PRIVILEGE & Exercises to Understand Privilege (Privilege Walk)

by Barbara Lesch McCaffry, American Multi-Cultural Studies, Hutchins School of Liberal Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California. Retrieved from http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/privilege1.html

Unity and Privilege Exercise

Have students stand in a straight line (quite close together).

  • Request they hold hands with the person on either side of them for as long as possible and refrain from speaking during the exercise.
  • Or they can stand in a circle without holding hands.

·      Put a chair at some distance in front of the line or in the center of the circle (not as effective). At the end of the questions the facilitator announces that the winner is the first one to sit on the chair.·      Tell participants in advance that is any question makes them feel uncomfortable they should just ignore the question, moving neither forward nor backward.·      An optional exercise is to ask the participants to add their own questions after all the questions have been asked. One research said, “I recall one instance in which some of the immigrant students had questions that US born participants did not / could not anticipate…etc.”

—-

 

If your ancestors were forced to come to the USA, not by choice, take one step back.

 

If your primary ethnic identity is American, take one step forward.

 

If you were ever called names because of your race, class, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

 

If there were people of color who worked in your household as servants, gardeners, etc., take one step forward.

 

If your parents were professional, doctors, lawyers, etc., take one step forward.

 

If you were raised in an area where there was prostitution, drug activity, etc. take one step back.

 

If you ever tried to change you appearance, mannerisms, or behavior to avoid being judged or ridiculed, take one step back.

 

If you studied the culture of your ancestors in elementary school, take one step forward.

 

If you went to a school speaking a language other than English, take one step back.

 

If there were more than 50 books in your house when you grew up, take one step forward.

 

If you ever had to skip a meal or were hungry because there was not enough money to buy food when you were growing up, take one step back.

 

If you were brought to art galleries or plays by your parents, take one step forward.

 

If one of your parents were unemployed or laid off, not by choice, take one step back.

 

If you attended a private school or summer camp, take one step forward.

 

If your family ever had to move because they could not afford the rent, take one step back.

 

If you were told that you were beautiful, smart, and capable by your parents, take one step forward.

 

If you were ever discouraged from academic or jobs because of race, class, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

 

If you were ever encouraged to attend a college by your parents, take one step forward.

 

If prior to age 18, you took a vacation out of the country, take one step forward.

 

If one of your parents did not complete high school, take one step back.

 

If your family owned your own house, take one step forward.

 

If you saw members of your race, ethnic group, gender, or sexual orientation were portrayed on television in degrading roles, take one step back.

 

If you were ever offered a good job because of your association with a friend or family member, take one step forward.

 

If you were ever denied employment because of your race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

 

If you were ever paid less, treated less fairly because of your race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

 

If you were ever accused of cheating or lying because of your race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

 

If you ever inherited money or property, take a step forward.

 

If you had to rely primarily on public transportation, take one step back.

 

If you were ever stopped or questioned by the police because of your race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

 

If you were ever afraid of violence because of your race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

 

If you were generally able to avoid places that were dangerous, take one step forward.

 

If you ever felt uncomfortable about a joke related to your race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

 

If you were ever a victim of violence related to your race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

 

If your parents did not grow up in the United States, take one step back.

 

If your parents told you that you could be anything you wanted to be, take one step forward.

 

Debrief: Ask participants to remain where they are to look at their position in the room or space in relation to the positions of the other participants. Ask participants to pick someone from an opposite position with which to process the exercise. If a circle was used in lieu of a line, the privileged with be in the middle and the “others” will be on the outside. White males (almost always near the front) will find it very easy to sit on the chair at the end. One researcher noted, “for the Black males who are almost always way at the back–this is impossible–although I once had a Black male who really put on some speed to try and get there. It is an excellent reminder of the effect of unearned privilege.”

Questions: What are your thoughts and feelings about this exercise? Were you surprised? Why? If time permits or if relevant: Would your placement have been different if the exercise included questions about disability or religion? How could affirmative action impact these issues? Take about 10 minutes for the pairs to process and then have them report back to the group as a whole.

 

EVANGELISM & Quotes on Its Importance and Holistic Nature

Compiled by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 10/22/13.


