Lesson Outline


About the Course

It Radically Transforms
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is a dynamic, internationally respected program that has transformed thousands of people.

Biblical Perspective
The Bible is One Book with one major theme that has implications for all of us. You'll see the Bible in a new light.

Historical Perspective
Discover how God has been working through history fulfilling one major purpose revealed in the scriptures. You'll understand more clearly how close we are to its completion in our own day.

Cultural Perspective
You'll see how the gospel has crossed cultural barriers, how culture affects our communication, and how we can be more sensitive to God's work in cultures radically different from our own.

Strategic Perspective
You'll be exposed to amazing ways God is accomplishing His plan and purpose among the nations. You'll become inspired and motivated in new ways to become strategically involved in God's plan and purpose–in your family, in your church, through your job, in your community, for the sake of others.

You can also find a summary of the Perspectives course at the perspectives.org website. Click here.


Perspectives: A Course of Vision, Hope and Passion

As the name implies, the Perspectives course is about vision. It's the same vision which empowered Jesus to live His life with joy, hope, and singlehearted passion. This course explores that vision and will help you respond to Christ's invitation to live for the same purpose and significance that He did.

There's joy in this vision. Jesus told His first followers that the value of living fruitfully for His Father's glory was "that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full" (John 15:11).

What was the vision? Jesus summed up the vision in one of His final prayers to His Father, "I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave me to do" (John 17:4). Jesus' life purpose was to bring about God's glory on earth. Throughout His life, Jesus kept the vision of God's greater glory before Him. He believed His Bible as it told the story and described the prophetic certainty that God would be delighted by worship from every people. The vision of God's glory focused His life choices and filled His daily affairs with immense significance. Passion for God's glory energized and integrated His life. Life with purpose was so satisfying that He said, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work" (John 4:34). As He set His life toward the hope of finishing God's work, His life became a daily feast of purpose. This course aims to help you live strategically toward that same hope.

"Missions" is a loaded word for most Christians. Many people are exposed to missions in the context of appeals for volunteers or funds. Missions has often been reduced to a limited question of whether you will be a missionary or not. Most Christians would admit that they don't really know enough about what missions is to know what they would do or be if they were to aspire to be a missionary. Even less clear is how someone can live for God's global purpose without being a missionary.

The point of this course is not to persuade you to become a missionary. Neither is it to train you in skills you need to serve as a missionary. We simply want to show you practical examples of how missions can be done wisely and well. The primary idea is that God will fulfill His purposes. The certainty that He will see it fulfilled makes His invitation to join Him in His mission a matter of heart-blazing hope. We are not called to perform dull religious duties. He is enlisting His followers to lead lives of huge significance.

We are convinced that God has a "world-sized" role for every Christian in His global purpose. Whether people go to distant countries or stay at home is a secondary issue. The primary issue is what most people are hungry to discover: vision to live a life of purpose. Discovering that vision makes this course valuable, and perhaps crucial, for any Christian.

What's In This Course? The course is designed around four vantage points or "perspectives"- Biblical, Historical, Cultural and Strategic. Each one highlights different aspects of God's global purpose.

The Biblical and Historical sections reveal why our confidence is based on the historic fact of God's relentless work from the dawn of history until this day.

That's why the essence of this course is the record of what God has been unfolding for thousands of years toward a certain, and perhaps soon-coming, culmination. As we wind our way through history, we will meet the largest and longest-running movement ever in history- the World Christian Movement. You will find that virtually every innovative approach you can think of has been attempted by those who have gone before us. We are in league with the most substantial movement of creative and self-sacrificing people the world has ever seen. The Cultural and Strategic sections underscore that we are in the midst of a costly, but very "do-able" task, confirming the Biblical and Historical hope.


Core Ideas

  1. God initiates and advances work in history to accomplish His purpose.
  2. God calls His people to join Him in fulfilling His purpose.
  3. God’s purpose is to bless all peoples so that Christ will be served and glorified among
    all peoples.
  4. God accomplishes His purpose by triumphing over evil in order to rescue and bless
    people and to establish His kingdom rule throughout the earth.
  5. The Bible is a unified story of God’s purpose.
  6. God’s work in history has continuity and will come to an ultimate culmination.
  7. The Christian movement has brought about positive social transformation.
  8. The mission task can and will be completed.
  9. The world’s population can be viewed in terms of people groups.
  10. The progress of world evangelization can be assessed in terms of church-planting
    movements within people groups.
  11. Completing the mission task requires the initiation and growth of church-planting
    movements that follow social avenues of influence.
  12. Completing the task requires effective cross-cultural evangelism that follows
    communication patterns within cultures.
  13. Completing the task requires strategic wholism in which community development is
    integrated with church planting.
  14. Completing the task requires collaborative efforts of churches and mission agencies
    from diverse cultures and traditions.
  15. God calls His people to embrace strategic sacrifice and suffering with Christ in order to
    accomplish His global purpose.
  16. By participating in the world Christian movement, every believer can find a way to live with
    vital, strategic significance in God’s global purpose.

The 16 core ideas expanded (pdf)

(Taken from the perspectives.org website)


Lesson Titles

    Biblical

    Lesson 1: The Living God is a Missionary God

    Lesson 2: The Story of His Glory

    Lesson 3: Your Kingdom Come

    Lesson 4: Mandate for the Nation

    Lesson 5: Unleashing the Gospel

    History

    Lesson 6: The Expansion of the World Christian Movement

    Lesson 7: Eras of Mission History

    Lesson 8: Pioneers of the World Christian Movement

    Lesson 9: The Task Remaining

    Culture

    Lesson 10: How Shall They Hear?

