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CMI Seminar to Study Development of House Churches in China

In the light of fast growing Christian movement in China, a seminar prepared by a global Chinese mission organization will address the answer behind the scene. The seminar is set to be held on May 20
( [email protected] ) Feb 21, 2006 07:51 PM EST

In the light of fast growing Christian movement in China, a seminar prepared by a global Chinese mission organization will address the answer behind the scene.

Sponsored by China Ministries International (CMI), the theme of the seminar is "The Chinese House Churches Today: Transformation and Renewal." It aims to "overview the life and fervent ministry of the Chinese House Church movement over the last ten years," according to a statement on CMI’s website.

The seminar is set to be held on May 20 in San Gabriel Valley Area, California. It is a response to the China Bible Ministry Exhibition in Los Angeles on April 27th - May 4th, organized by the government-sanctioned National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant Churches in China and the China Christian Council (CCC/TSPM).

According to CMI, the seminar seeks to introduce to the overseas Chinese that "the House Churches are vibrant, energetic, full of life, and strongly mission minded church, as well as a growing church in China." It is not a church "with literary interest only," it is a church "full of promises with many God’s blessings to come."

Many prominent Chinese pastors are invited to speak on the seminar, including Rev. Luke Chang, Director of Chinese ministry in The Sowers international; Rev. Stephen Chen, professor of Theology at the University of Seattle; Dr. Edwin Lee, president of CMI; and Rev. Hong Yujian, senior pastor of Faith Chinese North American Baptist Church.

In a recent commentary written by Dr. Edwin Lee, he explained the two biggest challenges faced by Chinese house churches nowadays- secularism and urbanization. According to Lee, an increasingly secularized China becomes a society concerned with the immediate satisfaction of the senses and where God is absent.

Concerning urbanization, the Church in China, which has been mainly developing in the countryside from the early 1980s until recently, cannot penetrate into the cities due to cultural discrepancies. China ministry will have to raise to the level of theological construction for the Church and cultural construction for the society in order to meet the challenge of tomorrow, Lee said.

North American churches have a long missionary sending history. Lee wishes to see that many Mainlander Chinese will become the object of outreach for American churches. On the other hand, more Mainlander Chinese in the United States will be equipped to naturally become missionaries when they return to China.

CMI, formerly known as Chinese Church Research Center at the China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong, is a mission organization dedicated to the evangelization of the Chinese people, the kingdomization of the Chinese Church, and the Christianization of Chinese culture through research, training, sending of missionaries and publications.