Evangelism relates to people’s eternal destiny, and in bringing them Good News of salvation, Christians are doing what nobody else can do.  Seldom if ever should we have to choose between satisfying physical huger and spiritual hunger, or between healing bodies and saving souls, since an authentic love for our neighbor will lead us to serve him or her as a whole person. Nevertheless, if we must choose, then we have to say that the supreme and ultimate need of humankind is the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and that therefore a person’s eternal, spiritual salvation is of greater importance than his or her temporal and material well being.

  • John Stott, Evangelism and Social Responsibility: An Evangelical Commitment (Lausanne Committee for Evangelism and the World Evangelical Fellowship, 1982), 25.

Evangelism is the first priority of the Church’s ministry in the world (italics Snyder).  This is true for several reason: the clear biblical mandate for evangelism; the centrality and necessity of personal conversion in God’s plan; the reality of judgment; the fact that changed persons are necessary to change society; the fact that the Christian community exists and expands only as evangelism is carried out.  The Church that fails to evangelize is both biblically unfaithful and strategically shortsighted.”

  • Howard A. Snyder, The Community of the King (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press), 101.

When a person dies without hearing that ‘God so loved the words that he sent his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16, RSV), it is too late. The best thing that could possibly happen to that person has been denied.”

  • C. Peter Wagner, Church Growth and the Whole Gospel (San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, 1981).

“By leaving the ghetto behind, the church has implied that its mission is meaningless to the poor, the hopeless and the wretched – except when an ocean separates the church from the ghetto.”

  • David L. McKenna, ed., The Urban Crisis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1969) 138.

Howard Snyder reminds us that, “an evangelism that focuses exclusively on souls or on an otherworldly transaction which makes no real difference here and how is unfaithful to the gospel.

  • The Community of the King (Inter-Varsity) 102.

“Today the sinfulness of the social order offends thoughtful Christians everywhere…. The great inequalities of wealth and poverty among the haves and have-nots, and the revolting treatment meted out to oppressed minorities, are clearly contrary to the will of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

  • Donald A. McGavran, Understanding Church Growth (Eerdmans, 1970), 25.

“In postmodern terms, we might say that Jesus came to bring equal access and opportunity to those in substandard living conditions, to give voice and identity to those other than the dominant social elite, and to alleviate the ravages of capitalistic imperialism and colonialist economic aggression.”

  • Lewis A. Drummond, Reaching Generation Next: Effective Evangelism in Today’s Culture (Baker Books, 2002), 179.

Of the current authors you are reading …

  • Were more go focused?
  • Were more come focused?
  • Were balanced?
  • What must you do to prevent imbalance?
  • What is missing between “going” & “coming.”
  • Why is the “missional middle” missing?
  • What must you do to prevent the missing middle?

 

CONVERSION & How and When Does Conversion Occur?

by Bob Whitesel D.Min, Ph.D., excerpted from Spiritual Waypoints: Helping Others Navigate the Journey (2010), pp. 138-139.

Does conversion occur in a flash, with miraculous transformations and heavenly encounters? Does conversion take place over time? Or perhaps conversion is a stumbling process, where the conversionary experience takes place in what Richard Peace calls “fits and starts.”[i] Richard Peace, Scot McKnight and others have looked at the New Testament record and conclude that the answer is “all of the above.”[ii] Let us look at three basic categories.

Sudden Conversion. Sometimes conversion takes place “in a flash … a sudden point-in-time transformation based on an encounter with Jesus.”[iii] This is the experience of Saul/Paul in Acts 9, and has became the standard way the evangelical church looks at conversion.[iv] At the altar sudden and dramatic responses are often expected, door-to-door visits lead to a “prayer of commitment,” and mass rallies end with an appeal to come forward for conversion.[v] While this may be required to facilitate a person on the verge of a sudden conversionary experience, not all conversions happen in this manner. Psychologist Lewis Rambo, in an exhaustive look at religious conversion, concludes that “for the most part it (religious conversion) takes place over a period of time.”[vi] Thus, the evangelical church may be limiting the number of wayfarers she can help by focusing too exclusively on sudden conversion.

