How to Become a Missionary in China

There seems to be a good number of people who make it to this blog in search of an answer to the question ‘how can I be a missionary to China?’ If that’s you, I would love to share a few thoughts with you as well as hear from you personally. It’s obvious that, in addition to the fears and misgivings that come with being a missionary anywhere, there’s a unique confusion that comes with missions endeavors to a closed country like China. So let me try to root out some of the oft-repeated ‘have-to‘s you may find yourself believing in…

Here’s a few things everyone in your shoes should know:

1.     You can preach the Gospel in China.

…you don’t have to only witness by a good testimony in the workplace

2. You can live in China without teaching English.

…you don’t have to work at a school to get a visa and money

3. You can learn to speak Chinese well.

…you don’t have to minister only to those who speak English

4. You can work in house churches in China.

…you don’t have to go to government churches or expat fellowships

5. You can play a vital role in missions in China.

…you don’t have to just make contacts to pass along to others

These are the big misconceptions that lead people who, like you, are excited about missions in China into a mess of ineffectiveness. Because of these ‘have-to’s, they join up with some organization who promises to get them a teaching job and visa. Or they independently come over and enroll in some school. Or they find an orphanage that can keep them busy. To you, then, and all the people who came before you only to be entangled in something besides making disciples, I offer only three imploring words…

F I N D  A  C H U R C H

And that’s about the extent of my advice. Because this is the giant sinkhole of modern missions involvement – a practical divorce from the church. I have been shocked at the number of self-proclaimed missionaries that don’t even go to church regularly! Really, if someone wanted to go do some work for the Lord in Boston or Bhutan, in Kansas City or Kuala Lumpur, this is the piece of counsel that would not change! Because no matter what else you’re doing, you are to be busy making disciples! And for that task, you need a church. So join one, attend one, lead one, or plant one… but don’t forget one. If you do, you may be a lot of things, but ‘missionary’ is not one of them.

What kind of church should you find? A place where you (in all of your foreign-ness) can get involved in preaching, teaching, and discipling. You need a place where you can learn Chinese, learn about unregistered-church-planting, and learn to make disciples in China. If you’re not interested in these things… um… I think you have missions confused with something else! And please don’t buy into the lie that you can’t do these things because it’s China – I’ll give you all the stories you want of people here doing them. And have a goal besides ‘get to China’ – because it’s way easier than you think to get paid to live in China. But it will take a lot of hard work to make you into a Chinese-speaking, disciple-making, church-planting missionary.

So if you’re looking for an opportunity to do these things, please let me know. I will do my best to help you FIND A CHURCH where you can be an effective part of the church’s advance in China!

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57 Comments on “How to Become a Missionary in China”

  1. Dean Reonbold February 11, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    I was just wondering if you know me and use to be a bus captain at Grace Baptist in Middletown Ohio.
    I love to here from the Gospel in China. Is it OK if I sent the email Gospel in China to my pastor and others in my church?

    • Vengador February 11, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      Hey Dean – yeah, it’s me! Great to hear from you! Absolutely – feel free to share with anyone. Thanks for your prayers and hope to hear more from you in the future!

      • reinboda Dean Reinbold February 21, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

        You are so right about missions. Our church believes the same as you. It is sad that most baptist churches don’t.

    • Becca June 23, 2015 at 3:57 am #

      I would like more information on missions in China.

  2. Peggy February 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    I was wondering about this very thing as my Church supports a young lady who is there doing language studies. She attends an expat church and has only been doing her studies with little Chinese interactions. I was wondering about her not making a bigger effort to connect to her neighbors, etc. We may be going over next year to do VBS for their missions conference. Enjoy your posts!

    • Vengador February 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

      Hey Peggy,
      Thanks for sharing about this young lady. I’m glad to hear about her language studies. Hopefully she will eventually be comfortable enough in the language to find a church outside of the expat community. I’m sure that’s what she would really like anyway. If she’s interested in that, and seems to have trouble finding an opportunity like that, please don’t hesitate to give her our info! Where is she studying?

