6 WAYS TO REACH GOD’s WORLD: LEARN (Session 1)
For a downloadable PDF version of this resource, 6 Ways Learn.
1.INTRODUCTION ( five minutes)
Why do we need such a course?
- How does your average American connect with global missions?
- Many people have lots of bible knowledge but little practical experience;
- God’s heart for the world is a heart His disciples share and act upon.
Bible Verse: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22.
Course Purpose: To spark each person towards passionate, practical engagement in global missions.
2. BIBLE (five minutes)
“Search in ways to make discoveries, and discover in ways to keep on searching.” That’s what the African Christian leader, St Augustine, once noted. Our first base for 6 Ways to Reach God’s World is precisely this thirst for an understanding of the Lord and His ways through mission. “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth” Psalm 86:11.
Our Anglican tradition from the Book of Common Prayer urges us to LEARN:
“Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen” p.236 Collect for Sunday, closest to Nov 16
Note: not just external learning (hear, read, mark, etc) but internal (inwardly digest) cf. cow chews the cud until it digests and produces milk. Grass has to become milk.
Note: not a dry, labored learning, but a delight (embrace) and continual, joyful disposition (ever hold fast)
Note: not learning about abstract, remote topic but a new angle on how to understand more fully who Jesus, Holy Spirit and Father are (our Savior Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, one God)
Key Verse: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” James 1:22.
Yes, we must listen, but we cannot stop there. “Do what it says”
Psalm 86:11 asks the Lord to be the Psalmist’s teacher, with the purpose not of acquiring more academics but for practical life-change (“that I may walk in thy truth”). Contrast Adam who “listened to the word” (Genesis 2:15-17) but did not “do what it says” (Genesis 3) with Jesus who “listened to the word” (Lk22:44—not my will but thine be done) and “did what it says” ( John 19:30—it is finished).
3. PERSONAL STORY (three minutes). Describe one brief, engaging, transformative example from your own life about something you ‘learned’
4. DVD VIDEO “LEARN” (six minutes).
5. DISCUSS WITH 2-3 OTHER PEOPLE (six minutes).
- What inspired you from the video?
- What was new or surprising for you?
- How is God calling you to commit to learning?
- How have you learned to see the world through God’s eyes?
- What tools can you use to learn about global missions?
6. YEMEN VIDEO (four minutes)
Select “Yemen” from http://www.operationworld.org/prayer-videos
7. PERSONAL ACTION STEP (ten minutes)
In groups of 4-5 people, each person reads aloud one idea from the “LEARN” suggestions handout. After reading aloud all the ideas (not before), invite people to discuss which ideas they’ve already done, which ones they’re interested to take
After brief discussion, then ask each person in the room to describe the concrete step they will take this week and why they will take it (what motivates them? What do they want to learn about? Why?)
Tell each person that we’ll have opportunity next week to report back on what they discovered.
8. PRAYER (two minutes).
Repeat Key Verse: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22.
St. Augustine expected learning to influence how we live and what we do rather than to be simply a mental exercise that does not change us. He encouraged disciples in his day: “Always add something more. Keep on walking. Always forge ahead”. Perhaps we in western countries need to listen to more African and to other voices, rather than to our own, to deepen our grasp of what the Lord is doing in the world today. Next week, our focus will be on PRAY.
RESOURCES FOR LESSON Session 1: Learn
ANGLICAN RESOURCES FOR “LEARN”
Anglican Missionary Legacy: Visit http://www.christianhistorymagazine.org/index.php/back-issues for historical figures such as Wesley (issue #2,69), Wilberforce (#53), John Newton (#81), Thomas Cranmer (#48), Whitfield (#38), C.S.Lewis (#7, 88)
Suggested historical figures to be researched: St Augustine of Canterbury, Aidan of Lindisfarne, Anglican Frontier Missions, Church Missionary Society, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Bishop Crowther (Nigeria), Bishop Azariah (India), Bishop Gairdner (Egypt), Bishop Dehqani-Tafti (Iran), Roland Allen (China), Henry Venn (UK), John Wesley, George Whitfield, Charles Simeon, Reginald Heber (Calcutta),Bishop McIlvaine (Ohio), Archbishop Temple, etc. Anglican Contemporary Leaders: C.S.Lewis, John Stott, Alister McGrath, Brian Green, Sam Shoemaker, David Watson, John Chapman, Michael Green, Festo Kivengere (Ugandan), John Chew (Chinese), Peter Akinola (Nigerian), Bolly Lapok (Iban), Mouneer Anis (Egyptian)
Find out about recent global Anglican missions: 1990s Decade of Evangelism, 5 Marks of Anglican Mission http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm,
Sign up for regular upates on Anglican mission through the online magazine Anglican Witness 6.7 through http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/ecgi/index.cfm
Peek at www.stfrancismagazine.info A highly informative web magazine about missions in the Arab world whose editor is an Anglican scholar.
Eucharist: Don’t just go through the motions, but think about the global implications of Jesus’ sacrifice while you take communion. BCP p.334 “…by his one oblation of himself once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world…”
Book of Lesser Feasts And Fasts: Get a copy of this book and learn through its short prayers about evangelists/ missionaries–Anskar (Denmark), Cyril and Methodius (Slavs), Thomas Bray (Maryland colony), Patrick (Ireland), Gregory the Illuminator (Armenia), George Selwyn (New Zealand), Samuel Schereschewsky (China), Jackson Kemper (Western US), Augustine of Canterbury (England), Henry Martyn (Persia, India), Willibrord (Frisia), Channing Moore Williams (China, Japan).
Catechism: Review the basics about what biblical Christians believe BCP p.855 What is the mission of the church? The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. How does the Church pursue its mission? The Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace and love.
Mission of the Church: BCP p.816, 58, 100, 101
The Hymnal 1982: Reflect on the words or sing a few hymns, e.g., The Church’s Mission #528-544, #671 (Amazing Grace)
The Hymnal 1940: Reflect on the words or sing a few hymns Missions #253, 265
Thirty Nine Articles: Revisit some core Anglican beliefs in light of global missions from BCP p.867 ff –see Sufficiency of Holy Scriptures for Salvation (#6-7), Of the Justification of Man (#11), One Oblation of Christ Finished Upon The Cross (#31), etc
FURTHER RESOURCES FOR “LEARN”
Take the initiative to develop a friendship with someone from a different culture or ethnic background than yourself
Buy some groceries this week from a Chinese, Mediterranean, or Indian store
Learn with others in a group through a 6 week bible study such as Xplore: 6 Lessons Exploring God’s World, God’s Word, and God’s Work www.tbbpres.org
Learn with others in a group through a missions class such as Perspectives on the World Christian Movement www.perspectives.org
Select a short Youtube video from a country you are unfamiliar with such as Bhutan, Yemen, Mauritania, or Azerbaijan
Read Trial and Triumph: Stories From Church History by Richard Hannula. Available from www.amazon.com and www.canonpress.org
Read a biography of Amy Carmichael (India), Adoniram Judson (Burma), Samuel Crowther (Africa), Festo Kivengere (Africa), Temple Gairdner (Egypt), Henry Martin (Persia), John Sung (China), Bilquis Sheikh (Pakistan)
Watch a movie such as The Mission (S.America), Amistad (Africa), Cry, the Beloved Country (S Africa), End of the Spear (S. America) , Inn of Sixth Happiness (China)
Do a quick bible study to discover what the following people have in common: Moses’ wife, Uriah the Hittite, Ruth, Caleb, Ebed-melech, Rahab
Visit the CIA World Factbook www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
Visit information on unreached peoples www.joshuaproject.net