Progressive Conversion.[vii] A closer look at the Gospel of Mark reveals that Mark was describing a different, more gradual paradigm of conversion. As Peace notes:

“What Mark sought to communicate in his Gospel was the process by which these twelve men gradually turned, over time, from their culturally derived understanding of Jesus as a great teacher to the amazing discovery that he was actually the Messiah who was the Son of God. In showing how the Twelve turned to Jesus, step-by-step, Mark was inviting his readers to undergo the same journey of conversion.”[viii]

Peace concludes that “what happened to Paul, and what happened to the Twelve was identical in terms of theological understanding, though quite different experientially.”[ix]

Scot McKnight describes how progressive conversion can take place in churches that practice infant baptism. McKnight states, “for many Christians conversion is a process of socialization,”[x] meaning that nurture is confirmed later by personal affirmation. For example, an infant baptism or an infant dedication can be seen as a public affirmation that the church community and parents will nurture that child (i.e. via spiritual socialization). After growing up in this environment of spiritual socialization and religious community, the grown child will be expected to ratify this effort via further instruction (i.e. catechism) and confirmation.

Liturgical Acts and Conversion. McKnight also notes that in some liturgical traditions, such as the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, while conversion is experienced, the sacraments are more involved. Thus, baptism, the Eucharist and “official rites of passage” are where conversionary experiences often take place for “liturgical converts.”[xi] There is nothing to preclude that God can use such spiritual rites as touchstone experiences where metanoia (repentance) is combined with pistis (faith) in order to bring about epistophe (conversion).

[i] Charles Kraft, Christian Conversion As A Dynamic Process,” International Christian Broadcasters Bulletin, [Colorado Springs, Colo.: International Christian Broadcasters, 1974], Second Quarter; Scot McKnight, Turning to Jesus: The Sociology of Conversion in the Gospels; Richard Peace, Conversion in the New Testament: Paul and the Twelve, 6; Peace, “Conflicting Understandings of Christian Conversion;” Lewis R. Rambo, Understanding Religious Conversion (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1993).

[ii] Scot McKnight, Turning to Jesus: The Sociology of Conversion in the Gospels.

[iii] Richard Peace, Conversion in the New Testament: Paul and the Twelve, 6.

[iv] Peace, “Conflicting Understandings of Christian Conversion,” 8-9.

[v] Donald Miller’s analysis of the results of crusade evangelism in the Harvest Crusades with evangelist Greg Laurie discovered that only about 10 percent of the decisions for Christ resulted in long-term changes in personal behavior (Reinventing American Protestantism: Christianity in the new Millennium, Berkley: University of Calif. Press, 1997), 171-172. However, Sterling Huston’s earlier research on the Billy Graham Crusades suggested the results were six times this (Sterling W. Huston, Crusade Evangelism and the Local Church [Minneapolis, Minn.: World Wide Publishing, 1984]). Whether these discrepancies were the result of tactics, cultures, samples or eras remains to be researched. The answer may lie somewhere in between. The ambiguity of these results begs further analysis by researchers.

[vi] Rambo, Understanding Religious Conversion, 165.

[vii] Charles Kraft introduced terminology to distinguish the different types of people that experience sudden conversion or progressive conversion. On the on hand, Kraft saw people who undergo radical and sudden conversion as usually “first generation Christians” who previously had only been moderately influenced by Christian principles. On the other hand, Kraft saw “second-generation Christians” as those who were raised in Christian homes and in which “there may be little or no behavioral change evident as a result of the conscious decision to personally affirm one’s commitment to the Christian community in which one has been practicing since birth” (Charles Kraft, Christian Conversion As A Dynamic Process,” International Christian Broadcasters Bulletin, 8.) While the terms “first” and “second generation Christians” have been widely used, these terms cause some problems. First, Paul’s conversion was certainly radical and sudden (Acts 9), yet he had been practicing a devout lifestyle (Acts 23:6), so in Kraft’s paradigm he should have had a more progressive experience. In addition, McKnight’s story does not fit with Kraft’s paradigm, for in the interview that concludes this chapter McKnight states that he underwent a radical behavioral change in a progressive sequence. Thus, the value of Kraft’s insights may be that there are numerous ways that conversion is encountered and that whether a person is a first- or second-generation Christian has some, though limited, affect. Instead, the emphasis should be upon the fluid role of the Holy Spirit in individualizing conversion to each traveler, for as John 3:7 states, “So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God” (The Message).