  3. Septimus February 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    If church planting isn’t the the theme of the mission, then it simply isn’t “missions”

    • Vengador February 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

      Right on – been thinking about this this past week. People get upset when you say that something isn’t ‘missions.’ It’s not a biblical word, so it seems open to interpretation, but I’m still for drawing some kind of a line, because when we say ‘church-planting missions’ and ‘medical missions’, it sounds like they’re two different ways to do the same thing. Which they’re obviously not…

      • Septimus February 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

        I agree, a guiding line, which obviously the Scriptures do provide that, ought to be drawn. When this life is over, I’d rather receive the reward for things Christ did through me, rather than things I did on my own for Christ. Medical missions, English teachers, hospitals, red cross-like missions, community builders and all the various types of platforms are all find and good and needed. I wouldn’t have a problem calling these people missionaries if their platforms are directly assisting the ministries of a local church, or church plant. No doubt we can find a whole slew of projects to do in God’s name, but the last command of the great commission is teaching them to observe the things “I have commanded you”. I think most folks understand Jesus died for churches, not so much the platforms that are used to begin them. If there is any offense remaining after reading Ephesians 5:25-28, then it might be true we love what we do for God rather than what God does through us. Do the things I do in mission field coincide with Jesus’ passion for His church? In our distinctives, a church isn’t a universal body, but local assemblies. If one believed the opposite of that then just winning souls without baptizing them into a local body would suffice, no need for church planting.

    • Tim October 22, 2014 at 1:42 am #

      IMO, Any mission which makes the Word of God available to those who want to hear it (i.e. unbelievers interested in hearing the Gospel, believers interested in hearing accurate, and well taught doctrine) will be blessed by Him. There is a website with Chinese materials available for download or recommending to others are seeking salvation and want to know God’s will: My Chinese friends have got much blessings from the info on that website.

  4. Daniel S Courney February 19, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    Thank you for your article brother! I have had a desire to do mission work in China for a long time. (My life’s work, however, is here in India where I live.) I know it is extremely easy to enter China from India or Nepal (where I have also worked), and I desire to evangelize the lost up there as well with the aim of church planting, besides encouraging the believers up there. I have planned on doing Gospel work up in Tibet for some time, but our resources are currently funneled to the works we have going here in India. When I am in the position to do so, I would like to visit you up there!

    • Septimus February 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

      Thats awesome man, God does work through resources, and also your hearts desire. Ps 37:4

  5. T.C. February 22, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    I have been looking into all of this for a few years now. The main reason a lot of people are resorting to going the english teaching route is because of most non-denominational churches and even some denominational churches have no desire to send out they are area focused which is a good thing but in this hurts a lot of feelings when someone says God has given me the heart to China,Japan,Africa ect ect. My Pastor has been in missions work for a long time and he is wanting to send out people but the problem is more getting people that will freely give. I have heard people say the GOD WILL PROVIDE IF THAT IS HIS WILL when missions are involved or mentioned because for some reason a lot of people don’t believe that missionaries need help. Many people believe that most are sent out from a bible school or that they have been pastors for many years most of the best that I have seen that know that they where chosen tell everyone of the churches “Hey I am going on this mission. This is what is going to happen and you can be a part of it if you want to. If you have no clue exactly what you are going to be doing in the country that you are going to then you need to get the bigger picture. The plan that I came to first started out with is this my want or God’s want? When it was made clear to me that God is sending me the second thing that came to mind was What am I to do there? after getting that answer now comes the time in which you then ask for support. Now the fact is there will always be stubborn people that do always think of them selves and they are most likely the ones not even giving to the church that they go to. The point I am making is that most miss out because they heard and went instead of HEAR LOOK BELIEVE AND PLAN. I think it is also that a lot of people don’t want to worry about donations failing that they go to the plan of TEFL although I am learning to teach english I never had that as a plan to get into a country for mission work with the fact that you will not be able to structure around a school or companies schedule. Right now I am in the getting contacts place of the plan this is a part that most pre-sent missionaries don’t have, they never really think about it. When you know that you are going to a place that has others there the first thing you should do is contact them build relations with them and get their vision and offer your aid aside from FINANCES you must let them know your vision as well so that you can be of one mind one accord so that there is no burden in it. This is no easy task because a lot of missionaries see them self as a lone soldier not seeing that that is not how it is done. At this point i am searching for a on the job teacher on the field that understands I go first to learn from them and to aid them in making disciples. If you can not think of building a church or making disciples with another person over you at first the truth be told its more your want to feel important to God with a fancy title than to really serve Him. Remember we are a BODY we can not live apart from the BODY with Christ as our HEAD. I hope to get more contacts and information because this is my first time going on long term mission so I am looking for someone that has experience in China that I can learn from that is willing to teach another. I have a home church already my Pastor only knows of missions in Africa but his knowledge on mission work is key in what I am setting out to do although it will be very different in some aspects as it is different here at home.

