- Casting the Vision

/home/lifedevelopment/ - Casting the Vision - by Cecil R Perry

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 post-modern age.

"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 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 heart.

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 into discipleship.

The launch of the 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





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