NETWORKING & A 100 second video introduction to the Lausanne Movement

Commentary by Prof. B:  A large part of my ministry has been to connect people for greater Kingdom impact.  I connect people with Wesley Seminary as well as a Fellow of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College. To further connect my Wesleyan network, I am also a member of the Lausanne Movement (an evangelical movement to connect influencers with ideas for global mission, founded by Billy Graham). Here is an introduction:

The beginnings of the Lausanne Movement

Billy Graham

Our story begins with the evangelist Dr Billy Graham. As he started preaching internationally, he developed a passion to ‘unite all evangelicals in the common task of the total evangelization of the world’.

In the 1970s, Billy Graham perceived the need for a global congress to reframe Christian mission in a world of political, economic, intellectual, and religious upheaval. The church, he believed, had to grasp the ideas and values behind rapid changes in society.

In July 1974, over 2,400 participants from 150 nations gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, for the First International Congress on World Evangelization. TIME magazine described it as ‘a formidable forum, possibly the widest-ranging meeting of Christians ever held’.

(retrieved from https://www.lausanne.org/our-legacy)

Listen to Billy Graham’s Opening Address

Here is a video introduction to the Lausanne Movement:

Read more at … https://www.lausanne.org/our-legacy

THEOLOGY & New book biblically dissects weaknesses of a prosperity theology

Commentary by Prof. B:  As a Fellow of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College, I am also a member of the Lausanne Movement (an evangelical movement to connect influencers with ideas for global mission, founded by Billy Graham). As such, we study practice and theology.  Sometimes students inquire about a prosperity theology and to help gain a theologically nuanced understanding I recommend Julia Cameron’s new book: Prosperity Theology and the Gospel (Hendrickson Publishers / The Lausanne Library. ISBN 978 1 68307 049 8).

Here is an excerpt by Ms. Cameron explaining the purpose of the book:


“New Book: Prosperity Theology and the Gospel” by Julia Cameron, Lausanne Movement, 12/7/17.

We … a group made up largely of theologians and missiologists, gathered from all continents, shared a sense of purpose. Our hope was to engage deeply with the ‘different gospel’ that has undermined the true gospel in many churches. One fruit of our gathering would be a book. Its publication took time, but now we offer to the church what I believe may be the most thorough book on this subject to date.

What, then, is this ‘different gospel’? It is widely-known as ‘prosperity theology’. Its teaching has parodied biblical teaching on the character of God, and created a new brand of ‘discipleship’, not known in Scripture. Its influence—promising so much—has caused untold harm. Leading up to the Third Lausanne Congress, I was working with Christianity Today on a series of articles and videos addressing critical issues in the church. The article on prosperity theology was one of the most-read…

It is important to note that there can be no condemning of prosperity itself. The group in Atibaia recognized a clear ‘theology of prosperity’ running through Scripture. Think, for example, of Abraham, David, and Solomon, men blessed with much material wealth, as of course Job had been. Indeed, the creation of wealth should be regarded as a Christian mandate, for the good of society. This, however, was not the brief for our work in Atibaia.

I am now able to commend to you Prosperity Theology and the Gospel: Good News or Bad News for the Poor?—a thorough, lucid, accessible, and, we trust, seminal book. Let’s be good stewards of what it offers.

As with all Lausanne books, we include study questions at the end of chapters. This could easily be used in church groups or workplace fellowship groups. The Atibaia Statement draws the threads of the book together. In its Conclusion, Femi Adeleye and Valdir Steuernagel take the four ‘calls’ of the statement and offer pointers for the church—the local church. Yours or mine.


Read more at …https://www.lausanne.org/about/blog/new-book-prosperity-theology-gospel?utm_source=Lausanne+Movement+List&utm_campaign=46cec14512-RSS_Best_of&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_602c1cb67d-46cec14512-91675265

Here is a video introduction to the Lausanne Movement:

MISS 600  LEAD 545  LEAD 565  LEAD 600

CHURCH PLANTING & A Biblical 3 phase approach #BGCEfellows

by John Paul Thompson, Ph.D. Presentation given to the Fellows of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, Wheaton College, 12/19/17.

When Jesus used the planting/sowing metaphor the object planted was “the word” (Mark 4:14), “the word of the kingdom” (Matt. 13:19), “the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 13:31) or the sons of the kingdom (Matt. 13:24, 37).