  6. geneva March 27, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    This is a great resource of information. My family is moving there for business, however, it’s important for us to find a church. We are moving to Ningbo. Do you know of any fellowships?

    • Ed August 28, 2012 at 5:23 am #

      Hi Geneva, I’ve just come to know this web site and come to read your post. I’ve an ex-colleague who was a Ningbo local, but moved to a different city some years ago. He is not a christian, but may be able to provide some info to your query. Let me know if you still need help in finding a fellowship in Ningbo and I’ll try to contact this ex-colleague of mine. I’ll come back to this blog in a week’s time to check any response from you.

  7. Matt May 5, 2012 at 1:12 am #

    Hi! I just stumbled across your blog, and have really enjoyed reading many of the posts here! They have been very informative.

    I have a desire to become a missionary to China and must admit that I have fallen victim to many of the beliefs regarding missions in China. Thank you for opening my eyes! I have been planning to come to China using the TEFL route next month and hoping to get in some actual sharing of the gospel here and there. I’d love to chat with you more about finding a church and other options other than TEFL whenever you have a chance!

    • Vengador May 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

      Hey Matt,
      Thanks for writing. I appreciate you letting us know what’s going on in your heart as you consider how to best bring the Gospel to China. I’ll drop you a line here to give you some thoughts about working with churches in China.

      • davidxing February 6, 2013 at 7:35 am #

        hi vengador! i stumbled across your blog and it has really been a breath of fresh air to see so much faithfulness and zeal for the word of God.

        I am really thinking of being connected to a church in China, and would love to get your insight/ knowledge on where to be placed, so if you could email me at, that would be great!!!

  8. Sandra July 9, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    Can you share more about what you do in China and how God has provided for you through people and opportunities?

  9. Quinton July 22, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    I, like others, stumbled upon this blog. I been to China about 5 times, four short trips and one trip that lasted about 8 months. I am a pilot and really desire to fly there and get involved with the Chinese house church. We did church planting the last time I was there. I know aviation is growing exponentially there but I don’t have any contacts in the field. I have/had one but he was really no help in getting me placed there in a job. Would any of you guys happen to know of any ways of making this happen?


  10. Change of Mission August 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I would love to hear about your stories. We have adopted two children from China and want to move there to do missions. Because of all we have heard about the impossibility of being open about our Christianity we have recently applied to be missionaries with World Orphans. World Orphans sponsors a training center in China that homes and educates children that are not allowed to be adopted. Please tell me stories and how I can go there. My church does have a missionary in China who works in and around Beijing but I want a place where I can learn Chinese, learn about unregistered-church-planting, and learn to make disciples in China.

