The development of the Gospel in China faces two kinds of people: rural people and urban people. Generally speaking, people in the countryside are simple and open while urban people are reserved and conservative. There is also an enormous difference in their lifestyles.
With the faster urbanization of Chinese society and declining rural churches, more and more gospel ministries are gathering in cities. However, one fact that can't be ignored is that the Gospel is much less acceptable to people in cities who are alert to everything than to rural people.
Convenient transportation and advanced communication shorten the geographic distance but fail to pull people's hearts closer. People are cautious with each other. Why is that? The reason, in the ultimate analysis, is mistrust caused by sin.
If a man is too defensive, whether he is from city or the countryside, there will be no man or thing worthy of belief.
A brother from an evangelistic team told me that few people watch their public performances at the square located on urban streets or in the park although people hurry to and fro. Some come, hang about then leave, but it seems that they are really busy. However, rural people go to gathering places with chairs and stools in twos and threes and they are orderly and quiet as soon as they hear the sound of a horn or the announcement of a show. When it comes to the altar call of an evangelistic meeting, they walk onstage enthusiastically and repeat the sinner's prayer. It works really well.
More than eighty percent of Christians in large and medium-sized cities are migrants from rural areas and small towns. They come to the cities with faith but a considerable number of them lose their faith after living in cities. However, the portion of Christians among native urban people of many generations who reside in cities is much lower than that of rural people. It can be seen that the Gospel work in China is "encircling the cities from the countryside".
Translated by Karen Luo