Workshop Dynamics : 4 days, maximum 15 participants, interactive discussions
1. Transformation/paradigm shifts in our understanding of :
a) The Gospel : Not just the good news of salvation, but the good news of the Kingdom.
b) The Church : Not the center of Christianity, but the agent of God’s Kingdom on earth.
c) The Kingdom of God : Not where we go after we die, but God’s rule and domain that has come to invade and overthrow Satan’s kingdom, and that demands the surrender of man’s kingdoms.
d) Salvation : Not plan B or escape, but a restoration of God’s original design for life
e) True Spirituality : Not self-centered inner piety, but “other-centered” love.
f) Our Mission : Not church growth, but nations discipled for God’s Kingdom advance.
2. Transformation in our approach to poverty :
From : Non-involvement, or just preaching, or just donating money, or doing NGO projects
To : entering into the world of the poor, setting captives free from their poverty mindset, empowering them to regain their identity as children of God made in His image, and they in turn discipling and multiplying it to other poor communities
The Bible talks about 3 kingdoms – God’s Kingdom, Satan’s kingdom, and the kingdoms of this world. Jesus came to destroy the devil and take back all authority in heaven and on earth. The end of history has already been written : the kingdoms of the world will come under the Kingdom of God and Jesus will reign forever on this earth (Dan.2:34-35, 44, Rev.11:15). This workshop examines the conflict between the 3 kingdoms and the dynamics involved in the advance of God’s Kingdom on earth.
The Kingdom that Jesus kept talking about, was not about us going to heaven after we die, nor about church growth, but about His Kingdom coming on earth. Jesus said He came to drive Satan out. After He defeated Satan, He said all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Him. Then He sent His disciples to disciple nations and bring nations into obedience under God’s Kingdom. That means the Lordship of Jesus Christ over everything on earth. That means not just the salvation of souls and personal discipleship, but the transformation of cultures to God’s Kingdom culture. Billions of Christians all over the world pray the Lord’s prayer – for God’s Kingdom to come, and yet have no idea, or fuzzy ideas what that means. Before the Kingdom can come, we need clarity and a paradigm shift from an introverted church growth focus to a vision for God’s Kingdom advance on earth.
This workshop invites Christians to re-examine what the Gospel really is, why God created us, what God intended the Church to be, and what task and mission He has for us in this world. When that becomes clear, we then need to look at the poor. Jesus told us the Kingdom belongs to the poor. Our call however is not just to do acts of charity, but to bring God’s Kingdom transformation to them, and help them break free from the shackles of poverty, so that they go on to realize the full potential of what they were created to be, and become channels of life and blessing to others. This workshop covers only the principles. A follow-up workshop will focus on the practical aspects of partnering with the poor and the steps to helping them out of poverty.
This workshop consists of 4 sections :
1st section : What is worldview? How does worldview shape culture? We will see how ideas rule the world, how our worldview shapes what we believe, and the consequences of our worldviews : truth or deception, freedom or strongholds, abundant life or death, stagnation or progress of cultures and nations?
2nd section : What is the Biblical worldview? Is it a heaven-focused, church-centered, inner piety “salvation from this world” worldview (withdrawal from the world, no engagement with issues of injustice, poverty, corruption, etc. in this world)? Or a “God’s Kingdom on earth” worldview (engaging in social issues and nation building, influencing with transformational Kingdom values)? What does it mean to work with God for His Kingdom to come/advance?
3rd section : What is poverty? What is the worldview of the poor? Why do they remain in poverty?
4th section : Life in the Kingdom. What does it mean to be the community of the King? What did Jesus mean when He said the Kingdom belongs to the poor/poor in spirit? What is abundant life? How can the poor be set free from poverty? How can we enter into the world of the poor and be in community with them and help them develop vision for themselves? How can we be salt and light for God’s kingdom culture to transform communities and nations? What kind of approach, discipling, leadership, partnering, warfare, church, etc. is needed?
Some responses/feedback from those who have attended :
“It rocked and overturned my boat”
“My understanding of Christianity has been turned upside down”
“I was blind but now I see”
“Why did I not see this earlier?”
“It has destroyed all my plans .. now I have to start all over again and seek the Lord what He wants me to do”
“Why is it that we have been through seminary and we have been pastors for so many years but we have never seen this?”
“You have really made me re-think what is it I really believe”
“I feel like I just got hit by a truck”
“I feel like I have just been through a washing machine”
“The congregation .. was blown away by what you said … It has transformed a lot of people’s concepts … They are responding to needs around them – one young girl pulled off her slippers spontaneously one morning when she saw the guy who collects garbage walk with no shoes. She was so excited to talk about her freedom … Several of them are actively involved in peoples lives as friends and neighbours … They have finally stopped “bringing them to church” … They have really got it that they ARE the church … Three of them are going to start teaching the street kids in their area on weekends … For days after you left J and I were so shaken … I remember one night after you left I was in prayer … I was so restless … I was hungry at midnite … I went to the kitchen laughing and saying “Eng Hoe you have really troubled me!!!”
If you are quite happy in your Church, then this workshop is not for you. But if something deep inside you tells you that there must be more to the Christian life and to “church as we know it”, and you are dissatisfied, and restless, and you are hungry for more, or if you would like to see your church break out of its four walls to love their neighbors, I would like to invite you to this workshop.
If you might be interested to attend this workshop, or have this workshop among your friends, or in your church, please write to me in the comment column below or email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org