    Lesson 11: Building Bridges of Love

    Strategy

    Lesson 12: Christian Community Development

    Lesson 13: The Spontaneous Multiplication of Churches

    Lesson 14: Pioneer Church Planting

    Lesson 15: World Christian Discipleship


    Lesson Summaries

    Biblical

    #1. The Living God is a Missionary God
    God’s purpose is three-fold: against evil—kingdom victory; for the nations—redemption and blessing; and for God—global glory in worship. God’s purpose revealed in promise to Abraham. Exploring God’s purpose for the nations: Blessing to the nations described.

    #2. The Story of His Glory
    Exploring God’s purpose for Himself: How God has been steadily unfolding a plan throughout all nations and generations to bring about His greater glory, ultimately drawing to Himself the worship of all the peoples. Passion and prayer for God’s glory.

    #3. Your Kingdom Come
    Exploring God’s purpose regarding evil: How God has accomplished a defeat of evil powers in order to open a season of history in which the nations can freely follow Christ. The kingdom of God as the destiny of all history. Christ’s mission seeks a hindering of evil to bring about a sign of the coming peace of the kingdom of God. Our prayers contend with evil in order to bring about the transformation of society with Christ’s kingdom in view.

    #4. Mandate for the Nations
    Jesus shows great strategic interest in Gentiles; wise strategic focus by initiating a global mission on a few disciples among the Hebrew people. The Great Commission and the ways of God’s sending in relational power. Dealing with the ideas of pluralism (all religions the same) and universalism (all persons saved).

    #5. Unleashing the Gospel
    The first followers of Jesus: obedient in costly, foundational ways. The climactic act of the book of Acts is the freeing of the gospel to be followed by Gentiles without Jewish traditions as a requirement. A foundational act of God which speaks to the situations where the gospel is hindered today. Strategic suffering and apostolic passion.
    History

    #6. The Expansion of the Christian Movement
    The story of God’s purpose continues relentlessly from Abraham’s day until the present moment. An overview of the largest and the longest-running movement ever in history—the world Christian movement. How the gospel surged through the peoples and places of the world. Important insights for our own day.

    #7. Eras of Mission History
    The greatest explosion of growth ever has taken place in last 200 years in three “bursts” of activity. Why we could be in the final era of missions. The global harvest force comprised increasingly of non-Western missionaries.

    #8. Pioneers of the World Christian Movement
    Today we anchor the race by continuing what others have begun. It’s a day of finishing. All the more reason to learn the wisdom and the heart of ordinary people who did extraordinary things in earlier generations. Reading the writings of William Carey and other leaders to discern what these people have left to us. Exploring the contribution of women in missions throughout the centuries.

    #9. The Task Remaining
    God’s pressed His purpose forward until the present hour of amazing opportunity. Understanding the concept of “unreached peoples” to assess the remaining task. Recognizing the imbalance of mission resources shapes strategic priorities. The basic minimal missiological achievement in every people group opens the way for working with God against every kind of evil so that the gospel of the kingdom is declared and displayed with clarity and power. The need and opportunity of urban mission.
    Culture

    #10. How Shall They Hear?
    Culture and intercultural communication of the gospel. Communicating the gospel with relevance at the worldview level helps avoid syncretism (blending of cultural error with God?s truth) and also enables powerful movements of the gospel. Sensitive missionaries will look for ways that God has preserved or prepared people to hear the gospel, often finding redemptive analogies for God’s truth.

    #11. Building Bridges of Love
    The incarnation as a model of missionary humility. How missionaries can enter appropriate roles in order to form relationships of trust and respect to develop a sense of belonging, and thus to communicate with credibility for understanding. Explore the intricacy of identification in another culture. Explore the even greater complexity of presenting identity with integrity in a globalized, terrorized, pluralized world. Recognizing the dynamics of social structure in order to initiate growing movements of ongoing communication throughout the society.
    Strategy

    #12. Christian Community Development
    A survey of world need. Dynamic balance of evangelism and social action. Hope for significant transformation as a sign of Christ’s Lordship by Christian community development. Exploring the charge that missionaries destroy instead of serve cultures. Healing the wounds of the world between the peoples.

    #13. The Spontaneous Multiplication of Churches
    Look beyond institutional features of churches to understand churches as dynamic movements of Christ Himself being followed. Such a view of churches as organic, living things opens up the practicality of seeing them multiply rapidly as movements and also flourish in society bearing the fruit of social transformation. Churches as counter-communities, acting as salt and light, bringing change to their cultures. How movements multiply by connecting with entire families and larger social structures.

    #14. Pioneer Church Planting
    The hope of planting churches among unreached peoples. How the breakthrough of the gospel in an unreached people requires that the gospel be “de-Westernized”. The difference of contextualizing the message, the messenger and the movement. Distinguish and appreciate people movements, church planting movements and insider movements.

    #15. World Christian Discipleship
    What it means to integrate life for Christ’s global purpose as a “‘World Christian”. Into the great story for His glory: a Person-driven life as a way of. pursuing a purpose-driven life. The basic practices of world Christians: going, sending, welcoming and mobilizing. The essential disciplines of World Christian discipleship: community, giving, praying and learning. Simplifying your lifestyle as if in “war-time”. Exploring the practical ways of pursuing God’s purpose. Business and mission. Short-term mission. Welcoming international visitors. Wisdom in working with local churches and in partnership with Christians in different parts of the world.

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