    Thank you for your time,

  11. Darin August 26, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    I live in Chatsworth, GA, my wife is from China, I am trying to find someone that lves here in the states that is a Chinese Christian. If anyone reads my post please contact me at

  12. eddie September 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    feel im being lead in that derection……may God continue to bless and watch over all our christian brothers and sisters in missions

  13. Emilia Misimanu November 12, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    hi, i really want to be a missionary in China, i really feel in my heart that God called me there,can you find a way where i can go there

  14. Edith November 27, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    My husband and i visited China last year and we did some missionary work while he was completing a sculpture in Changchun. We are going again next year. i have a burning desire to work for the Lord in China. We are not young any more, but we are alive and would love doing this. How do we go about this? We visited the Christian Church of Changchun but would like to get involved in the house churches.

  15. jim chody December 23, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    I am a member at a local church here in Austin Tx. I recently lost my job . So I have been praying to God what I should do . I know I love helping people out and love serving God. I want people to know what God has done and changed my life. I have always wanted to go somewhere in Asia so I was wondering how I could help out a missinary in China and I could also llearn from thanks for the time

  16. Katie December 29, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    I know I’ve been called to China for missions. I’ve known for quite a while actually. What do you suggest as a job besides teaching English? I was planning on becoming a teacher but if there is something else, I’d like to at least know. I’m a senior in high school so I still have time yet. I’ve also heard that some countries won’t let you in if you have a degree in applied ministry or bible or anything like that. Is this true do you know? Thanks!

  17. Ed December 31, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    Hi, I just stumbled across your blog, and have really enjoyed reading many of the posts here! They have been very informative.

    I have a desire to become a missionary to China and must admit that I have fallen victim to many of the beliefs regarding missions in China. Thank you for opening my eyes! I have been planning to come to China using the TEFL route but also have experience working in the Chinese church here in the U.S. and in Central America as a pastor. I am Chinese and have some experience in mission work. I’d love to chat with you more about finding a church and other options other than TEFL whenever you have a chance!

  18. Angel O'Brien January 9, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    hello Yes! you are talking to ME! called to China over a year and a half ago. A single mom with two middle schoolers. I
    long to teach and preach, praise and prophesy, love kids, the arts and ready to be immersed. all of those cliches i have heard and i have not determined a way how to go. Any help is appreciated. Angel

  19. Angel O'Brien January 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Also, my fiancee is an architect and builder. we would love to know about projects, like orphanages, hospitals, to be built in unreached areas where he can utilize his skills and we can attempt to get support from churches here for these projects. My prayer is ” Please hook me up, Jesus”!

  20. Dylan Kelly January 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    Hi my future wife and I have a strong calling our hearts for China and ultimatley want to be missionarys that root there. I love this article and it really puts things into perspective. I want to let you know that I am looking for an opportunity to do these things even its a bit down the road but I am very lead to these things and I would love your help in any way. Thank you


  21. Helen February 10, 2013 at 5:37 am #

    I am a 53 year old widow. I know the Lord has called me to work in China. I have a great compassion for children and would love to be involved in any children’s ministry, but my main focus is to be able to work in a house church in China. I know my local church will support me in this but before I approach them I need to have a more facts. Like where will I go, where will I live, how do I get in contact with a house church and how do I go about obtaining my visa. I will really appreciate any help you can give me.
    Thank you
    Ps. O yes and how can I start learning the language so long.

  22. john lalpu February 15, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    m definitly looking for these kind of ministries

  23. C.G. Pendarvis February 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    If there is any way that I can get in contact with someone regarding the underground church and missions in Mainland China, I would very much appreciate it. I was called to China when I was very young, I am finishing up my freshman year in college, and I will leave in June to continue studying Business and Chinese for the next 14 months. I have a very strong passion for the Chinese and have felt God’s power calling me over there for as long as i can remember. The idea that I will be heading over there in just a few months feels so surreal and miraculous! I don’t really know what God has in store, i will have various skills with English, business knowledge and a foundation in Chinese, but I just know that God is looking to use me over there to shine His light in the darkness. As I will be going there soon, any information that i can begin to get plugged in even as a student would be amazing. I am just in awe right now of what God is doing, and seeking to get more and more knowledge in order to be prepared for whatever God has in store. Thanks you

  24. Elizabeth Roloson September 26, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    My husband and I feel God might be calling us to the mission field in China. We have four children and we are a very close family. All I know at this time is God spoke to me and told me to check into China. I hope you might have some information that will be helpful to my family. Thank you and God bless.

