After almost a century and a half of gospel work by thousands of full-time Christian workers since missionary Robert Morrison arrived in China in 1807, Chinese Christians still numbered only about one million. Even as recently as only two generations ago, the world was wondering whether Christianity in China might have been completely extinguished. At that time, who would have guessed God’s plan was not only to multiply the Chinese church exceedingly but also to raise her up to be a light for the entire world? And yet, this is what we see God doing.
Foundations of the ‘China-To-The-World’ Vision
As early as the late 1920’s in the Jesus Family in Shandong, and continuing into the 1930’s and 40’s in other groups, God began revealing to the Chinese His plan to send many missionaries out of China to nations along the ancient Silk Route, going as far as the Middle East and Jerusalem. These nations comprise most of the world’s remaining unevangelized, ‘difficult’ nations—the so-called ‘10-40 Window’ nations, including many Islamic and Buddhist nations traditionally very resistant to the gospel. God began to show various Chinese church leaders that He wants to give the Chinese a spiritual inheritance in these nations by sending us there to reap a great harvest of souls before the return of Christ.
Nexus was born out of the deep conviction that God has indeed called us, the Chinese, to world mission, and that we must indeed fulfill our part and receive our inheritance in God’s great end-time harvest. We know that God has uniquely equipped us for our role. In today’s world, most of the nations in the 10-40 Window view the Chinese favorably. Many prejudices and other barriers in today’s world which hinder missionaries sent from other countries do not exist, or exist to a lower degree, for Chinese. We recognize this as divine preparation for us, the Chinese, to be God’s messengers to the world.
Furthermore, as Christians in 10-40 Window nations often suffer intense persecution, we feel a strong bond with, and responsibility for, these dear brothers and sisters. We understand them, and they also understand us. They see us as they see themselves. It is in this deep understanding that we feel a special connection to Christians in despair. There are no better people to help the persecuted than those who have been persecuted themselves.
While many Chinese Christians have been stirred by this God-given mission vision, and many beginnings and many attempts have been made, relatively few Chinese missionaries have remained long on the field. This has been due to many factors such as inexperience and poor funding, but perhaps mostly due to lack of communication and cooperation necessary for the success of any long-term mission endeavor.
The West learned through centuries of experience that sending a substantial, effective mission force is a complex matter. Missionary societies, sending agencies, training schools, channels for funding…a host of necessary support structures were developed through literally centuries of mission experience. Sending missionaries is neither inexpensive nor easy! But the Chinese church never sent out workers until recently and has not had mission support structures such as the West has.
The Role of Nexus Mission
Many Chinese churches are zealous, willing and ready to train and send overseas workers, but lack practical knowledge of ‘how to do mission’ and also lack necessary support structures for ongoing success. Nexus Mission was formed in 2008 as a response to God’s call to meet these needs.
Nexus is a bridge, helping establish and maintain important connections among Chinese churches, missionaries, supporters, and field partners. Our vision is to ‘work ourselves out of a job’; not only to connect but to nurture individual churches and missionaries until they have a mature understanding of mission, establish strong connections, and do not require our help any more. Then we can help someone else!
Nexus desires to see the entire Chinese Church rise up and fulfill the role God has called her to in our generation. Therefore we inform, connect, nurture, and spread the vision and understanding of Chinese missions, until the Church of China becomes mature in mission, a channel of blessing that flows “From China to the World!”