Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: Past, Present and Future of the Perspectives Study Program

God has a “world-sized” role for every Christian in His global purpose. Tune in for this episode on The Mission Matters as Matthew and Ted have a conversation with their guest, James Mason, CEO for the Perspectives Study Program, as he shares about their past, present, and future, and how if you have a vision to live a life of purpose, there’s a place for you.

Transcript
(unedited)

welcome to the mission matters
the mission matters is a partnership
between 1615
and mission nexus who have a shared
passion to mobilize god’s people to be a
part of his mission the mission matters
is hosted by matthew ellison
president of 1615 and ted essler
president of mission nexus
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today’s episode is sponsored by support
raising solutions
support raising solutions is a christian
ministry that serves the body of christ
around the world to provide biblical and
practical training on how to raise your
support
and launch your ministry they desire to
flood the nations
with great commission workers who are
spiritually healthy
vision driven and fully funded and now
here are your hosts matthew ellison and
ted estwick
hello and welcome once again to the
mission matters podcast i’m matthew
ellison
and as always i am joined by my good
friend and co-host ted estler
ted how’s it going my brother it’s going
well it’s going well it’s not snowing
here in florida so it’s going real well
yeah it’s always good to see my friends
so we’re not sure when this is going to
air we have a couple in the can
but last week we had snowmageddon in
the united states particularly in the
central united states and so it got me
thinking
about the coldest temperatures i’ve ever
experienced
i was in great falls montana working
with the church
and a storm front came in and i think on
the way to the airport
the morning i was leaving it was
negative 32 degrees
now this was not wind chill okay this
was a straight up
negative 32 was probably negative 50
with wind chill
and i wasn’t prepared even though i had
dressed warmly but it was bone chilling
and on the news they said make sure you
cover your mouth when you’re outside
because the cold is so extreme you could
damage your lungs
so that’s my top cold or my lowest
temperature i should say
how about you ted well i am from
minnesota and um
one time our family took a little
vacation
it was like the second week of january
and we went up to very the very northern
part
a minute the very northern part of
minnesota and state of camp that was
actually closed down
for everybody else they opened it up
just so our family could stay there
and it was the kind of temperatures
you’re talking i don’t think we ever
really found out exactly how cold it was
because it was pretty remote
but what i’ll what i what i remember and
what i miss from minnesota is when it
gets super cold
the snow squeaks when you walk on it and
there’s a certain kind of smell in the
air
and i actually do miss that for my days
um so we’re gonna ask james uh who’s on
our call to answer the same question
coldest temperature
well you guys have me beat uh by far um
i’ve rarely experienced temperatures
below zero but i uh for a while i lived
in colorado
and this was uh in my pre-seminary days
and i was a
pest control technician and it was
middle of the winter and
i was walking around a big warehouse
checking mouse traps
and uh my boss called this was back in
the day do you remember the the brick
uh cell phones that were like this big
and my boss called me
and i took my glove off my hand and i
answered the phone and i wasn’t on the
phone more than a minute
uh two minutes at most and my hand
was so frozen cold in deep pain after
that
and then i learned it was it was about
20 below with the win and the wind was
blowing real hard and everything and
i i had an ungloved hand for a little
while uh so
that was the worst but uh yeah not like
uh minnesota for sure
i once had a car that i left sit for a
few weeks
over the coldest part of the year and i
got in that car to drive it and one of
the tires actually
cracked wow so hardened and cold now
it’s probably
a tire that should have been changed
long ago but anyway
our our guest today is james mason and
we’re going to be talking about
perspectives and i want to start
james if you could just tell us a little
bit about who you are
and just um on reddit if you’ve ever
seen the
explain to me like i’m five uh topics
that they do
explain to us like we’re five what
perspectives is after you tell us a
little bit about who you are
okay sure sure well uh my name is james
mason
um i uh i’m the ceo of perspectives usa
and i’ll distinguish perspectives usa
from the rest of the perspectives
movement
uh in a little bit but um yeah i
served as a pastor for about 12 years
and then i
served in mission recruiting i had my
own kind of
awakening i guess to god’s global
purposes and
shifted my career to uh to mission
mobilization
uh still loved the church and and and uh
found a ministry that actually i could
still be involved with churches in in
serving through perspectives so
it’s been a real joy and then these last
eight years i’ve been serving in
perspectives
uh perspectives is uh let me give you a
few little uh uh points here because
first
perspectives is a broad term these days
but perspectives fundamentally is a
course
so it’s a 15 lesson course and i’ll
