by Becca Lehde, Frontier Fellowship board member
Four years ago, my husband and I were searching for a way to deepen our engagement in missions. We were encouraged to sign up for a class called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Little did I know at the time that the road of my faith journey was about to take a hard turn into struggle, refining fire, passion and joy on the way to the things of eternity.
Perspectives is both an organization and a movement, mobilizing followers of Jesus from every walk of life through education to be “World Christians.” Fifteen weeks of biblical, historical, cultural and strategic sections of study reveal God’s mission to redeem people from every ethnolinguistic group to worship Him around the throne of Heaven. Students come away with a deeper understanding of the habits of World Christians—Going, Sending, Praying, Welcoming and Mobilizing—and their role in fulfilling the Great Commission described in Matthew 28:18–20. Different mission practitioners present each lesson, adding their unique voices and experience to the material.
Perspectives was born out of the 1973 Urbana Missions Conference, which saw a 300% increase in the number of college students making decisions to serve the Lord wherever in the world He chose to lead them. In order to provide follow-up education and engagement, missiologist Dr. Ralph Winter began the Summer Institute of International Studies in Wheaton, Illinois, in 1974. Two years later, he and his wife, Roberta, founded the U.S Center for World Mission in Pasadena, California, where the first Perspectives classes were offered. Since then, Perspectives has continued to expand internationally, and materials are now available in many languages. Dr. Winter later founded Frontier Fellowship, which became a strong ally and supporter of Perspectives.
More than 40 years of Perspectives classes across the world have graduated nearly a quarter of a million alumni. These believers are serving in cross-cultural contexts abroad and at home as missionaries, church workers, business professionals, stay-at-home parents and retirees. They’ve responded to God’s calling to co-labor with Him and said, “Here I am, Lord. Send me.” Alumni live more strategically, give more, pray with eyes on God’s Kingdom and love Him more deeply. Perspectives brings communities of churches together, breaking down barriers of denomination, race, gender and economics both inside and outside their walls and celebrating the inclusivity and diversity of God’s Kingdom.
Perspectives has radically altered my life. It’s realigned my Western pseudo-Christian ideals with Biblical principles and transformed my worldview. I watch global news with attention to what God is doing and what my role might be. He’s given me renewed vision and purpose. It’s by His design I have my particular background, live in the time and place where I do and form relationships with the people around me. My life has been ignited with passion and urgency for sharing the Gospel with people who’ve never had the opportunity to hear of Jesus’ great love for them. God has instilled in me a desire to catalyze the body of Christ and serve the World Christian movement. He’s changed the desires of my heart and He’s been faithful to give them to me (Psalm 37:4).
Visit Perspectives to learn more or find classes in your area. Classes are offered in 15-week standard sessions, one- or three-week intensive sessions and online. Fall 2018 courses start soon!