[viii] Richard Peace, Conversion in the New Testament: Paul and the Twelve, 4.

[ix] Ibid., 10. Some may argue that progressive conversion as described in Mark was necessitated because the Holy spirit had not yet been given at the Day of Pentecost. While this is a valid critique, Lewis Rambo’s research suggesting that most conversion is progressive (Rambo, Understanding Religious Conversion, 165) may indicate that both examples are valid.

[x] Scot McKnight, Turning to Jesus: The Sociology of Conversion in the Gospels, 5.

[xi] Ibid., 7.

DOWNLOAD the chapter here: book-whitesel-excerpt-spiritual-waypoints-10-9-8-7

MISS 600  LEAD 600

 

 

THE GREAT COMMISSION & North American Christianity: Making Sense of the Big Picture

by Norman G. Wilson, Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, 10/26/11.

Countless global challenges face North American Christians and churches today as we endeavor to obey our Lord’s command to “go to the ends of the earth.” Long lists of issues are often cited, including but not limited to the following (Guthrie 2000; Pocock et al. 2005):

  • Supporting national workers
  • Finances and patron-client relations
  • Missionary care and attrition
  • Contextualization
  • Short-term missions
  • Women in missions
  • Globalization
  • Partnerships
  • Technology
  • Terrorism

Frequently one may wonder if there is any way to make sense of the big picture and how these issues are interrelated. For these reasons, identifying and analyzing several overarching realities of North American Christianity that interface with a number of the most prominent issues could be very helpful for believers and churches. In this way, vital topics for discussion can be identified and addressed, hopefully leading to more comprehensive and faithful approaches to addressing the current challenges before us.

A Mile Wide and an Inch Deep Abroad?

On one hand, from various perspectives Christianity in North America is prospering.   Protestantism, revivalism, the rise of evangelicalism, volunteering, and the modern missionary movement of the past century sensitized and mobilized the laity during the twentieth century to serve as missionaries in unprecedented numbers around the world.

The financial resources available to North American Christians are at record levels. Furthermore, multiple mission organizations now provide administrative infrastructures for a broad spectrum of ministries and represent over a century of institutional memories and wisdom regarding effective management of missionary endeavors. These developments have contributed significantly to the huge global impact of the modern missionary movement during the past century and helped to establish Christianity in many countries around the world.

Even then, at times and in many places around the world, rather shallow expressions of the Christian faith and doctrine were syncretized with local tribal customs, thus failing to penetrate deeply into the host cultures and thoroughly transform the people and their ways of life (cf. Cope 2001; Miller 2001; Sider 1999; Sider, Olson, and Unruh 2002; Stone 2004 and 2007).

Meanwhile Something’s Amiss Back Home

Meanwhile back home in North America, a number of debilitating weaknesses have emerged and are hindering North American Christians from fulfilling our Lord’s command. Worldliness is growing among many who call themselves Christians of the majority culture. Redemption and lift has created a Christian culture that is increasingly wealthy, materialistic, hedonistic, self-absorbed, parochial, and self-serving (Sider 2005).

Furthermore, many who consider themselves Christians allow their perspectives and passions to be formed more by the influences of this world than by a personal relationship with Christ and immersion in the Scriptures. This growing tendency of North American Christians to identify more with the world and its values than with those of our Lord’s kingdom is weakening their ability to be effective witnesses of the Good News at home and abroad.

North Americans, Bellicosity and Fanaticism

Being an American and a missionary can have both positive and negative consequences. Americans around the world are both loved and hated, often for understandable and at times for puzzling reasons. The role of The United States as a world leader often represents a hindrance for Christian missionaries serving abroad. For this reason, discretion is urged regarding discussions about political matters. Otherwise, one’s motives and loyalties can be questioned, even when speaking from commendable perspectives. As a result, in many places one can never know for sure how those of our host countries are thinking and feeling about our presence and ministries.

Due to the rise of fanaticism by those of Muslim backgrounds and otherwise, and also to North American nationalistic fervor and bellicosity, North American missionaries that live abroad are increasingly at risk. While being a Christian has always meant dying to self and living for Christ, the stakes for North American missionaries in many countries have never been higher. Obeying our Lord’s call frequently means considerable risks to a missionary’s personal safety and that of one’s family.   Meanwhile, North American Christians back home need to remember that first and foremost we are citizens of our Lord’s kingdom and only pilgrims in our earthly country.

