Our Vision

China Partnership exists to boldly witness the saving and renewing power of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection as the Spirit calls Chinese people to himself, building his church into a missional community that manifests God’s glory through the life of worship and union with Christ.

Commitments

·      To support the church in China by providing gospel-centered training and resources for planting churches, shepherding Jesus Christ’s followers, and living a renewed life.

·      To facilitate gospel-centered, missional partnerships between the Chinese church and believers around the world.

·      To encourage and equip believers to love Chinese people everywhere, but particularly those living in proximity to their neighborhoods and communities.

China Partnership was started in 2001 out of a partnership between Mission to the World, Redeemer City to City, and various churches in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). As our work in China has expanded, this original partnership has grown to include churches from other denominations and traditions that agree on the core distinctives of the gospel. As of 2016, CP is accountable to its own Board of Directors and Council. Partnering churches are required to subscribe to either the Westminster Standards or The Gospel Coalition Foundational Documents.

Meet the Team

 

For the first time in two thousand years of world history, Christianity has the opportunity to influence an enormous, non-western, and heterogeneous culture, having direct access to its fundamental core values and shaping its understanding of humanity. So far the gospel has spread along with the advance of the West, and it has not yet thoroughly encountered and transformed another culture as it did the Greco-Roman world. But China has the potential to become a nation greatly shaped by the redemptive grace of Christ and the next great cultural center to be influenced by the gospel. 

Now is the time to work and devote our lives to the gospel capturing the Chinese mind and heart for the glory of our resurrected Lord. It is a time of opportunity and it is also a time of life and death. We are convinced that genuine change of heart, mind, and lifestyle are the true marks of God’s reign among his people and we hope the church will be a lasting, renewing force as it takes the posture of a servant within Chinese society.  We pray that just as the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected transformed and reconstructed the ancient Roman world, it will also capture the hearts of the Chinese, eventually impacting the culture for Christ.

Though personal salvation is the core of Christ’s work, the gospel according to the Bible is of cosmic proportions that are bigger than the individual. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and its eternal implications for humankind and all creation is the central message of the gospel and the ultimate reality of life. It is this message that will redeem God’s people and generate genuine Christ-followers. It has the power to transform neighborhoods and cities, and to renew the culture. It will establish strong counter-cultural, yet culturally literate, life-giving, and grace-centered churches. It is this big, cosmic, eschatological gospel that the Chinese people need to hear as they go through a time of cultural reconstruction.

The first step is the personal salvation of individuals, along with the rise of God’s people corporately. Time and again, God’s salvation plan has repeatedly started with a man, a family, a tribe, a nation, and onward into the entire world. It is within this redemptive-historical metanarrative that the story of a nation can be retold and reconstructed; therefore, the gospel has a unique opportunity to enter and reconstruct Chinese culture as a whole. Change and transformation must start from God’s people and flow out from this kingdom of heaven on earth. This huge task has to start small and it may take a hundred years, but we look to Christ in hopeful expectation.

China Partnership works to break down barriers to the movement of the gospel of grace in urban China.

Through pastoral training, theological education, and resource development, the CP has come alongside the Chinese church to serve according to its felt needs. Rather than duplicate efforts or compete with the church, our goal has been to listen the Chinese church’s leadership and serve accordingly. By fostering Chinese leadership, the CP has assisted the church in its development of vital church planting movements across China’s urban landscape. In recent years these efforts culminated in the founding of a completely Chinese owned and led network that spans the nation. In 2014, this movement celebrated its hard work at a conference in Hong Kong that brought together pastors across the country.

“We were in Hong Kong for a couple of days with about 1,500 Chinese pastors from around mainland China. They gathered together for a conference and it was a time for them to really celebrate what God had been doing the last two years. They work really hard at training, being coached on what it means to plant a church in a city, what it means to be renewed by the grace of the gospel. And so it was a fantastic opportunity and something very rare for these pastors to have in China, for church leaders to actually gather together in a safe setting to worship, to pray, and to have amazing times of just soaking in God’s word and hearing about the gospel, grace, unity.
The talks were really centered on understanding that the gospel really is about Jesus Christ and his death and his resurrection, and how it changes everything. You can have methods and you can have plans and do everything possible to have a great and effective church, but ultimately it comes down to God’s blessing. It comes down to what Jesus has done and that Jesus is enough.
We never would have imagined that what God started a few years ago could become what we have today. It really is a movement of God’s Spirit. It’s not about church planting, it’s not about the city, it’s not about transforming culture, but it is about returning to the historic gospel that Christ is enough for every single person. And when Christ is enough, everything else flows naturally and church planting happens. The city is then renewed by people who genuinely love and care about what happens. That is our hope, that is our dream, and it’s happening.
To see that we’re in so many cities in China and are continuing to grow naturally with Chinese leadership is just really humbling. Our hope and our dream is that God will continue to do this great work in China and that he would be glorified. If it’s through us coming alongside our brothers and sisters in China, that is awesome. But if he chooses to go a different route, we have been honored and privileged to come alongside our brothers and sisters and see them take so much ownership that if we were to stop today it would continue in so many amazing ways.”
Jeff Kyle, China Partnership

The gospel breaks through in communities when we foster true partnership.

