China (MNN) — Despite last month's arrest of six Christians who work with WorldServe Ministries in China, the ministry is moving forward to expand outreach.
Vice President for Operations Ken Leggatt says, "I just received word from a friend of ours in China that six pastors were arrested. It looks like they're going to be detained for up to a year simply for sharing their faith in Christ with others."
Leggatt says there's really only two kinds of churches in China: "There's the illegal church, which is the underground house church movement. And then, there's the legal church, which is the patriotic Three Self Church."
WorldServe is involved with the illegal churches. Despite the arrests, WorldServe is adding an urban unregistered church planting ministry. "Some statistics say that upwards of 150-million Chinese people have moved from the countryside and into the urban centers," says Leggatt. "By 2025, 55 percent of the population will live in urban centers of populations greater than 250,000 people."
That's why WorldServe is beginning to focus on urban centers. For now, they're focusing on Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu. "We're looking for city coordinators right now. We have one in place for Shanghai. Those city coordinators would then work with the movement with which we're working, coordinating some of these church planting strategies. Our goal is to have 10 couples working to plant urban churches."
Not only is WorldServe focusing on new residents who are poor and desperate, but also local professionals. "We're looking to plant churches with leaders of tomorrow, and that's why we're working hard to establish campus ministry programs that will lead us to planting churches with these young urban professionals."
Leggatt says you can sponsor one of these urban church planters. Click here to get connected.