Missional Churches at Home and Abroad

The call in North America for local churches to be Missional, on one hand, could represent the possibility of a renewal of passion and interest and a welcomed shift of emphasis (Guder 1998; Rusaw and Swanson 2004; Stetzer and Putman 2006; Van Engen 1991). This new focus could motivate and enable local churches to reach outward and engage in transformational ministries in their communities, across the continent, and around the world. The call for local churches to become Missional could prompt one to hope for the coming of an exciting new missionary movement, bringing a breath of fresh air to North American missions, both domestically and globally.

On the other hand, the proposal by some to “subsume missions in mission” (McClaren 2006, 138 ff.) could result in a reductionist approach to the Great Commission. One would hope that North American Christians could become effective as cross-cultural witnesses by first reaching the world that has come to our doorsteps in recent decades and then going around the world. But effective cross-cultural ministries typically do not happen automatically. Today more than ever, specialized training is needed to enhance our endeavors, often including years of missiological training and language learning (Medearis 2008, Pillai 2003).

During the past century, missions organizations provided specialized resources, training, and infrastructures for cross-cultural ministries. Now with the emergence of the Missional church movement, some may imagine that local churches can fulfill the Great Commission both at home and abroad through their own initiatives and endeavors with little or no outside input or collaboration.

Unfortunately, at times local churches end up focusing primarily on their own sub-cultures while minimalizing their cross-cultural Missional outreach efforts across town and around the world. Given that a significant number of evangelical churches today are located in rural, small town and middle and upper class suburban areas, many Christians of the majority culture rarely interact significantly with the diversity of cultures that are found in large urban areas. North American majority culture Christians typically have been slow to identify with strangers, the marginalized, visitors, and immigrants (Carroll 2008; Soerens and Hwang 2009; Wilson 2006 and 2009).

For these reasons, local Missional churches need to supplement their endeavors through partnerships with broader ecclesiastical structures, mission organizations, churches in communities of diverse cultures, and other intermediary organizations for resourcing, training, and networking.

The Global South and International Partnerships

New developments abroad represent emerging opportunities for North American Christians in Great Commission ministries. In recent decades the number of believers has multiplied in the Global south, providing a groundswell of coworkers in the harvest fields from Central and South America, Africa, and Asia, along with others from Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific regions (Jenkins 2002, 2006, and 2007; Johnstone and Mandryk 2001; Mandryk 2009; Miller and Yamamori 2007; Noll 2009). These represent multiple opportunities to work together for greater Missional effectiveness. In response, North American believers must shift from their controlling paradigms of the past century, learn to work in multi-national teams, and enter into mutually submissive partnership relationships.

A willingness to develop partnerships with non-North American workers is crucial in order to respond to the newly opened doors for ministry in previously closed countries and among peoples that increasingly are open to spiritual matters. Even where oppressive political regimes prohibit or severely restrict Christian witnessing, missionaries from other countries continue to go and faithfully serve the Lord. Our partnership with them can make a huge difference in their lives and ministries.

Conclusion

God has blessed North American Christians with a wealth of resources, experiences, organizational structures, and insights, and we are called to give much in return for Christ and His Kingdom. Our greatest internal hindrances to Missional faithfulness are due to our own worldliness, materialism, hedonism, parochialism, and self-centeredness.

Meanwhile opportunities to collaborate with Global Christians are greater than ever before in human history, representing huge opportunities for transformational ministries through cross-cultural partnerships and teamwork. Our effectiveness in these ministries depends in large part on our willingness and ability to cooperate as mutual partners. While the threats in many places also are greater than ever before, God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Furthermore, He commands us to go forth in courageous obedience to His call, confident in the knowledge that in Him we are more than victorious.

Works Cited and Selected Resources

Carroll R., M. Daniel. 2008. Christians at the border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group.

Clegg, Tom, and Warren Bird. 2001. Lost in America: How You and Your Church Can Impact the World Next Door. Loveland, Colorado.

