an outline from writings of Jim Petersen & others

    Broad Influences Currently Impacting the Western World:

1. Our view of Truth as becoming increasingly Relativistic & Pluralistic.
2. Time as a most precious commodity.
3. Insecurity is grafted ever deeper into the conscience of the young.
4. Near universal pursuit of Self-Fulfillment.
5. Rise in Self-Destructive behavior & modes.

    500 Years in 15 Verses: [Romans 1:18-32]
spiritual fall | Although they knew God... their thinking became futile in speculations, and their hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.
intellectual fall | They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, worshipping and serving created things rather than the Creator.
moral fall | Because of this, God gave them over to degrading passions in lusts.
societal fall | They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, malice, deceit, insolence, arrogance, boasting and depravity. They invent ways of doing evil; they disobey parents. ...they not only continue to do these very things, but also approve of those who practice them.
    Why Are We Here in a Lost World?

As Christ's Ambassadors: [2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:18-20]
+ With love as He loved. [Matthew 5:43-47; John 13:34-35]
+ With obedient trust in Him. [John 14:1-23]
+ With separation from the world's belonging, as did He. [John 15:18-19]
  The contemporary church seldom focuses on equipping every believer for the ministry of revealing Christ to the people around him/her. That is a primary reason why the bulk of society, spiritually adrift, is beyond our reach.
The Theme of Jesus' ministry: The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. [Luke 19:10]
+ To the Glory of God: [Isaiah 43:6-7; Ephesians 1:12]
+ The Nature of The Ministry: As you sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world. [John 17:15-18]
* Ministry is serving.
* Ministry is incarnational.
* Ministry involves every believer using everything he or she has to serve. be a people, bound together by the Holy Spirit, each using the Spirit's gifts to help one another look and live like Christ.
    The Cross-Cultural Messenger:
  The ability to carry the Gospel from one culture to another, without distorting its message or meaning in process, is a rare and precious thing.
  1. The Apostolic Function. [Apostle: one sent forth with orders.]
  2. The Messenger is armed with Prayer, the Word of God, and a Christ-like Life. [Ephesians 6:18; Hebrews 4:12; 1 John 4:12]
  3. The Messenger adapts to the hearer, not vice versa; with the message forever unchanged. [1 Corinthians 9:22-23; 10:27]
  4. Growth & Expansion of God's people.
        + Changed lives.
        + Witness to the World.
        + Circle of the local church large enough to encompass your house & neighborhood.

  5. The Holy Spirit protects His people; the Word provides their strength. [Acts 1:4-5; 20:32]
        + Persecution will come.
        + Schism and Sectarianism as itself unwelcome & repugnant.

    Leadership Style:

  1. Christ must be the Head. [Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 2:10]
  The New Testament includes a variety of metaphors to describe the Church: a body, a bride, a building, a family, a field, a flock, a house, and a temple. In the course of history, the Church has tended to pattern its leadership style after the predominate power structures of society. In the United States, the present-predominant model is Business. Ever since Acts 6, there is a business side to church affairs. But, the business side cannot be the controlling factor for the Church.
  2. In humility of service. [Matthew 23:10-12; Romans 12:9-21]
  3. How does God define our success?
        + bottom-line thinking won't endure seed sown in the field, nor rightly quantify spiritual service.
        + business-styled competition cripples the Body of Christ.
  Numerical evaluation of ministry eventually becomes manipulative. It may start out well, but when the slump time comes, the temptation is to apply pressure to get people to perform according to our definition of success. When that happens, everything gets turned around. Those being ministered to end up serving the leaders in the accomplishment of their goals.
    The Unfinished Reformation:

  Missing: Equipping of every believer for Christian ministry.
  Missing: Itinerant (traveling) functions; a full diversity of functions within the Body.
                [Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 4:11-12; Hebrews 13:1-3; 1 Peter 4:8-10]
  Missing: Preservation of Unity in the midst of diversity, less uniformity & conformity.
  Missing: Freedom from slavery to the base materials & principles of this world. [Galatians 4:3-11; Colossians 2:8-23]
  Missing: Freedom from traditionalism as an obstacle to repentance & faith, or to purity & availability of the Gospel, or to spiritual maturity.
  Missing: Freedom from exposing the Word of God to cultural abridgements.
  Missing: Freedom from commitment to a theological system, and from false-dilemma proofs.
  Missing: Witnessing among unbelievers as a team-Body effort.
  Missing: Supremacy of Christ through His Church over private authority.
  Missing: God's people together as Community over congregation.