Changing Perspective for God’s Glory 1


It is that time of the year again. I am about to sign off of the blog for about a month. What is going on with the Payne tribe during this time? Family festivities. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day worship gatherings. I am also scheduled to teach a missions strategy course at Beeson Divinity School in early January. But before I go, I want to share a post I wrote sometime ago–one with a holiday vibe and missiological bent. Thank you for being a regular reader of the blog in 2016. Have a Merry Christmas! I look forward to returning here in 2017, Lord willing.

My family recently watched A Christmas Carol.  You know the story.  Scrooge is visited by different spirits, trying to provide him with a different perspective on his past, present, and future.  Each apparition challenges him to see his world from a different angle.

At times, we all need a change of perspective for God’s glory.

As I was reflecting on the numbers of missionaries and pastors with whom I have worked, taught, and equipped over the years, I could not help but think about the need for most of them to see things from a different perspective.  Consider the following:

  • What do you see whenever you observe a field of 100 people who do not know the goodness and grace of Jesus?

Most leaders see a future with some of these people declaring God’s glory.

But why only some?  What about a future of all of them declaring God’s glory?

  • What do you see whenever you observe a field of 100 people who do not know the goodness and grace of Jesus?

Most church planters see a future local church.

But why only one local church? What about 4, 5, 7, and maybe even 10 churches in that field of  100 people?  Do you see the churches yet to be birthed by the Holy Spirit and then to spend years growing in sanctification?

  • What do you see whenever you observe a field of 100 people who do not know the goodness and grace of Jesus?

Most church planters (in North America) see a future church with them serving as the pastors.

But why are you the pastor?  What if in that field of lostness there are several pastors yet to oversee those new churches?  Do you see men coming to faith and being recognized by those churches as their pastors?  Do you see these pastors in need of an apostolic ministry to equip and release them to be the shepherds the Spirit has called them to be?  Can you see yourself bringing theological training to the shepherds?

  • What do you see whenever you observe a field of 100 people who do not know the goodness and grace of Jesus?

Most mission-minded leaders see a future church that is involved in planting other churches, usually 2, 3, or 4 years or more after the first church is birthed.

But why so long?  Can you see the immediate multiplication of disciples, churches, and pastors that results in the rapid dissemination of the gospel across social networks, spanning the 4 billion+ people on earth that also do not know the goodness and grace of Jesus?

Why is such a change in  perspective so important?  Because it challenges us to return to the Scriptures for the theological foundations on which our missiology and disciple making methods are to be constructed.  Such a change requires us to ask the Lord of the Harvest what He has to say about a field of lostness, church planting, and the raising up and training of pastors.  A shift in perspective leads us to ask if we are being good stewards of the mysteries of the gospel that have been entrusted to our care, for our time, according to the Word of God.  We are confronted with the question, “Are we doing good things for the Kingdom at the sacrifice for doing the best things for the Kingdom?”

Scrooge had to have a shock to his system before he changed his perspective.  Let’s change ours now before Marley shows up.

  • Now, what do you see whenever you observe a field of 100 people who do not know the goodness and grace of Jesus?


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