describe that in just a second about
what the course is
but perspectives is also an organization
and in my context
we are perspectives usa the prospectus
study program
perspectives usa which is focused on
mobilization through education
and then there’s a broader perspectives
movement which is a movement
globally that is focusing on reproducing
movements of locally based mobilization
um and perspectives is really a movement
within a movement right within the
frontier mission movement
so we are we see ourselves as a part of
the family
of the missions movement that really
aims to see god’s purposes fulfilled
within every people
but in terms of perspectives our
fundamental identity i guess you could
say is that we are a fit we
we manage a 15 a lesson course
and it’s structured around four vantage
points or perspectives so the
perspectives
name comes from these four vantage
points there’s a biblical
view a historical view a cultural view
and a strategic view or perspective
through which we observe
god accomplishing his global purpose so
that’s what we revolve our lessons
around
and it’s really uh a accompanied
the course is accompanied by a a reader
a big fat
uh dynamic uh reader with a lot of
article 170 different articles
uh written by over 150 different mission
uh professionals and practitioners
and uh and then what we do is we utilize
local
uh coordinators or volunteer teams
throughout the country
uh to provide a class experience uh in
community
where believers are invited to
strategically labor with christ
as he fulfills his uh his pur his
ancient promises
and so uh that’s a a key feature of
perspectives is that we use live
uh instruction uh we use 15 different
instructors so one per lesson
we bring in a different mission
professional for each of the 15 lessons
and and then we offer the courses some
different levels certificate and credit
for example and really what we’re
after is by the end of the course we
want students to have a clear
perspective
of god and of his mission in the world
and it’s through this clearer
perspective which enables a person
to make informed decisions uh
strategically informed decisions about
their lives
uh how they can live in their their
lifestyle their relationships
which in turn leads them to their
strategic participation
in the fulfillment of god’s global
purpose world evangelization
so it’s just a real privilege to be a
part of that so
i’m going to give a plug for
perspectives here i know ted is going to
give his own perfect
perspective story excuse me just a
moment but 1615 has been mobilizing
churches for about
16 years and when we come into a church
to help them really clarify vision and
strategy we start with a discovery
workshop and james you know about that
workshop because your church
participated in our coaching process but
there’s a question i ask
how did you arrive at a place where you
decided to bring your church admissions
leaders together
and say let’s reassess how we’re doing
missions
and i will tell you invariably someone
says perspectives
we went to the perspectives course it
changed our thinking and we realized as
a church that we were missing it that we
were not in alignment with god so
i just want to say thank you for
perspectives
because we are beneficiaries of your
work you’re creating coaching
opportunities for us
so uh how many people have been a part
of the psp program uh for those of you
who are
new to this prospect prospective study
program
and how widespread is its use james sure
well in the united states we’ve uh we’re
now close to about 200
000 uh alumni who have who have
completed the course
uh over the last 45 plus years we’re
we’re coming up on our fifth year 50th
anniversary in
2024 so we’re looking forward to
celebrating that but
up to this point we’re at about 200 000
alumni
i’m not exactly sure of the global
statistics but i think it’s around 80
000
additional alumni around the world who
have
gone through the course and in the us we
have about 8 000 students a year
about 230 classes i was just checking
this out recently
i think we’re close to a total number of
about 5 000
classes that that perspectives has run
in the u.s
during our history uh perspectives is
translated into nine different languages
uh
and we just finished the the french
translation so we’re really looking
forward to
what kind of breakthrough and
mobilization we can see in places like
francophone africa
where there are millions and millions of
followers of jesus who
um who uh love their neighbors and want
to see the gospel extended to
the the unreached around them and and in
other parts of the world so
that’s really exciting perspectives
classes
are run in over 30 countries around the
world
and um doesn’t mean that they all have
strong
uh national study programs or formal
programs
we call them emerging programs uh some
of them do
so i’m not sure the numbers there
certainly more than half
have a a steady
national study program where they’re
running classes year after year after
year
in growing fashion some of them are
accelerating
like crazy like brazil brazil has an
explosive
perspectives movement right now and is
uh probably the
the fastest growing national program in
the world
but all of these programs are colleague
programs of one another and the u.s
participates in that network so
in 1988 i took the perspectives
course i took it in minneapolis
and uh you know one of the first lessons
that you get
is the story of his glory and
uh in that class that i took we have
