The Lantern

Why We Write What We Write

In keeping with our mission, ChinaSource serves the global body of Christ with information on the issues facing China and its church. Our range of publications has grown significantly in recent years. Here we look at the thinking behind what goes into what we produce. If you’re not already familiar with our various publications I’d encourage you to take a look at our website and see what is available.

Brent Fulton

The first ChinaSource Quarterly (at that time known as the ChinaSource journal) was published in 1999. Since then ChinaSource has added a number of publications. Some continue to be published today (ZGBriefs, Chinese Church Voices, and From the West Courtyard (the ChinaSource blog); others were useful for a time but have since been discontinued (China 20/20, ChinaSource Online).

In each of these publications we have tried to provide appropriate content for our primary audience—English-speaking Christians who are engaged in China ministry.

To determine what is appropriate we look at a number of criteria and ask ourselves:

Is it useful? Our content should impart something of value, enabling collaboration among God’s people and effective service within the Chinese church and society. Our content may be historical or contemporary in nature, but it should have obvious bearing on China ministry today.

The question we ask, when considering possible content, is will our readers be better equipped to serve as a result of having accessed this material. 

Is it unifying? ChinaSource content should bring people together by fostering understanding, mutual respect, and awareness of how various parts of the Body of Christ are contributing to the advancement of God’s kingdom in China. It should affirm the various contributions of different voices in helping to fill out the whole picture. Where appropriate we highlight opportunities for collaboration within the Christian community and provide information that enables our constituents to connect with one another. 

Will this content encourage understanding, mutual respect, awareness of how each member of the body of Christ contributes to the advancement of the gospel, and how we can better work together to that end?

Is it balanced? While encouraging presentation of different viewpoints, these viewpoints should be shared in a way that acknowledges the existence of other opinions. In selecting material we strive for fairness by offering a variety of views and are careful not to create the perception that we are taking sides on issues where there are valid differences of opinion among those whom we serve.

Does this article contribute to our readers gaining a comprehensive understanding of the approaches and perspectives found within the Christian community of the issue being discussed? 

Is it uplifting? Articles should have a positive, albeit realistic and accurate tone. We do not publish personal attacks or material that disparages certain organizations or ministry approaches. 

Will our readers be encouraged by what God is accomplishing in China?

Is it accurate? Facts presented should be from reliable sources and verifiable. Quotations, whether direct or indirect, should accurately reflect the source’s original intent. Care should be taken to position the subject matter within its proper chronological and geographical context.

Have we presented this information in an accurate and verifiable manner?

Is it accessible? While striving for the highest standard of accuracy, we seek to convey material in a manner that is readily understandable to our readership. Where technical terms are necessary to convey specific meanings, these terms are defined for non-specialist readers. At the same time, articles written in a conversational tone should not be casual to the point of coming across as flippant or trivial.

Can this article be accurately understood by our readers?

Is it shareable? As much as possible each item should stand on its own, i.e. not require additional reading elsewhere in order to make sense of it.

Will our readers be confident sharing this material knowing that it will be understandable to those who receive it? 

This is what we strive for. We appreciate your prayers as we search out and produce content that will serve our readers well.

News and Notes

  • Hannah Lau spoke at Island Evangelical Community Church’s Missions Leaders Retreat in Hong Kong on August 20.
  • On August 28 Hannah Lau spoke to the youth of Scarborough Chinese Alliance Church in Toronto.
  • Also in Toronto, Hannah Lau spoke to the youth and young adults of Markham Chinese Alliance Church on September 2 and 3.
  • Then on September 8 and 11 Hannah Lau spoke in Michigan at Cutting Edge—the college ministry of South Church.
  • Back in Toronto on September 16 Hannah Lau spoke to the young adults of Toronto Jaffray Chinese Alliance Church.
  • On September 18 Hannah Lau spoke at North York Chinese Baptist Church

Looking ahead . . .

  • Joann Pittman will be attending the MissioNexus Conference in Louisville, KY September 29 to October 1.
  • On October 8 a ChinaSource Connect event will be held in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Click here for details.

Ways to Pray

  • Pray for those involved in producing content for ChinaSource—both ChinaSource staff and those serving in other capacities—that every post, every article, social media item will benefit our readers.
  • Pray for meetings with church, NGO, and business leaders in China around the Faith and Generosity in China Initiative. May the Lord bless the resources and training being made available to various segments of the church in China and use these to raise up faithful stewards for his kingdom.
  • Pray for safety and fruitful contacts as ChinaSource staff members travel and are involved in various events this autumn.

In Case You Missed It

A selection of recently published items:

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 Image credit: boat by Jordi Payà via Flickr.
ChinaSource Team

ChinaSource Team

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

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