The pursuit of all pursuits is to find the elixir of
life and more accurately the abundant life. What if someone were to
discover a tablet or process to perpetual youth? Thousands would be
willing to give all they possess to have the key to it. They would be
willing to endure the rigours of the process for just a little more of
life. The Master Teacher of the Judeo-Christian world, Jesus, made a
relevant statement that resonates among His followers even down to this
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and
destroy, I have come that they may have life and have it to the
full" (John 10:10) NIV.
This is the main purpose of the LIFEdevelopment.info
outreach initiative launched by the British Union Conference and
encouraged by all levels of the Church, especially the Trans-European
Division. It is a bold vision bigger and braver than any we have had to
connect with the secular mind, the unchurched.
Millions have sought the alternative lifestyle
outside the Christian context. Life for them revolves around leisure and
pleasure. Their way of life is characterised by individualism, humanism,
stark materialism, evolutionary ideas, political ideologies and
disconnectedness with faith and traditional religion.
How shall the community of faith gain the attention
of the millions of spiritually inattentive in our cities, towns and
villages? The answer to this question is as complex and diverse as human
nature is unpredictable. To engage with the world, the believer must
engage with people. The Christian must mingle among the people of his
generation as the salt of the earth. The mores and norms of society must
be confronted with life sustaining values and principles that will make
a difference in the person searching for something better. The Holy
Spiritís power is promised to everyone who goes on this venture of
faith seeking the lost.
We can afford to be bold in our incursion into the
world of unbelief because there are millions out there waiting to
respond to Godís call. The imperative of Jesus in the great commission
"Go and make disciples of all nations, teaching and baptising
them" ensures the success of taking the gospel to others. How we do
it depends on our willingness to befriend and love people. It requires
therefore our co-operation as human instrumentalities to point others to
Christ - the way.
LIFEdevelopment for the uninitiated begins with the
first step in this long journey. It progresses from friendship through
acquaintanship with Christ into discipleship. The process may be long
but the spiritual growth will be strong.
Wherever there are people there are seekers.
Thousands of them are behind closed doors, on the streets, at the work
place Ė yes everywhere. They are beset by the basic needs for love,
security, survival, emotional and physical satisfaction. By satisfying
these needs, which are entry points, we may find a key to someoneís
Each of us has an experience, a visual approach that
is similar to anotherís creating a pathway or bridge to a saving
relationship. We can only achieve this state of connectedness if the
vision we have becomes an enactment of the parables of the lost coin
found, the lost sheep brought back to the fold and the lost boy finding
his way back home. In each case there was salvific action - the
householder swept the house, the shepherd went in search of the sheep
and the father went down the path to welcome back his son. To each is
given spiritual gifts to the end that lost souls are found and nurtured
The launch of the LIFEdevelopment.info is a call to
all to join the church in this major thrust to take Christ to the world.
Time is not on our side and the uncertainties of life and the love of
God give us no other choice than to present mankind with the fullness of
life in Christ.
Cecil Perry, President of the British Union Conference