Taiwan (MNN) — The church in Taiwan is growing, but it needs assistance long-term.
The Central Intelligence Agency reports that amongst Taiwan's vast Buddhist and Taoist communities, about 4.5% of the nation adheres to Christianity. The Joshua Project reports that the number of evangelical believers, however, may be closer to 1.5%.
Despite discouraging numbers though, the church has doubled its missions focus in the last decade. Operation Mobilization reports that in 2000, the local church sent out 210 workers, and the number has since grown to 550. The focus of missions in Taiwan remains on local church planting and expansion.
Although the small church is certainly moving forward in evangelism, reports indicate that they have some significant hurdles to cross–hurdles that will be extremely difficult to jump without guidance.
According to 2012 Mission Research by United Mission of Taiwan, the challenges that the church in Taiwan faces today include a balanced investment in church planting and expansion; lack of understanding for the importance of cooperation among church, mission organizations, and workers; lack of integration in mission among different churches or denominations; and lack of human and financial resources.
In response to these needs, OM Taiwan is hosting OM's first Mandarin missions conference. Zan4 Taiwan will span from August 4-13, in the hope that the Taiwanese will catch a glimpse of cross-cultural missions during the week and be encouraged to invest their lives in world missions.
OM Taiwan is also pioneering long-term ministry in the form of the Community Transformation Movement (CTM) with a focus on evangelism, spiritual formation, mercy ministry, community development, and ecological stewardship. The CTM team consists of international and inter-denominational workers who lead initiatives to form Christian communities, catalyze community development, help in church planting, and strengthen churches where the Gospel has rarely been heard.
These Taiwanese brothers and sisters have their work cut out for them as they try to reach millions in their nation with the Gospel. Pray that Zan4 Taiwan and the CTM would help provide these believers with tools they need to feel confident moving forward with the Gospel.