It’s time for a change in missions. For the past two hundred years, missions has relied on the pioneer foreign missionary who brings the gospel, leads people to Christ, disciples and trains converts, and eventually starts a church. Often the unintended consequences of such work are “expert” foreigners who believe the local church will crumble without their involvement and complacency among local church leadership they depend on foreign leadership.

Rather than focusing on the individual callings of missionaries, we ought to focus on the establishment of the local church and the need for foreign workers to come alongside the church as qualified and trained equippers who co-labor under local direction. Foreign workers need to listen more, ask more questions, and assist local leadership accordingly. 

When the gospel breaks through into the hearts of people, they learn to live out their lives with gospel identity. Confidence grows, not in themselves, but in God who is at work in them. Therefore, we see local leaders take ownership as they experience renewed theological vision of the gospel, the community, and the city. The foreigner worker can and should come alongside local leaders as enablers, empowering local leaders to develop institutions and ministries such as seminaries, counseling centers, church polity, discipleship, mercy and justice projects, and many more.

“The word partnership hints at or implies equality. And equality means that the younger churches, the Chinese churches have things to teach the older churches in the West. And at the same time, there are things that the older churches in the West can teach and help the Chinese church with. Now the question is, what are those things? There has to be a meeting of the minds. The Chinese church has to know where they can actually help us and teach us. It shouldn’t all be just one way. It shouldn’t be a dependent relationship.
On the other hand, we need to have the humility to say you can teach us. So we have to get out of the idea that the Western church has to help the poor Chinese church. Obviously, the Asian churches can teach us a lot about evangelism, a lot about prayer, a lot about spiritual vitality. So there needs to be a sense that we are equal partners. We both have to learn from each other, we have to decide what it is we’re learning from each other and helping each other with. And then it will really change the world.
I think that the Chinese church, like all of the younger churches in the world, has this challenge: what do we conserve from the past? In what way are we true to the Christian past, true to church history, true to the old creeds? What do we conserve and where do we innovate? Where do we say there’s never been a massive Chinese church before? What do we bring to Christianity, to the Christian faith, to the Christian church that wasn’t there before?
That’s the key, I think, to real spiritual dynamism. Because if you innovate too much, you lose the basis of the gospel. If you hold on to tradition too much, you’re not really reaching your culture, your time. So my prayer for the Chinese church is that God would give spiritual wisdom to know where to conserve, where to innovate. That’s how I pray for the church.”
Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church

We are called to grow together across cultural divides in order to witness the growth of the gospel among Chinese around the globe.

As the world changes and becomes more connected, so must our strategies. The growth of the global church and the changing demographics of the United States have brought us to the point at which missions is no longer simply about sending workers “over there.” Global partnerships that function within local contexts must take precedent. “Global-local” strategies empower churches to partner effectively with the Chinese church is the ways most needed while simultaneously understanding and engaging the Chinese at their own doorsteps. The CP desires to equip churches partner with and love Chinese in whatever context they are called to serve in.

“We got involved with China Partnership about three years ago. [The CP] was talking a lot about global-local missions strategy and how as our world is changing, so do our missions ministry strategies need to adapt. One of the big emphases was focusing on and loving on and on getting to know international people that live in our city, so the missions committee and I set out to learn more about our city and learn more about our international population.
Hands down, the highest number of internationals in our city were from Mexico and from China. We knew right away that entering into a relationship with China Partnership made sense for us because we had so many people from China that live in our city. Our church also has a pretty large contingency at UCSD, the college campus close to us. As we learned more about the international students there, again, the highest number of international students at UCSD come from China by far. We wanted to love our city well, we wanted to love our campus well, so we knew that in order to that we needed to learn more about Chinese people and how we can love them better.
So we entered into a formal partnership with China Partnership. We started getting emails about China; we started learning more about China; we learned about how we can pray for China. We formed a team, maybe just five or six of us the first year and now we have quite a few more folks. It has been so fun to watch this group of people build relationships with and share God’s love through their actions, and through their words, with Chinese friends they meet.”
-       Hunter Benson, Redeemer Church