this unknown baptist pastor
teach that it happened to be john piper
and that was really the beginning of our
you know great commission global great
commission journey for my wife and i
wonderful and the impact for on us was
huge
as it rolled out uh when you talk about
mobilization um just talk a little bit
about why
mobilization is important i think a lot
of people don’t understand how church
planning disciple
ship and evangelism are big parts of the
missionary cause tell us about
mobilization yeah
mobilization is a growing term
and it’s really grown over the last 20
or 30 years
but mobilization in essence if i were to
really boil it down
is just helping god’s people move with
god in his mission it’s getting
getting god’s people mobile um and
mobilization
takes different forms um there’s
a mobilization that for example is
recruiting just getting more individuals
involved in mission or with mission
agencies
uh there’s also uh which i sometimes
refer to as apostolic mobilization
getting getting new things started
getting
people in place training individuals for
service training them in a language
learning or cultural engagement or what
have you
there’s another type of mobilization
which is a pastoral
which is the ministry of encouraging
people walking with them in their
personal journey
challenging them in areas of their life
that they need to be challenged so
they’re serving christ well in their
lives
uh it’s the the mobilization through
encouragement um and i think
both of those are essential uh and then
there is another type of mobilization
which i refer to as a prophetic
mobilization
mobilization which is awakening people
to
the revelation of god’s purpose
understanding biblically what god is
doing
what he’s about what his heart is
educating
about god and his purpose also revealing
uh how god has been demonstrating his
purpose in in history not just it’s not
just a biblical theology
but it’s a demonstration that god is
actively
fulfilling his purpose in the earth and
we can observe that
in time we can we can imagine it within
people groups
that don’t yet have access we can
describe how transformation
has happened within different people
groups and all together it kind of
creates a narrative
of a revelatory narrative that people
need to understand this is what god is
really doing
and once they encounter that then
there’s a transformation or what we
sometimes refer to it as a paradigm
change i when i first went through the
perspectives course and
just in the few years after
taking it myself as 2002
i had people asking me what was the
impact and all i could say was
it’s sort of like having a brain
transplant for me it was just a reversal
of
of mentality and heart as i encountered
god in the script in the scriptures
in a way that that um that understood
him in light of his mission uh and
that’s a profoundly relational
encounter it’s not just uh mission
statistics and information
this is aligning the the life
to the life of christ and what he’s
doing in the world so it’s
deeply deeply relational and
transformational so
that’s what i mean by mobilization at
least in our context there’s there’s
this recruiting type of mobilization
it’s equipping for mission there’s this
pastoral nurture that comes alongside
and they’re integrated you know
there’s there’s they’re not all in meat
boxes but
perspectives niche really is in that
prophetic voice that revelatory voice
and helping people encounter
the scriptures and what god is doing in
the world
james i’ve talked to many pastors over
the years who’ve been through the psp
program and they say how come
i never heard this stuff at seminary
why wasn’t i taught at bible college
about this master story the
meta-narrative i heard all the subplots
they taught me about the sub stories but
i miss the larger story of what god is
up to maybe you could address that how
is it possible
and i’m not asking you to be hyper
critical yeah sure sure
you love bible colleges yeah but how are
we graduating people out of institutions
spiritual institutions that teach the
bible
yeah and it’s the main story yeah it’s
it’s amazing you know
um our our founder the the one who
really had the idea for the prospectus
course ralph winter
used to speak of a disintegrated
education theological education in the
united states where
a lot of our institutions
compartmentalize the pieces
so you have biblical theology as a
niche you have missions you know as a
niche you have pastoral ministry as a
niche church history what have you
and so we become subject matter experts
in those things
but the integration of god’s story
is sometimes missed in that kind of a
process so
um it’s we’re we’re we’re not hanging on
to an overarching narrative
a a framework of god work at work in the
world
and really all of those disciplines need
to be worked through the framework of
what god is doing
versus it just being another academic
piece of subject matter
but we live in a very utilitarian
society
as well where success is dependent on
how well we can articulate a you know a
segment of theology
or how well we can uh grow a church or
how many small groups we have in our
church
or how much money we’re sending overseas
or something like that
um and and there’s there’s nothing wrong
with those
those pieces but if we’re not creating
those
uh if we’re not understanding those
elements in the context of a broader
framework
of god’s mission then we’re usually
you know falling into the trap of of
