChinaSource at the Synergy Summit and the LDC Conference both held in Thailand and at the World Evangelical Alliance Associate Members meeting in Kona, Hawaii in May.
- Joann Pittman and Hannah Lau were at Reformation 500 and the Gospel May 23-26 in Hong Kong.
- “China’s God-Shaped Vacuum” a review of Ian Johnson’s book Souls of China: The Return of Religion after Mao by Joann Pittman was published by The Gospel Coalition on May 31.
China Ministries Cohort at Missio Nexus—No Membership Required
Last month we announced the launch of the China Ministries Cohort in partnership with MissioNexus. The China Minisitries Cohort is a forum where those serving in China-related ministries can gather to discuss issues relevant to their work. Brent Fulton and Joann Pittman will be moderating the conversations on a variety of current China-related topics as well as suggesting available resources.
You do not have to be a Missio Nexus member to join this forum. All you have to do is email Hannah Lau (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll have you added to the group.
With the participation of the China-ministry community, we believe this platform will be a blessing to everyone involved.
Ways to Pray:
- Give thanks for many miles of safe travel, for fruitful conversations and discussions, and for numerous opportunities to interact with old and new friends and partners of ChinaSource during the busy month of May.
- The Steward Leader by Dr. Scott Rodin has been published in China. Pray that the Lord will use this book to equip many for lives of Christian service.
- The implications of China’s Overseas NGO Law for Christian organizations are gradually becoming clearer. Pray for wisdom as we consult with groups that are serving in China.
- In connection with Missio Nexus, ChinaSource has launched an online discussion forum on China ministry. Ask the Lord to guide these discussions, that they may be useful in the expansion of the kingdom in China.
In response to ChinaSource Quarterly information
- For China’s Christian leaders and pastors as they recognize changes in the church over past years and grapple with developing a theology of ministry that encompasses the new realities.
- That China’s pastors of urban churches will recognize the changes that have occurred over recent years, the need for new methods, and the willingness and ability to adopt new forms of ministry.
- For China’s church leadership as it deals with the “new media” and learns how to use it in wise, productive ways to further the gospel while standing against its possible negative effects.
- For growing congregations that are adopting the “big church, small congregations” model. Pray they will have wisdom and understanding of the many factors involved as they introduce this new type of church.
- For migrant workers’ urban churches and those pastoring them. Pray that the leadership will have wisdom as well as creativity in dealing with the many unique difficulties these churches face.
In Case You Missed It
A selection of recently published items:
- Key Challenges, From the West Courtyard, May 24.
- Reflections on the Reformation 500 and the Gospel Conference, From the West Courtyard, May 26.
- Evangelism, Reformed Theology, and Church Life, Part 3, Chinese Church Voices, May 30.
- The Overseas NGO Law: A Game-Changer? From the West Courtyard, May 31.
- Effective Outreach among Chinese—No Visa Required, From the West Courtyard, June 2.
- China’s God-Shaped Vacuum, From the West Courtyard, June 5.
- Just Say "No!" Chinese Church Voices, June 6.
- A Chinese Christian Observes Ramadan, From the West Courtyard, June 7.
- Beijing Taxi: A Film Review, From the West Courtyard, June 9.
- Recent Articles on Islam in China, From the West Courtyard, June 12.
- A Three-Self Pastor Prays for Those Taking the "Gaokao," Chinese Church Voices, June 13.
- An Unforgiving Mirror, From the West Courtyard, June 14.
- Father’s Day in China: A Gospel Opportunity, From the West Courtyard, June 16.
- He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, From the West Courtyard, June 19.
- Mourning Two Chinese Christians Killed in Pakistan, Chinese Church Voices, June 20.
Header image credit: Lanterns by Michael Pham via Flickr.
Text images credit: ChinaSource.
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