Cope, Landa L. 2001. “Biblical Reflections: The Old Testament (Part I) and The New Testament (Part II).” Messages presented at Godmission.community, Orlando.

Engel, James F. 1996. Clouded Future: Advancing North American World Missions. Milwaukee: Christian Stewardship Association.

Engel, James, and William Dyrness. 2000. Changing the mind of missions: Where have we gone wrong? Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press.

Guder, Darrell L., Ed. 1998. Missional church: A vision for the sending of the church in North America. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company.

Guthrie, Stan. 2000. Missions in the third millennium: 21 key trends for the 21st century. Waynesboro, Georgia: Paternoster Press.

Jenkins, Philip. 2002. The next Christendom: The coming of global Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

________. 2006. The new faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the global south. New York: Oxford University Press.

________. 2007. God’s Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe’s Religious Crisis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Johnstone, Patrick, and Jason Mandryk. 2001. Operation world: 21st century edition. Waynesboro, Georgia: Paternoster Lifestyle.

Mandryk, Jason. 2009. “The state of the Gospel.” (Video and PowerPoint Presentations) Operation World. http://harvestmediaministry.com/State_Gospel_Full.htm; http://www.joshuaproject.net/great-commission-powerpoints.php

McLaren, Brian D. 2006. The church on the other side: Exploring the radical future of the local congregation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Marty, Martin. 2007. The Christian world: A global history. New York: The Modern Library.

Medearis, Carl. 2008. Muslims, Christians, and Jesus: Gaining understanding and building relationships. Minneapolis: Bethany House.

Miller, Darrow L. 2001. Discipling nations: The power of truth to transform cultures (2nd Ed.). Seattle: YWAM Publishing.

Miller, Donald E., and Tetsunao Yamamori. 2007. Global Pentecostalism: The new face of Christian social engagement. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Noll, Mark A. 2009. The new shape of world Christianity: How American experience reflects global faith. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press.

Pillai, Rajendra. 2003. Reaching the world in our own backyard: A guide to building relationships with people of other faiths and cultures. Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press.

Pocock et al. 2005. The changing face of world missions: Engaging contemporary issues and trends. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic.

Rusaw, Rick, and Eric Swanson. 2004. The externally focused church. Loveland, Colorado: Group Publishing.

Sider, Ronald J. 1999. Good news and good works: A theology for the whole Gospel. Grand Rapids: Baker Books.

________. 2005. The scandal of the evangelical conscience: Why are Christians living just like the rest of the world? Grand Rapids: Baker Books.

Sider, Ronald J., Olson, Philip N., and Unruh, Heidi Rolland. 2002. Churches that make a difference: Reaching your community with good news and good works. Grand Rapids: Baker Books.

Soerens, Matthew, and Jenny Hwang. 2009. Welcoming the stranger: Justice, compassion and truth in the immigration debate. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press.

Stetzer, Ed, and David Putman. 2006. Breaking the Missional code: Your church can become a missionary in your community. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman and Holman Publishers.

Stone, Bryan P. 2004. Compassionate ministry: Theological foundations. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books.

________. 2007. Evangelism after Christendom: The theology and practice of Christian witness. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press.

Van Engen, Charles. 1991. God’s missionary people: Rethinking the purpose of the local church. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Wilson, Norman G. 2005. “Compassionate ministry and evangelism: Their relationship and expression.” Wesleyan Church Web Site: Leadership Development Journey (July). http://globalambassadors.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2008-10-31T10%3A27%3A00-04%3A00&max-results=7

________. 2006. “Good news for the immigration problem.” Wesleyan Life: Winter. http://evangelicals-and-illegal-immigrants.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2008-09-24T10%3A13%3A00-04%3A00&max-results=7 (Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2008)

________. 2009. “Evangelism and social action—revisiting an old debate: Good News for immigrants and Evangelicals too.” Journal of The American Society for Church Growth: Volume 20, Winter, pages 69-83. http://globalambassadors.blogspot.com/2009/06/evangelism-and-social-actionrevisiting.html

STUDENT SUCCESS & Are You a Degree-seeking Student or a Knowledge-seeking One?

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 10/27/16.