success models that if we’re if we’re
honest maybe a little bit more about
some of our own credibility in ministry
or our ministry’s credibility
and may or may not be really aligned
with what god is
trying to complete in the world so i
have a soft spot for
you know for churches and for for the
church you know this is just
discipleship
um we don’t uh sometimes those of us in
mobilization get a little angry
why don’t they get this why is the truth
you know people take perspective
students will take perspectives and
they’ll say why is my church you know so
clueless on
god’s global purposes but what i like to
remind people
is that mobilization in essence is
discipleship
it’s helping people learn to follow
jesus and um
and following jesus as a global messiah
right and that takes a little bit of
grace and patience when people
are growing in christ we the scripture
exhorts us to be patient and to walk
alongside
and journey with them in that and i see
that that’s what mobilization
in essence is it’s walking alongside the
church
the body of christ and nurturing them
towards christ
so in that context um as frustrating as
it can be
um i i don’t want to stay angry for very
long or frustrated for very long because
i just want
i just i just want to help people follow
jesus you know i don’t know if you’ve
ever
seen the old book by henrietta mears
unity of the bible
i have not so it came out of southern
california
she influenced a lot of leaders
following uh that you know they were in
that post world war
ii generation in in that arena of that
area that you’re living in around
pasadena and what not
and i ha i have a feeling that
um you know ralph winter was influenced
by
this concept of the unity of the bible
we tend to like systematic theology or
topical bible
approaches so you know i really resonate
with what you’re saying and i and that’s
why i mentioned earlier that
that session the story of his glory to
me is
maybe the most impactful of all of the
the sessions and perspectives because
it opens your eyes of the great to the
great commission from genesis
all the way through to revelation
absolutely and we and we really
want to make sure we launch that way you
know when we start the the court
when the in the first lessons um one of
the things that i think
for ralph winter and many others
even before him walter kaiser the
old testament theologian in other sense
understand that there is a a missional
unity to the bible
that we see revealed right at the
beginning right and so
with the with the calling of abraham the
abrahamic covenant
um one of the terminology a phrase we
use in perspectives
is that god’s promise reveals this
purpose right so we see
we can see that god makes a promise to
abraham i promise
to bless you that you will be a blessing
but it’s a revelation of purpose
right that god expects his people to
enjoy
and participate in uh as he completes
his task and so
that is that unifying thread we really
do see a connection
between the abrahamic promise uh
and and revelation of purpose and the
great commission
and then the whole narrative of
scripture is really
uh um a tie is is tied to those
uh to that revelation of what god says
this is what i intend to complete
this is what i intend to see come about
in all the earth and abraham you’re
going to be blessed as you do that but
you will be a blessing i’m going to
complete my purposes
so that’s that unity and i think that
was what uh was maybe that aha moment
for ralph winter
was was um an awakening if you will to
the abrahamic covenant
i think walter kaiser was influential in
that process
and and others um and certainly his time
in fuller
and and also uh he had hundreds and
hundreds of students
who were coming to his uh class at
fuller who were coming from different
parts of the world serving
among unreached and he was recognizing
uh
these people are working in places where
there is no church
right where there is no uh culturally
relevant
expression of the gospel and so how do
we piece all that together
and so all those disciplines can can can
be tied together
whether it’s theology or mission
practice or
or church praxis uh can be understood in
light of god’s purpose
in my daily devotional today i was just
reading
yeah about the road to emmaus and how
jesus took
you know took them through the whole
history
and that is that is a just a piece that
i think
we often are ignorant to in the western
church so good
yeah and there was that awakening right
their eyes were finally open
to see all that god had been doing yeah
that’s a beautiful
a beautiful picture and then of course
we’ve talked about this many times james
ted as well but the consummation of the
church in
revelation 7. it’s consummated in a
global context so
that’s the end to which all of history
is moving so the question has to be for
churches is how do i
align my local life and labor with that
invincible eternal global purpose
absolutely
hey james let’s get practical now impact
has certainly changed the way we all do
ministry
and i’m curious with the 15-week study
program
and as you mentioned live presenters
that’s one of the
value propagation perspectives what does
perspectives look like in a covid era
and now i would say post
covid as the vaccine starts to have its
way
yeah well those are those are questions
i think we’re still you know going to
wrestle with for some time it’s uh
the effect on our entire society and our
church culture and everything are
have still to be determined certainly in
