China Partnership (CP) began as a collaborative effort made up of churches and organizations. Over the course of our history, CP has shifted to become staff led, particularly as we hire Chinese staff who are able to work directly with churches and pastors within China. We have also incorporated as an organization and now have a smaller board of directors to handle organization business, finances, and ministry plans. As we see CP become increasing Chinese and staff led in our engagement with China, we have been faced with the question: “What is the role of the Western or American church?” This question has led us to the formation of a council.
China Partnership has the opportunity to work closely with a leading movement of churches throughout China, and it is remarkable to see the growing maturity of the relatively young Chinese urban church. Less than 30 years old, the urban church is hungry to figure out what church looks like, how to evangelize and disciple, and how to engage a community with the gospel. Additionally, the house churches are also facing what will most likely be a growing period of persecution and uncertainty in China. We call on individuals, churches, and organizations that have a heart for China and want to serve the Chinese church to join us in our work; to stand with us as we support, encourage, partner, and pray for the church in China. We are living in a historic moment of Chinese church history that the early missionaries labored for and prayed would one day arrive.
What is the China Partnership Council?
China Partnership wants to serve the church in China through excellently stewarding the prayers, support, and resources (financial, theological, and institutional) of the Western church. In order to do this, we see value and need for a group of people who represent different perspectives, churches, and organizations we can rely on for information sharing, idea generating, and advocacy of various efforts, and initiatives.
Who Will Make Up the Council?
The council is to be made up of individuals, church representatives, and organizations that share a vision and mission to come alongside the church in China and to reach Chinese people. Council members will demonstrate eagerness to serve the Chinese church and to learn how best to come alongside it.
What is the Requirement of a Council Member?
Council members will make a three-year commitment in order to encourage greater group dynamics and to foster unity. There is no financial obligation for council members or churches. However, we do require council members to demonstrate an investment in the work of CP by advocating for CP within their respective networks, including but not limited to friends and family, the local church(es), and charitable associations.
When Will the Council Meet?
Usually, the council meets in person for a full day. This year, due to restrictions brought about by COVID-19, the council will met over Zoom on November 6, 7:30pm-9:30pm EST. Over the course of 2021, we will continue to look for creative ways to engage and support our council members as we navigate these uncertain times. These might include occasional Zoom meetings, prayer events, or specialized resources.
What Does CP Hope for the Council?
We hope the council will be a place where great ideas are shared and where China Partnership staff can hear from a committed group of people. We believe the council can become a group of strong advocates for the church in China among the global community.