Guest / Limited Access /
Made in China: The Next Mass Missionary Movement
Courtesy of Mission China 2030

Five years ago, more than 200 Chinese Christian leaders were detained before they could board flights to the most diverse gathering of evangelicals ever. Among the 4,000 leaders gathered in South Africa’s Cape Town for the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, their empty seats signified the Chinese church’s challenges in engaging world missions.

But instead of tamping down the Chinese church’s desire for missions, the Cape Town 2010 incident acted as a catalyst, bringing together the right leaders inside and outside China, ChinaSource president Brent Fulton says.

In 2011, 100 of those house church leaders made it to Seoul, South Korea, where the Lausanne Movement held a special conference for them. And this fall, about 850 Chinese leaders gathered for their own missions conference even closer to home. They announced from Hong Kong a long-discussed goal: to send 20,000 missionaries from China by the year 2030.

The number is enormous, especially for a country that has sent only a few hundred foreign missionaries so far. Of the world’s top six sending countries, four hover around the 20,000 mark, according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC): France, Spain, Italy, and South Korea. Only the United States (127,000) and Brazil (34,000) send more. (CSGC counts Christians from all denominations. Other estimates vary.)

But nobody’s ruling China out.

“China always wins when it comes to numbers,” said Fulton, who recently authored China’s Urban Christians. “China has a huge church.” It’s hard to pinpoint the number of Christians in China since there’s no official count. The Pew Research Center estimated 67 million in ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Christian Culture Is Better Than We Imagine
Let's not forget the church's long legacy of creativity and excellence.
RecommendedThe Surprising Discovery About Those Colonialist, Proselytizing Missionaries
Subscriber Access Only The Surprising Discovery About Those Colonialist, Proselytizing Missionaries
They didn’t set out to change history. But one modern scholar’s research shows they did just that.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickThe Grace of Church Discipline
The Grace of Church Discipline
We do no one any favors if we ignore or downplay core beliefs.
Christianity Today
Made in China: The Next Mass Missionary Movement
hide thisJanuary/February January/February

In the Magazine

January/February 2016

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.