the short run covet has
impacted us enormously um covet hit in
the middle of our spring semester which
is our biggest
uh last semester or you know the biggest
volume for us and we were so
um thankful that we were able to
transition every single one of our
classes
into a zoom environment right and all of
our instructors kind of stepped up
and sometimes beyond their comfort zone
you know continued to provide
instruction in a virtual environment and
all of our classes were able to finish
uh the semester
and so uh we were grateful for that but
it has had a big impact
um for the most part my my observation
is that these these volunteer mobilizers
the students themselves certainly the
churches the passion
is to gather you know the passion is to
be together
and to have a community experience of
learning
and discipleship and we have seen
a 60 reduction um in our classes
as a result of covet so fall was a big
downturn
and then this spring you know is a
little less so but it’s
it’s still probably 50 of what we
normally would do
you know in the spring semester so we
took a huge hit
uh this year in terms of just the number
of classes um
it it we had to cancel our national
conference which we had been planning
and we thought we’d delay it a year and
then we ended up canceling it again
because covet was going longer than we
thought it would and so
uh it’s it’s had some um sad effects on
us but
you know at this point i think we’re
still very hopeful
there are some good things that have
happened from this uh first of all i
think we’re
maybe more convinced that we don’t want
to do a major shift
away from delivering classes that that
is we believe that things will begin to
change
i think people want to be together all
of our coordinators certainly want to
coordinate live classes
or in person classes but
we want people to gather in dynamic
learning environments
and assist them in encountering god’s
global purposes
and when we can do that in a more
pronounced way we will
and when while we can’t do that we’ll
still work to mobilize the best we can
in virtual environments and we have the
technologies to do that now
we can run zoom classes we’ve piloted a
national virtual class which is
live instructors but people can register
from all over the place
one of our models that’s important to us
is that
local mobilization we want mobilizers to
get to know their communities well
the local churches that they work with
and so just to put
everything online and to say hey anyone
that wants to can register for a class
anywhere
that sounds nice and accessible
but it takes away that uh that drive for
our deliberate and strategic work uh
in the relationships of the community
and so we’re looking forward to
you know we want to stay with that we
really do want to continue to build
relationships with people on a local
level um i
i think another another thing that’s
actually really been
awesome um we the the
the covid uh uh the launch of covet i
guess you could call it
in the spring launched prayer for us uh
we
really pressed into daily prayer for
months
as a leadership team we started
gathering leaders virtually you know
in prayer uh and that is that’s settled
into a really powerful
weekly prayer meeting now of all of our
leaders uh we’re we’re doing some
quarterly gatherings now just for prayer
um and so uh i’m really grateful that
that
took a little bit of a nudge there to uh
to to for us to be a little more
deliberate
and to recognize our dependency on god
which is one of our organizational
values
we’re dependent on god for for this
whole endeavor
so um we’re also you know strengthened
our technology in our our zoom
environment so we can run those classes
and we do have an online class we had
one before
uh covet hit and we’ll continue to grow
and and press those out
but we really do believe that at some
point we’ll be back uh
in the community with with in-person
classes as well
so obviously perspectives.org is the
best way for people to find a class
is that is that yeah if you go to
perspectives.org and click on the on the
map and you’re
where your state is you can see what
classes are available there you can also
check for the
the online classes we launch at least
one online class every single month
so that people can if you don’t have a
class locally available you can still
register for a class there there’s also
some intensives um
uh that that happen in the summer time
and so on i’m not sure how those will go
for this summer we’ll have to kind of
see
you know what the environment is like
but yeah i think we
we have a lot of optimism that that
things will start to pick up for us
again
how about other ways to get involved
let’s say you’ve taken the class
you know let’s say it was a great class
for you but you know you’re not going to
go overseas as a missionary
what are the other ways they can get
involved sure sure
well let me let me back up a little bit
um do we have
what’s our time frame here do we have a
little bit of time to you asked another
question
that i felt like i didn’t answer you
kind of asked me a hard question matthew
about uh how do we feel about a
15-lesson course
you know uh and is our society can our
society handle that anymore
uh could i address that just a little
bit i think there’s something
something really substantial to the
question
and i want to give some some thought to
that and i think that also helps answer
what our methodology is and what our
future is and what we’re working on
um i do think it’s a challenge i do
