The Lantern

New Year, New Era

Having celebrated two decades of service, ChinaSource is looking ahead to the decade to come. Here are some reflections on the changes taking place in China and in our world, and what they mean for ChinaSource’s own future role.

Dr. Brent Fulton

New Year, New Era

This is the special time of the year between the western New Year on January 1 (元旦) and Chinese New Year (春节), this year on February 16, when organizations throughout China reflect on the year that has been completed and make plans for the upcoming new year. As we start a new year we are also starting a new era.

For China this is a new era with China’s leader Xi Jinping having laid out an aggressive set of goals and plans for China reaching to 2050. This is a new era where China is increasingly playing a global role in almost every area of activity. This is also a new era where the Party seeks to lead all segments of society. In summing up the speeches and policies of Chinese leader Xi Jinping over the past five years, a former Politburo member Wang Qishan pointed to one line from Xi’s speeches that has been recently added to the Party’s charter: “the Party, government, military, society, education, north, south, east, west—the Party leads everything.”

For ChinaSource, this is the start of our third decade of ministry and the start of a new era. In 2017 we spent time remembering and celebrating all that God has done in China and how ChinaSource has played a part in supporting the efforts of a huge group of individuals and ministries working with China. We spent time reflecting on the changes—in China, for the church in China, in the lives of Chinese Christians, and for ministries supporting China. We challenged ourselves to think about these changes and how ChinaSource has changed and would need to change to continue to serve those in the global church involved with China. For almost every scenario we considered, we saw a greater need for ChinaSource to be the premier platform for providing current, objective information and analysis about critical issues facing China and Christians in China.

In China this will be a year with great uncertainty for the church as new religious regulations are set to go into effect from February 2018. With ZGBriefs, the ChinaSource Blog, including the Chinese Church Voices column, and the ChinaSource Quarterly we want to continue to provide information that will enable ministries to work effectively for and with Christians in China. In the next few months ChinaSource will be participating in a major research consultation as we continue to look at important trends and opportunities.

For ChinaSource this will also be a year of transition and growth. We are bringing on additional staff to help with operations, growth, and change. We have a unique role in the ministry community and need to expand our work to keep up with the challenges and opportunities presented by ministry to, with, and from China.

We want to thank each of our readers, prayer partners, and supporters for your journey with us into this new era of service to a growing and changing China.

News and Notes

Brent Fulton represented ChinaSource at Chinese Mission West Coast Conference, December 26-29 in Ontario California.

Ways to Pray

  • Lift up the Board and leadership of ChinaSource as they plan for ministry growth in this new era.
  • China’s new regulations on religion go into effect February 1st. Pray for government officials tasked with enforcing these regulations, that their decisions would not negatively impact the continued development of China’s church.
  • In December ChinaSource participated in Chinese Mission, a mobilization conference for 3,800 Chinese Christians from around North America and beyond. Ask the Lord to direct those who made commitments to serve as they begin to take their next steps.  

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