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Published on 20 May, 2010

Growing urban ministries create new opportunities to share Christ in China

China (MNN) — For the past 30 years or more, the heart of ministry to China has been in the rural countryside, where the movement toward God and revival has gained momentum.

The opposite was true of China's cities. Tom Henry, director of China and Ethiopia with WorldServe Ministries, said he used to tell people nothing was happening in the city. "The door was sorta closed in the city: people are materialist; they're not interested in spiritual things."

However, in the past four or five years, Henry has seen a huge shift. Ministry continues to flourish in rural areas, but there's also been a sparked interested in who Christ is in urban areas. Henry said this may stem from many people who used to live in rural areas moving to the city: "As more and more people migrate to the cities, more Christians migrate to the cities. And they've been spreading the Gospel. I think there's also a new openness for the Gospel among intellectuals, among party members, among folks in all strata in the urban area."

Students, business professionals, and other individuals more concentrated to the city are among those who seem to be more open.

Thus, while WorldServe continues to focus on church planting–one of the main strands of their ministry, they have also begun to develop new programs geared specifically for each of these groups.

One area of outreach is to train business men and women in kingdom business management, which shows these individuals how to use their business to impact people for Christ.

Another ministry is with university students, specifically in the U.S. Henry said there are over 100,000 graduate studies students from China currently studying in the U.S. If WorldServe and their partners can positively impact them for Christ, they will, in turn, share the Gospel with their native country when they return.

"If we can equip them on this end to be kingdom business leaders, we've just sent multiple missional Christians back in to impact the nation," Henry said.

Upon their return, WorldServe hopes new believers will convey to China, "To be a Christian in China is not a threat; it's probably the best thing for the country," Henry said.

Interested in joining the movement sweeping across China's urban areas? If you are a student in the U.S., connect with Henry at tomh@worldserve.org to convey Christ to Chinese students and in turn much of China.

WorldServe loves to travel to churches and share stories about what God is doing in their ministry. Visit worldserveUSA.org to set up a visit. As always, you can also visit the Web site to donate to WorldServe and help them continue their service for the Kingdom.

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About China

  • Primary Language: Chinese, Mandarin
  • Primary Religion: Non-Religious
  • Evangelical: 5.7%
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