There are several different strategies foreign missionaries consider when doing missions work in China. I have seen, heard, and met people doing all the ways mentioned in the excerpt below. Our desire and strategy best fits with the fourth way presented below. Continue to Pray as we attempt to learn more of this language so that we can effectively evangelize, disciple, plant, and train!
“Mission strategies for foreign missionaries in China:
There are many. I will mention a few that I know of. One: work with and through the existing public and legal TSPM (Three Self Patriotic Movement) churches. Don’t choose this one unless you have no problem with women pastors, infant baptism, sprinkling instead of immersion and the knowledge that these practices will not change through your influence in the state-run public churches.
Two: evangelize and try to introduce your contacts to existing house groups. This sounds good, but as in choice number one you will have some inherent problems. It is not easy to find an organized house church that practices all of the things that you may consider essential to sound doctrine and practice. You will also need to know the language and culture before you can reasonably understand what the potential house group is all about.
Three: find some way to train existing house church leaders in sound doctrine. This has several aspects. Those who have money and the contacts to do so prefer occasional itinerant preaching. This method is very popular for overseas Chinese or others foreign missionaries who can speak Chinese. Another aspect of the third method is to set up short-term training centers and invite national pastors and evangelists to attend. This method is popular with those who have a wide perspective on “the church” in China. This is quite costly but is seen by some as the best method to do the most good in the shortest amount of time.
The fourth strategy I will mention is to go to an area, spread the Gospel, disciple your own converts, organize a local church under your own leadership and when the training and timing is right, allow the local church to govern itself in every area. Many call this church planting. This is the strategy that we have in China. Please keep in mind that real results cannot be measured in a short period of time.”