November 18, 2009
On November 16, 2009, a senior group of World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) leaders met with the President and General Secretary of the China Christian Council (CCC) and the Chairperson of the National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) in Shanghai, China after attending the successful annual meeting of the organization’s International Leadership Team in South Korea.
According to WEA International Director Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, the group (Senior Staff, International Council, Regional Alliances, Commissions, and Global Partners) - was very warmly received by the Chinese Christian leaders. Among key issues discussed at this historic meeting were the recent growth of the Church in China and the needs that growth has created - including the need for national pastors to be trained and equipped, the development of seminaries (especially the training of presidents and deans), the need for a theology that integrates evangelism and social services. Rev Kan, General Secretary of the China Christian Council illustrated the commitment of the Chinese churches to social needs by describing their generous response to the recent earthquake in Sichuan Province.
“Through our conversations, we have understood that they greatly value international partnerships that respect the mission and calling of the national church,” stated Dr. Tunnicliffe. “This reflects WEA’s conviction that the Gospel must take root and bear fruit in every national context. I am deeply encouraged by their commitment to proclaiming and living out the Gospel in their fast-changing context.”
Rev Gordon Showell-Rogers, the WEA associate international director designate ‘’Given the complexity of the continually evolving Church situation in China, the WEA gladly embraces the opportunity to develop this warm and open relationship of dialogue’’
Rev Kan, General Secretary of China Christian Counsel said “The Protestant Church in China is a member of the Universal Church and is a part of the Body of Jesus Christ. We delight to foster friendship with other Churches all over the world. The visit of WEA is a good beginning of our future constructive relationship. We look forward to having more opportunities for mutual sharing and in-depth understanding.”
“This visit was the first step in creating a new map in the relationship between WEA and the churches in China,” commented Dr. Tunnicliffe. “At the end of the meetings we realized that we have many common concerns. The CCC warmly encouraged WEA to return for more in-depth discussions. WEA was able to explain the complexities of global evangelicalism and WEA’s priorities.”
The WEA team is now travelling to other parts of China to meet key people at Union Seminary (the largest national seminary) in Nanjing and government leaders in Beijing.