When Paul declared, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth,” (1 Cor. 3:6), he is referring to planting the gospel, not planting local chruches.

Irenaeus, in 180 AD, coined the phrase church planting when he wrote, “the Church is planted like the Garden of Eden in this world.” He was speaking of the institution of the universal Church, not of local congregations.

Stefan Paas asserts that the classical understanding of church planting throughout church history was a three step process:

  • evangelizing (sharing the gospel)
  • gathering (forming community and discipling)
  • establishing (creating the institution and structure of the church)

Paas insightfully pushes back suggesting a return to the three stages without rushing to the third stage.

  • He suggests the the third stage is not always needed in communities that already have churches.
  • He challenges church planters to consider working with exiting churches.  Church planters could focus upon planting and gathering, encouraging new followers of Jesus and their gathered groups to become part of already established churches in the community.

CHANGE & How to become a “conversion community”

by Terry Erickson and Dr. Rich Richardson, Wheaton College, presentation to the Fellows of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, 12/19/17.

Factors that influence changing a ministry

Conversion is central: Churches don’t need to be “seeker churches” they need to return to an emphasis upon conversion = people changing because of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Para-church/business principles are adapted: Many “conversion communities” (i.e. Bill Hybels, etc.) came out of “learning labs” of para-church ministries (i.e. Bill Hybels came out of a youth ministry program)

InverVaristy Case-study:

4.% to 9.8% conversion in 10 years. They did this in a 13 year process along the following lines:

Process

Preparation (1995-2000): They created …

Activation (2000-2004):

Experimentation (2004-2007):

  • Everyone is an evangelist using the gifts they have been given.

Activation (2007-2017):

  • Budgets and hires are based upon this.

Rx:

  • Integrate conversion into every aspect of the organization.
  • Use a process, keep going but don’t
  • “Evangelism has to infect everything we do.”

CHURCH PLANTING & “Why” an “emphasis upon conversion” is the best way to grow the church #PeteWagner

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., bi-annual colloquium of the Fellows of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College. 12/19/17.

Pete Wagner is often quoted (out of context) saying: “Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.” Church Planting for a Greater Harvest: A Comprehensive Guide, by C. Peter Wagner (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1990), p. 22.

Wagner is not saying this methodology is the key, but rather (in context) that the “emphasis upon conversion” that usually accompanies these new churches is (see Church Planting for a Greater Harvest: A Comprehensive Guide, p. 11, 20-22). As my mentor, Pete Wagner required me to read and critique the above book for my courses (DMin) with him.  -Bob Whitesel, 12/19/17.

C. Peter Wagner was not only a mentor of mine but also my colleague Dr. Rice Brooks (author of the book/movie God’s Not Dead). Brooks and I are Fellows of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College. At our bi-annual colloquium Dr. Brooks gave this contextual analysis of what Wagner was saying.

“Church planting is not the best way to grow the church.  Wagner believed that preaching the Gospel is!” -Rice Brooks, Christian apologist, author of the book/movie, God’s Not Dead and fellow disciple of Pete Wagner.

LEAD 565, LEAD 600,

 

CONVERSION & Churches don’t need to be “seeker churches” they need to return to an emphasis upon conversion #WheatonCollege @RickRichardson

QUOTE:

“Churches don’t need to be ‘seeker churches’ they need to return to an emphasis upon conversion.”

– Rick Richardson, Ph.D., Wheaton College, presentation to the Fellows of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, 12/19/17.

MISSION & #MartinMarty on what historically it means. #BGCE #Fellows #Wheaton

Notes by Bob Whitesel on the presentation by Martin Marty, Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity at the University of Chicago Divinity School.  Presented to the Fellows of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College. Dr. Marty may be America’s foremost church historian.

1519 AD: missio (mission) was first used in the modern sense of “ascending ahead” by Jesuit missionaries in the 16th century.

Martin Luther felt that Jesus’ key words at the last supper was that His mission was “for you.”

Mission became something people said horrible negative things about, but in the long-term there was hope. And, mission came from afar.  It meant coming from outside of your perspective.

“The real enemy of mission is indifference.” – Martin Marty

“You can never learn too much about the culture around you.” – Martin Marty