Over the years I’ve noticed many students gravitating towards one of two academic cliques. Not all students will gravitate to one or the other, but many will. My observations have led me to believe connecting with one group in lieu of the other is more beneficial for long-term professional impact. I’m talking about the difference between those who seek a degree and those who seek knowledge. Let me explain a few differences.

The purpose for going to school:

The degree-seeking student is often encouraged to go to school because of a family or professional expectation. Their goal is to get the degree, which they hope will open professional doors. Often times those doors don’t open because, while they possess the degree, their knowledge is weakly formed.

Knowledge-seeking students usually go to school because they have a propensity towards being a creative learner. They want to learn new concepts and apply them in new ways. They are innovative and in brace past knowledge as a foundation upon which to build new insights. They believe they can change the way their profession behaves.

Hanging out:

The degree-seeking student usually hangs out with other similarly oriented students with conversations about the benefits or lack of benefits of the degree. Similarly, they tend to be more critical of the process, because they want to hurry through the academic journey to get the goal towards which they strive: the degree. It is not uncommon to hear them complaining about due dates, level of depth expected by the professor and all sorts of seemingly unfair academic expectations that slow them in their progress to a degree.

Knowledge-seeking students see academia as a challenge and understand that extra work can result in extra knowledge. They don’t add citations to assignments simply because they want to pad the assignment. Instead they absorb knowledge from from a broad reading base, upon which to craft new ways to think about their homework topics. They look forward to input from the professor and often engage in dialogue about the topic with their professor at off hours.

Unlike the degree-seeking student that may engage their professor with complaints about why the process is not easier or quicker: the knowledge-seeking student usually engages the professor with questions and ideas about how the topic can be investigated and applied better.

The lure of the cliques:

Similar to the Jets and the Sharks in West Side Story, there’s a tendency for the nonaffiliated students to be pulled into one of these groups. It is evident from what I have written here, that I believe one of these groups better serves the student and the Academy. But many students do not affiliate with either, preferring to just get through the program with a modicum of knowledge.

Yet, I believe today we need more students who are dedicated to investigating, synthesizing and forming new understandings about our world. Our great Creator has given us many mysteries and applications to solve. And I believe He has provided the relationship of the mentor and mentee as one way to discover it.

THEOLOGY & Most Americans Believe personal salvation takes work

by Bob Smietana, Facts and Trends, LifeWay, 9/28/16.

Findings of a new survey of American views on Christian theology from Nashville-based LifeWay Research (include) …

Personal salvation takes work.

Three-quarters of Americans (77 percent) say people must contribute their own effort for personal salvation. Half of Americans (52 percent) say good deeds help them earn a spot in heaven. Sixty percent agree that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of their sin…

Read more at … http://factsandtrends.net/2016/09/27/what-do-americans-believe-about-god-new-study-explores-our-theology/

THEOLOGY & Americans disagree about sex, abortion, homosexuality, and gender. #LifeWay

by Bob Smietana, Facts and Trends, LifeWay, 9/28/16.

Findings of a new survey of American views on Christian theology from Nashville-based LifeWay Research (include) …

Americans disagree about sex, abortion, homosexuality, and gender.

About half of Americans (49 percent) say sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin. Forty-four percent say it’s not a sin. Seven percent are not sure.

Forty-nine percent say abortion is a sin. Forty percent say it is not. Eleven percent are not sure. Almost 4 in 10 (38 percent) say gender identity is a matter of choice. Half (51 percent) disagree. One in 10 (11 percent) is not sure.

Forty-two percent of Americans say the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual behavior doesn’t apply today. Forty-four percent disagree. Fourteen percent are not sure.

Women (53 percent) are more likely than men (45 percent) to say sex outside of marriage is a sin. Those who are high school grads or less (56 percent) are more likely to agree than those with bachelor’s degrees (44 percent) or graduate degrees (40 percent). Those with evangelical beliefs (91 percent) are more than twice as likely to agree as those who do not have evangelical beliefs (40 percent).

Americans with evangelical beliefs (87 percent) are more likely to say abortion is a sin than other Americans (41 percent). They are also less likely (32 percent) to say gender identity is a choice than other Americans (40 percent)…

Read more at … http://factsandtrends.net/2016/09/27/what-do-americans-believe-about-god-new-study-explores-our-theology/