think it’s a challenge for
american christians to sign up and
register for
a 15 uh lesson course that takes a whole
semester or you know three three or four
months to do
uh by the way it’s not as challenging or
to get people in other countries to sign
up for something like that by the way
they’re starving for things like that
but in in in the united states it is
it is somewhat of a challenge um but i
think it’s a challenge that the church
needs
um we live in a content distribution
world
where there’s a lot of bullet points and
a lot of sound bites that go out there
and
we need to do some of that we that helps
us uh put
the message out there but sometimes
sound bites are polarizing and sometimes
they don’t allow us to
uh to to find any uh depth of meaning
in in content and so um
we we feel like we have a pretty solid
and and substantial message
uh and a a parademic framework if you
will
that is all the more valuable to the
church and so
um we we want to continue to support
the church’s ability to engage uh a
a framework that has an integrity to it
and just if we were just to kind of
shorten that down we feel like we
we want it to be as short as it could we
can possibly tell that story
um but um we we feel like there’s a
substantial
um a paradigm to convey and we want to
do that in an education process so
we’re not just in the content
distribution business we
really want people to gather together
and and wrestle through
uh this paradigm framework we want to
provide an educational
experience uh which is um not just
for example hearing speakers you know or
like like we’re like we’re a platform
for
a an event but that we’re engaging in an
education and a learning environment
and so um we feel like we have work to
do to improve
how we do that but it’s not to move away
from the content base
uh that has some substance to it it’s
it’s on us to improve
how we educate and how we engage in the
community
um remember also our model is dependent
on
a reproduction of classes not just
on again distribution that might go
viral but
we want a model of ministry where we’re
empowering leaders
to deliver to to strategically
uh see about launching another class and
engaging people and word of mouth and
relationship and drawing people to
this important message so that model is
important to us
and um our course framework also
enhances our ability to carry out that
kind of reproduction of leadership
and we really feel like this uh this
message is um
has an integrity to it that we want to
steward that doesn’t mean that we’re not
constantly how can we tell the story
better how can we engage it better how
can we find new voices to participate
um and then there’s a lot of
improvements that uh
is that is in our future and maybe this
will help answer the
your question ted which is how can
people be involved
to kind of uh indicate a little bit of
what we’re working on right now and this
is
uh i believe i feel very optimistic
for our future for our growth uh by the
way prospectus has grown fairly steadily
through all of its history
we’ve been a little bit stagnant for the
past uh few years
but we’ve never been in really decline
we’ve always
held a pretty steady uh pattern of the
number of classes
and you know in some ways i find
encouragement that maybe we go farther
with fewer
you know that because year after year
after year
we’re able to to deliver a course to the
body of christ
that impact then has ripples
that are maybe more important to us than
just our own
our own growth as long as that voice is
there and that we’re stewarding that
content
but some things we’re working on we’re
working on uh
new languages uh in the united states we
have
you know uh the united states is the
second largest spanish-speaking country
in the world and millions and millions
of believers in jesus uh who are
spanish speakers and we have huge
opportunity
to multiply the number of classes in
spanish and other demographics we
we’re focusing on chinese class
development right now
um we have opportunity in demographics
that we haven’t traditionally
been a part of the african-american
church we’re seeing some real
momentum in some of our regions in the
african-american community
um there are entire cities in the united
states large cities
that have never had a prospectus course
which is
surprising but but it’s there as as
prevalent as we’ve been there are plenty
of communities
uh towns cities um that have yet to
experience the content so there’s a lot
for us to do
we have an intentional strategy to
multiply leaders in perspectives
throughout the country
one of the things we’re working on right
now is to
have more for example regional directors
so that they don’t have such a huge
geography each one of them to to to
focus on but
a smaller footprint more leaders so that
they in turn can
raise up additional leaders in their
areas and just the principle of a span
of
care that even jesus followed you that
we all you know we shouldn’t try to
supervise more than
uh more than we can handle jesus had had
12 followers that he was really invested
in
and sometimes christian leaders think we
can have 40 or 50
and it’s just not healthy so we’re
really trying to work on our span of
care which we believe will multiply
leadership and then multiply classes so
many other things there’s technology
you know that we’re working on if you
look at our website for
30 seconds you’ll know that we need a
new website
and that’s coming real soon um i’m