    • theway2life October 5, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

      I am a Missionary and have made 15 mission trips to China. I DO NOT speak Chinese, But I DO print out our own Chinese gospel tract , once we are inside China. i use my own printer, ink and paper., then I covertly wander around and put tracts in bicycle baskets, mail boxes, store shelves, parks , buss seats, etc. So you do not need to learn Chinese to be a Chinese Missionary or missionary anywhere, as long as you have the gospel tract to print and distribute in the mother tongue.Here is our websites. AND
      As you can see. We preach in many languages gospel tracts. All you need is conviction, and a fervent passion to preach the gospel . You can buy your own HP officejet 100 mobile printer, refill ink and go to any country and print your own tracts , then covertly go out into the midst as dove, getting Christ word out in the face of adversity. No do it.!!!

  25. Brandon October 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    I have a heart for china and i am in high school currently taking chinese. I was curious as to how you get into China without a “trade”. My parents tell me that I must have a trade for them to let me in. What is your experience?

    • Jake October 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

      Hey Brandon – thanks for writing. I get that question often. Honestly, China is very welcoming to outsiders. Getting visas to remain in the country is very easy. Tourist visas are very easy to get, though they are getting to be more of a pain. Student visas are also readily available. We have stayed in China now for over six years without any sort of work visa or cover. We just get our visas to study or to be tourists, and go about our day-to-day ministry.

      Glad to hear about your heart for China, Brandon. I would encourage you to keep up your studies of the Chinese language. And please consider coming to China for a summer internship. It would help take your language ability to the next level as well as give you an opportunity to see what life and ministry is like in China for a foreign missionary.

  26. david joannes October 18, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    Good word bro! The days of pioneer ministry are not over. Unless you are truly called to the workplace or an English teaching environment, you do not need to overwhelm your schedule with busyness that does not allow you to be proactive in ministry. We’re talking life on life, spirit on spirit ministry, a transfer of spiritual DNA if you will! Plus China is one of the easiest places in all the world to start churches / discipleship groups. Take the opportunity!

  27. \Mark October 28, 2013 at 2:04 am #

    Hi, you mentioned preaching the gospel in China. Could you please give more detail. In churches or in public as well? One on one or could you preach to a group in public? Thanks

  28. Kayode October 30, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    Hello, I am a Sunday School teacher and a Christian author. God has called to teach/preach the gospel in China. Could you give some christian organisations/missions that would need people like me and perhaps ready to sponsor me

  29. Faith October 31, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Since I was a young I have this desire to go to China and become a missionary. Felt God is calling me to go there. I even bought Learning Mandarin books to learn simple mandarin sentences. Now I am 25 and still looking for opportunities to fulfill this dream. I was aware about China’s need for English teachers but I was having second thoughts becoming one because I am Asian, Filipino to be exact.
    My father knows this desire I’ve had so he provided me with books and literature discussing Christianity in China and somehow I am aware of the underground church setting there. The Heavenly Man and testimonies of Christians going to prison for their fatih made me embrace evangelism for China all the more. I was actually hoping to tap with our denomination’s missionary work, however they are only sending Bible school graduates and sadly, not to China.
    While waiting for God to open doors for me to China, I am into children’s and youth ministry in our church and actively participating in our outreach programs. However, my desire for China just kept growing everyday. Would you help me find a community in China where I can be greatly used by God?

  30. Jessica Kaitlin McVicker February 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    Hi, I’m Jessica. I love your blog on how to be a missionary in China, and that’s exactly what I want to do: be a missionary in China! I’ve been planning for ages on how to raise enough money for Bibles, literature, radios of Christian stations and a plane ticket to Hong Kong. I need help; please feel free to contact me and help me out.

