Through the years, ChinaSource has learned that to truly partner we are called to be humble, collegial listeners and learners; encouraging and empowering others to lead.
Our emphasis this month is on China engagement. As you will see below, God has graciously blessed ChinaSource with the desire, relationships, and resources to genuinely engage the church in China.
In this harvest season, we praise our Heavenly Father that he is mobilizing and bringing his church together for the eternal harvest. With you it is our joy and privilege to be included in his plan for the ages.
In the August edition of The Lantern, we highlighted our work of “watching China,” noting that collaboration with knowledgeable outsiders and Chinese Christians allows us to stay current on the situation in China and on the issues facing the church.
But we want to do more than watch; we want to engage. This means expanding our interaction with mainland Chinese believers—both in China and resident overseas—in ways that allow them to speak more directly to and with the global church. As a China-based friend recently said, we need to be “learning from the Chinese church, not looking for ways to fix it!”
Our weekly blog column Chinese Church Voices (CCV) is an example of this. Each week the CCV team monitors, translates, and edits content direct from Chinese Christian social media blogs, websites, and online journals. These sources have their finger on the pulse of current issues for Chinese Christians and the Chinese church. The topics covered are varied, from pastoral concerns to missions to personal testimonies, from both the registered and unregistered church perspectives. Recent examples include:
- “A Pastoral Letter When the Church Can’t Gather for Communion” (September 22, 2020)
- “A T-shirt Witness in China” (September 15, 2020)
- “My Husband Gambles, What Do I Do?” (September 1, 2020)
- “Two Pastors Discuss the Impact of Media in the Church” (August 4, 2020)
The two latest issues of the ChinaSource Quarterly, one on the indigenous missions movement from China, and the other on the registered church, included articles written by mainland Christians. In addition, mainland Christians submitted blog posts in response to those two issues. Of particular interest are “A House Church Pastor Responds to ‘China’s Registered Church’” and The Chinese Church May Be More Complex Than You Think.
Hearing directly from Chinese Christians about matters that are of concern to them helps us set aside what Brent Fulton calls our “preferred narratives” about Christianity in China. Only by doing this can we see, as he writes in his article at Christianity Today, “that Chinese Christians are writing a new chapter in their own story.” As the space for foreign Christians doing things in China is likely to shrink in the coming years, engagement is likely to shift to learning. Being a platform and a catalyst for that learning to take place is a big part of our mission.
Vice President for Partnership and China Engagement
Ways to Pray
- Praise God that some restrictions, depending on visa type, have been lifted on foreigners entering China.
- Thank the Lord with us for all who supported the ChinaSource September matching campaign. We are blessed by your prayers and support.
- Pray that ChinaSource will grow in interaction and engagement with mainland Chinese believers—both in China and resident overseas—in ways that facilitate their speaking more directly to and with the global church.
- Pray that ChinaSource publications will continue to be a blessing and encouragement to those who read them in China and throughout the world.
- The majority of financial support for ChinaSource usually comes in the last quarter of the calendar year. Join us in prayer for God’s provision in these challenging times.
News and Notes
ChinaSource Team News
We are currently looking for a part-time Donor Relations Manager who will help support the fund development function at ChinaSource. The candidate will need to be a mature Christian, committed to the mission, vision, and philosophy of ChinaSource, and have some experience in fund development. For more information, visit our Donor Relations Manager page.
Other Team News
- On September 26, Joann Pittman did an online presentation based on her book, The Bells Are Not Silent: Stories of Church Bells in China, to a group of faculty alumni from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul.
- An article by Brent Fulton appeared at Christianity Today on October 9 entitled: “Chinese Christians Deserve a Better Label than ‘Persecuted.’”
- On October 16, Joann Pittman was on a live video session of Missions Talk called “Let’s Talk China with special guest Joann Pittman at ChinaSource.” You can find the recorded video of that session here.
- Brent Fulton spoke (via Zoom) at the Home of Christ Church in Newark, CA on October 18.
Online Content Announcement
We have recently made some changes to our distribution model for online content. Rather than charging for online content, such as webinars, they are now available for free on our site and on our YouTube Channel.
Our first offerings in this area were two online courses (“Serving Well in China” and “The Church in China Today”) hosted on a commercial site called Udemy. Each course consists of five short video lectures, plus quizzes, discussion questions, and suggested resources for further study. Each can be purchased for $19.99. However, if you don’t want to register and pay for the entire course, the individual short videos are now available on our YouTube channel as well.
In Case You Missed It
A selection of recently published items:
- Lockdown is Over, but Life is Still Not Normal, ChinaSource Blog, Oct 21.
- A Bell That Was Not Silenced, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), Oct 20.
- Sometimes a Textbook Is Just a Textbook, ChinaSource Blog, Oct 19.
- Lockdown Life, ChinaSource Blog, Oct 16.
- Struggles 2nd Generation Chinese Americans Face, ChinaSource Blog, Oct 14.
- Faith through 9778 Days of Imprisonment, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), Oct 13.
- A House Church Pastor Responds to “China’s Registered Church” ChinaSource Blog, Oct 12.
- Living Incarnationally—Inside the Wall, ChinaSource Blog, Oct 09.
- The Importance and Roles of Families and Church Leaders, ChinaSource Blog, Oct 07.
- The 70th Anniversary of the TSPM, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), Oct 06.
- Golden Goose: The Story of a Peasant Family in Western China, ChinaSource Blog, Oct 05.
- A Reader Responds to “China’s Registered Churches” ChinaSource Blog, Oct 02.
- Why Reaching 2nd Generation Chinese Americans Is Crucial but Difficult, ChinaSource Blog, Sep 30.
- A Call to Prayer, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), Sep 29.
- The Chinese Church May Be More Complex than You Thought, ChinaSource Blog, Sep 28.
- Webinar Recording: How Relevant Is the Gospel for the Chinese? ChinaSource Blog, Sep 25.
- The TSPM—Seeing Beyond History, ChinaSource Blog, Sep 23.
- A Pastoral Letter When the Church Can’t Gather for Communion, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), Sep 22.
- China’s Harvest Fields, ChinaSource Blog, Sep 21.
- In Exile—Still Working, ChinaSource Blog, Sep 18.
Image Credit: Chinese Lanterns by kAz via Flickr.
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