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A Journey of Opportunity: Following God’s Direction in China

China has experienced rapid change, and so has the church in China — now numbering over 100 million Christians! How can we better partner with the church in China as to sustain growth and increase effective sending? One way is listening to the needs and perspectives voiced by 1,200 Chinese church leaders in the China Gospel Research Alliance’s 2016 survey.
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<p><img src="https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/missio-graphics/Volume+5/missiographic_Chinese_Church_Today.jpg" alt="" width="800" /></p>
<p><a href="https://missionexus.org/a-journey-of-opportunity-following-gods-direction-in-china/"><strong>A Journey of Opportunity: Following God’s Direction in China</strong></a><br />China has experienced rapid change, and so has the church in China — now numbering over 100 million Christians! How can we better partner with the church in China as to sustain growth and increase effective sending? One way is listening to the needs and perspectives voiced by 1,200 Chinese church leaders in the China Gospel Research Alliance’s 2016 survey.</p>

Engaging through Prayer
Dear God, thank you for the growth of the church in China! I pray that it will continue to grow in love, in spiritual maturity and in numbers. Enable believers to effectively transfer their faith to the next generation, which has seen so much change. Equip the church for effective serving and sending. Help overseas partners to listen and serve in humility and unity. Amen

Personal Reflection
How different is your world today than when you were young? The social, economic and spiritual landscape in China has changed dramatically. So has the church! Its growth has been tremendous—but the track ahead is still being laid! Pray that outreach-focused vision is sustained while a legacy of faith is nurtured.

Engaging the Church
At one time, many outside of China could only pray. Increasingly, churches have partnered meaningfully with the church in China. But needs are shifting and opportunities are diverse, making it essential for outsiders to listen well to our Chinese brothers and sisters so that we can serve in truly helpful ways. ChinaSource Quarterly is a helpful source.

Organizational Application
Several organizations have collaborated to listen to leaders inside and outside of China. This yields insight for decision making, while honoring those they seek to serve. How is your organization listening intentionally to those you are serving (or seeking to serve)? How are you acting on what you hear? Effective research is listening and learning for action! For a complimentary review of your research plan/instrument, write info@gmi.org.

Sources
1 Liu Peng, Director, Beijing Pu-Shi Institute for Social Sciences (formerly Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences). Quoted in Christianity in China: A Force for Change? Transcript of 2014 Brookings Institute forum, Washington, D.C. pp.12-13.
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Corrected-Transcript-Christianity-in-China.pdf, accessed 3/21/2017.
2 China and world urban proportion of population data from United Nations, World Urbanization Prospects, http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.URB.TOTL.IN.ZS, accessed 3/21/2017. “Rest of World” data differs slightly from total World figure due to recalculation after removing China population from the base of data from UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2015).

World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, DVD Edition
https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Download/Standard/Population/, accessed 3/21/2017.

3 Three respected Christian demographers (Johnson, Mandryk and Hattaway) have each published their own estimates, all of which exceed 100 million Christians as of 2010

(https://www.lausanne.org/lgc-transfer/number-of-christians-in-china-and-india-2). Other estimates are more conservative (Pew, Stark). Chart data from Mandryk, Jason & GMI, Operation World 2010 Enhanced DVD-ROM, File chna-rel-CMB.xls, Column U.

{CCM:BASE_URL}/products/operation-world/operation-world-dvd/.

4 Partners In Mission: Perceptions, Expectations, and Challenges of Christian Leaders in China and Those Serving with Them, China Gospel Research Alliance, 2016. Unpublished; summary of findings at

http://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/articles/perceptions-and-priorities-of-christian-leaders-in-china, accessed 3/21/2017.

5 Ibid.
6 Ibid.
7 Ibid.
8 Yuyu Chen, Hui Wang and Se Yan, Peking University – Guanghua School of Management, “The Long-Term Effects of Protestant Activities in China,” 2014.

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2186818.

Referenced in Stark, Rodney and Xiuhua Wang, A Star in the East: The Rise of Christianity in China, Templeton Foundation Press (Ch. 6, note 9)

https://books.google.com/books?id=VILvCAAAQBAJ.

Permissions
The survey data represented in this infographic is copyrighted by the China Gospel Research Alliance and is used by permission. GMI is sharing this visualization as a Missiographic with permission. Anyone seeking rights to utilize this infographic must receive permission from the Alliance. For more information, please write info@chinasource.org.

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