    • Blesyn April 27, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

      Hi Jessica. My name is Blessing. I have the same passion too. To do missions in China. Will be glad to contact u. My email id is
      please send me a mail so we can talk. Thk u.

  31. Blesyn April 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    Most people are afraid of missions in China because the country is closed, security and they think it can lead to death. How true is this please? And how do the people react to Christianity?

  32. Tyler July 19, 2014 at 5:42 am #

    Good morning!
    At our church here in Illinois, we have a married couple from China. The wife speaks “pretty good” English but her husband, not so much. We’re having a hard time coming up with a way for our Pastor’s sermons to be displayed in the couples native language.
    Voice recognition system for immediate translation? Projection system? Etc.
    Any insight you might have is greatly appreciated. Thank ya much. God bless and y’all enjoy your day.

  33. Kevin August 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    I want to become a missionary in China in the future. Who can i talk to about this? Thanks

  34. Francis Mary Mekala November 5, 2014 at 3:00 am #

    I am interested to risk my life for the Gospel in China. How can u help me ? I am ready to work in the church and under the direction of the church pastor who will also able to mentor me.

  35. Caleb Glenn Steinmetz November 10, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    My name is Caleb. I have been praying for God to show me what He wants me to do and over these past 2 years He has given me the desire to learn the culture & language of China. So if you could find the time to help me I would love to be able to go over to China find a church and make disciples.

  36. Stephen Nyarko March 3, 2015 at 10:11 am #

    Thank you for your article brother! I have had a desire to do mission work in China for a long time. (My life’s work, however, is here in Ghana where I live.) I know it is extremely not easy to enter China from Ghana (where I have also worked), and I desire to evangelize the lost up there as well with the aim of church planting, besides encouraging the believers up there. I have planned on doing Gospel work in my area for some time, but our resources are currently funneled to the works we have going here in Ghana. When I am in the position to do so, I would like to help spread the gospel in china. Thank you.

  37. Emma Owen March 13, 2015 at 9:59 am #

    Hi there. I am looking for more information about being planted in a church in China. This is something that I have been praying about for a while now and I feel and overwhelming urge to get over there and teach the gospel. Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Thank you for reading this, I eagerly await your reply. God bless you!

  38. Dawn June 6, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

    Hi, I feel excited by the idea of missions in China..Im a tefl teacher and examiner in Ielts and wondering whats the best way forward..any ideas would be very appreciated…

  39. Donna Mann June 7, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    It was revealed to me and confirmed in different ways that God is calling me to go to China. I didn’t understand why or what or even when. But as soon as I emptied this vessel of all the excess baggage I have been carrying in my heart the Holy Spirit filled this vessel and then I was led to this blog. Now it is revealed to me that I am to go to China to be a disciple maker. Praise and Glory to God! So I am letting you know that yes I am looking for that opportunity. I would like the opportunity to explain to you my personal circumstances. If you wouldn’t mind I would like to give you my email. Thank you so much for this blog.

  40. George J Prinkey June 20, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    Hi. I’m looking for information about how to serve the Lord in China. I’ve been to Nicaragua recently and feel missions is where God wants to use me.

    I’m just a regular Christian that loves the Lord with all my heart and am not content with just “attending” church each week. I want to experience what I believe Jesus meant for his church to be and do.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  41. ideafindr September 18, 2015 at 11:24 pm #

    Wow, spot on. I wish I had read through this blog before I went to China on my own.

  42. alexaperry January 5, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    I have had China laid on my heart for over a year now, yet I have put it off for the reasons stated above. I didn’t know how to get there, what I would do when I am there, or how long. I know God is leading me, but I need help with the details in that. Can you help me?

  43. Raymond Knight June 14, 2016 at 8:47 pm #


    Would it be possible for my wife and I to live and work in China and make enough money to live on?

    Thank you
    Raymond Knight

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