By Josie Oldenburg, SEND Communications — Thousands of Chinese youth will gather this month as the Chinese church works steadily toward an ambitious goal: to send 20,000 missionaries by the year 2030.
J.E., SEND’s regional director in Asia, serves as one of the consultants from various organizations who are coming alongside mission-minded Chinese believers.
“It has been amazing to watch the mainland Chinese church develop this growing heart and passion to reach out,” he said. “It’s very much an indigenous movement, but when we are asked we can share insights from our own history and experiences.”
“Over the course of the next couple of years, we envision thousands of Mainland Chinese brothers and sisters engaging in mission.”
Participants at last year’s Mission China 2030 summit explored themes including missiology, forming of mission-oriented churches, missions to minority groups in China, missions to overseas Chinese, and cross-cultural, overseas missions.
“They’re drawn to the Middle East, to Muslim countries, even to the unreached within China’s borders,” J.E. explained. “China is home to more than 400 unreached people groups — second only to India.”
The goal of 20,000 wasn’t arbitrarily chosen. Chinese leaders estimate that about 20,000 missionaries have served in China in the past 200 years, and they want to repay this “gospel debt.”
“They’re very, very thankful for the missionary commitment and even blood that was shed for China, and now they’re seeing this call to missions come full circle,” J.E. said. “They have a special role now to take that baton and finish that task.”
Adding 20,000 Chinese missionaries “will definitely be a shift in the gravity of Christianity and its impact for the world from the West to the East,” David Ro, Lausanne’s international deputy director for East Asia, told Christianity Today.
Previous Chinese-led missions movements have started out with great enthusiasm, but various factors, including lack of support from churches back home, led to missionaries often returning after just a few years. The Mission China 2030 movement aims to change that.
“It’s happening. It’s going forward. And yet there is so much to be done. Things like figuring out best structures and how to select, train and support missionaries,” J.E. said. “It’s exciting to be a part of! Over the course of the next couple of years, we envision thousands of Mainland Chinese brothers and sisters engaging in mission — through homegrown organizations, through sister organizations and even through different SEND ministries around the world. We now need to identify locations and teams that are ready and excited to receive this new generation of Chinese missionaries.”
Respond in prayer
- SEND is eagerly anticipating the arrival of a new couple whose role will be to help with mobilization of Chinese believers. We believe they are a perfect fit — she’s originally from China and he’s American-born Chinese and speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Ask God to quickly provide for their support needs.
- Thank God for all he is doing to call Chinese believers into Great Commission work! Ask him to provide wisdom and unity as the Mission China 2030 movement gathers momentum. Pray that he will draw many of the young people at this month’s Urbana-type conference into cross-cultural mission work.
- Two Chinese believers recently were killed by ISIS in Pakistan. Ask God to protect Chinese workers as they go into very difficult and often dangerous Harvest fields.
More Better Together stories
- Four strengths of multicultural ministry teams: Many people associate ethnicity with religion — to be X is to believe Y. Multicultural teams contradict this notion by their very existence.
- ‘Vital instruments’ in new faith: Four Latin American interns passionately share their faith in Thailand, and two young women decide to follow Jesus!
- Missionary, know thyself: Multicultural teams work together more smoothly when each member understands their own culture. These questions can help.
- The best kind of breakdown: More time at the mechanic means more opportunities to share the love of Christ.
- Unity prayer for multicultural teams: Five ways to pray for the kind of oneness that attracts the unreached to Jesus.
- A heart for Japan’s hopeless: Our first global worker from Taiwan looks back and understands why God called her to work with SEND.
- Check out the resources on SEND’s Better Together page.