excited about i’m not going to announce
any dates but
our our technology is really being
worked on right now
and we’ve really been catching up on on
some deferred maintenance there
we’ve invested very heavily in that and
so we feel like there’s great
opportunity
for us to continue mobilizing
in all kinds of different areas of of
ministry
uh focusing on on people on demographics
on
on uh uh an improvement in our
technology and our voice so
uh our best days are really are in front
of us
so at the end of psalm 90 moses says
may god establish and bless the work of
our hands yes
establish the work of our hands and
i know that’s my prayer i know ted has
as well i’ve been personally impacted by
perspectives
ted mentioned he has and i’ve met
countless others around the united
states
who say my journey into the heart of god
and
into the mission of god was really
confirmed or maybe initiated
out of perspectives class so god speed
to you guys
uh you’re talking about the integrity of
the course and something popped into my
head it’s a phrase we use at 16 15 a lot
and that is that knowing comes before
doing
and it shapes and informs the doing
and there’s a lot of churches and i
don’t mean this as a browbeat but
they’re
they’re not doing missions well because
they’ve not thought about missions well
well i would say the prospective study
program has poor thinking about missions
in its crosshairs right
a lot of our missiological behaviors
are driven by half-truths assumptions
um sometimes outright myths and i think
we need to get back to the scriptures
and allow god to shape our understanding
of his mission
and perspectives is a great way to do
that so we’re behind him we’re cheering
and we want to be we want to be
alongside our brothers and sisters in
that you know it’s
it can be an overwhelming task uh to
think of
think of the task of a pastor to
disciple
you know their their entire body uh
towards uh following jesus well you know
and we’re just alongside and trying to
help do that
um and we we kind of come and go we
don’t
we’re we’re not i’m stealing people away
from from churches we want people to
stay in their churches and serve him
well
uh but we want to provide a message of
orientation to god and his purpose um
you asked about uh people’s involvement
um we the the thing we always need the
most is coordinators we need people who
are willing to
invest a kind of a year of their life to
mobilize in their community
and to become a class coordinator and
they can
find a regional director on our website
and start that discussion there
but we’re also adding a lot of staff
right now we’re we’re looking for people
who have technical skills
in uh whether it’s in communications
graphics video
we need operational people people
finance
administration people so there’s all
kinds of roles
and perspectives we manage several
thousand volunteers
every year and it takes a lot of
organizational kind of behind the scenes
stuff
we have a database with hundreds of
instructors that we want to steward well
and
steward those relationships well we have
agency partners
we have an alumni that we want to relate
to
with thousands of people that we want to
help and serve them as they continue
their journey
so there’s all kinds of roles and people
can go to our website
and find find some opportunities there
well great james thanks for being with
us today uh
i want to thank you uh for for inviting
me today it’s
been a real privilege and uh you know
matthew i’ve known you for
uh i don’t know how many years now 10 or
15 years something like that and it’s
been a real privilege
uh partnering with you in mobilization
and i love that one-two punch
of uh providing education but also uh
the guidance
and the strategic planning that 1615
provides and
i love the insights and the
conversations that you guys are stoking
uh and it’s been real helpful uh for all
of us so hopefully we’re raising the
water you know for
for the whole family of of uh frontier
mission workers and mobilizers
now with the time in the show when we
talk about something you
like what is it today okay well i i
promise i won’t do too many book
recommendations
in these somethings you like but i am
listening to a book
right now that i find particularly
interesting it’s called the coddling of
the
american mind and what’s
interesting about it is in this day of
divisive left and right
this is one of the few books i have read
that really straddles those worlds well
and tries to explain what’s happening
what the what the big cultural shift is
right now happening particularly with
younger people it’s hitting college
campuses
hard right now and it’s coming to a
church near you i’m sure
it’s a really awesome book it’s by
lucanioff and i believe his last name is
pronounced
hate or hate and look for that book the
coddling of the american mind
i think you’ll enjoy it i know i have
great
we’ll pick that book up folks hopefully
you’ll provoke some thinking
and if you’ve not been a part of the
perspectives study program do that as
well
it will also provoke you to think
biblically and well about missions
james thanks for being with us today
thank you it’s my privilege
thanks god bless before you go would you
visit our hosts websites
there you will find a wealth of
interesting and challenging information
about the state of the great commission
they are 1615.org
and missionnexus.org if you enjoyed
today’s episode
please like share and subscribe so you
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