The Lantern

Looking Beyond the Milestone

A letter from Brent Fulton

As I write this, the ChinaSource Board has just wrapped up a two-and-a-half-day retreat in Hong Kong.

While this meeting did provide an opportunity to celebrate ChinaSource’s 20th anniversary, we spent most of our time looking ahead, asking what ChinaSource’s unique contribution will be in the years to come.

We asked the fundamental question that every organization needs to ask at milestone points like this: “Given all the changes taking place in the environment in which we serve, is ChinaSource still relevant?”

A scenario planning exercise helped us see ChinaSource within the context of what God is doing in China today. Through this process the Board concluded that, even though it is possible to imagine several divergent futures for China, each has a role for ChinaSource as a platform for serving the global Christian community with objective, strategic information and relationships.

We recognized that what happens in China today no longer stays in China. Government policies have political, economic, and even social implications that reverberate across nations. As China goes global, Christians everywhere find themselves ministering with, and to, people from China. For the international Christian community, understanding China’s role in the world has never been as important as it is now.

At the same time, we recognized that the church in China is at a very different place than where it was two decades ago when ChinaSource was birthed. We expect its role as an active participant in the global church to broaden and deepen in years to come. Here ChinaSource sees an opportunity to encourage this process by cultivating more voices from within China and facilitating their global interaction.

Technological and cultural changes have radically changed the way in which information is gathered and disseminated. We operate in a digital era. Storytelling and crowdsourcing are increasingly important means of sharing knowledge. ChinaSource will thus be rethinking its publishing model, seeking to become an even more effective platform for sharing critical knowledge on the church and Christian service in China.

Undergirding these aspirations is the need for ChinaSource to transform organizationally. As a virtual entity, with an extended team around the globe, we need new processes that capitalize on the diverse environments where we reside while bringing us closer in collaboration. Our leadership must be constituted in such a way as to keep pace with the new challenges facing ChinaSource both externally and internally. We need to grow our network of partner relationships globally as well as inside China. 

Stay tuned! We know the story of the last twenty years has not been about what any organization has done in or for China. Rather, it has been about trying to keep up with what God is doing to advance his purposes among China’s people. This relentless advance of the gospel continues. We look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months about ChinaSource’s future role.

Together for China,

Brent Fulton, PhD

News and Notes

  • Members of the ChinaSource team attended the Missio Nexus conference from Sept 21-23 in Dallas, Texas. It was a great experience to gather with those in the North American missions community, sharing in vision, passion, and ministry.
  • On October 1, 2017, Joann spoke to a Sunday School class at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mounds View, Minnesota. 
  • Brent Fulton spoke at Kowloon Evangelical Community Church in Hong Kong on October 8.
  • On October 9, a new, upgraded ChinaSource website was officially launched. We are pleased with new layout and are looking forward to being better able to deliver content that is timely, balanced, and useful for understanding and serving the people and church of China. Take a look and let us know what you think!
  • Brent Fulton was quoted in Christianity Today’s article “Chinese House Church Leaders and Toddler Arrested after Singing in Public Park” on October 17.

Ways to Pray

  • Pray for the churches and believers in China as they seek to understand the new religious regulations going into effect in February 2018 and how to respond to the regulations.
  • Pray for the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress as it begins today.
  • Give thanks for the recent ChinaSource board retreat and pray for wisdom and discernment to implement the decisions that were made.
  • Also give thanks for the newly upgraded ChinaSource website and pray that it will be useful in making our content more readily available to our readers.
  • As we continue to celebrate ChinaSource’s 20th anniversary, give thanks for all who have supported and prayed for ChinaSource since our beginning.

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ChinaSource Team

ChinaSource Team

Written, translated, or edited by members of the ChinaSource staff.          View Full Bio

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