The Chinese government may be an unintentional instigator of church growth

By January 26, 2010

China (MNN) — The Church in urban China is growing like wildfire, and it may have the government to thank for it.

"There's a mass migration happening in China right now between people, particularly young people, moving from the rural areas to the city to look for jobs," explains Tom Henry with WorldServe Ministries. "It's also being heavily pushed by the Chinese government. And as that has happens, God is doing the same sort of revival that He did in the rural areas, and churches are exploding in urban areas all over China."

Due to this mass migration, WorldServe has had to alter their direction in China. The ministry, which has historically worked in mostly rural areas of the country, is now moving into the city.

"We're focusing on training new leaders, both business and for the church, and supporting church pastors specifically as they get started on urban churches," says Henry. "We're also reaching unreached people groups that move into the city."

Again comes in the support of the Chinese government. Not only do urban areas of China tend to include less persecution than rural areas, but the government has granted WorldServe and many churches permission to do their work. This allows WorldServe to train Christian businessmen and pastors unhindered.

WorldServe's most recent shift has been in training businessmen. The ministry often brings reputable Christian business leaders from the U.S. and Canada to help train.

"We're really encouraging people to use business as a platform as God intended, because it can be a great opportunity to impact the culture," says Henry.

Eventually, WorldServe hopes to do enough training to essentially not be needed anymore.

"Our goal is to work ourselves out of support for church planting and even training, and have the Chinese businessmen support their own country," explains Henry. By this time the church in China will be thriving on its own–an ideal that could not occur without the support of the Chinese government. Although it may have been unintentional, the Chinese government has been playing an unmistakable part in church growth and ministry.

Pray that the Lord would guide and direct WorldServe as they continue their work. If you would like to help train business and church leaders in China, contact WorldServe by phone or through their Web site.

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