Avon, CT // S21    Spring 2021
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WELCOME TO PERSPECTIVES!


We desire to see the diverse body of Christ in the Hartford area realigned with God's purpose for the world and empowered by the Holy Spirit to make Christ known and worshipped through the discipling of neighbors, students, families, and colleagues of the many nations living in our city, leading to greater engagement in the local church, and increased unity and partnership with the global church. 


With everything that has happened in this time, now more than ever, the call to the Church to go and make disciples of all the nations is compelling and urgent. Our world is facing fear, despair, and death, and we must equip ourselves in order to respond to that call.


You are invited to explore, discover, and embrace how God has made you for more! Perspectives is a 15-week course about God's plan of redemption from beginning to end and how you fit into it. There are four components:


Biblical (Lessons 1-5): Have you ever wondered why the word "missions" isn't in the Bible? We'll take 5 weeks to illuminate God's unchanging promises as they unfold from Genesis to Revelation. These lessons will highlight how God has always been a missionary God, and how that gives us our charge to engage in missions worldwide.

Historical (Lessons 6-9): You will discover your spiritual lineage and learn that God has always been at work throughout history making His name known among the nations. You'll gain perspective and insight into how the past has shaped our understanding of Christianity and missions today.

Cultural (Lessons 10-11)The peoples of the world come alive as we see expressions of the New Testament church thriving among every nation, tribe, people, and language of the earth so that Christ Jesus is worshiped.

Strategic (Lessons 12-15): Find your place in God's story through endless opportunities to help complete the Great Commission. Learn practical application of broader strategic topics as it pertains to the many facets of missions throughout the world.

Dates:    January 19 - May 11, 2021
When:    Tuesdays 6:30 pm-9:00 pm
Where:   Sessions will be Virtual and In-person

First Two Nights Free: Register at no cost to try out this course. Everyone is welcome to hear the first 2 lessons before deciding to commit to the course.


Perspectives offers 3 levels for completing the course:
Key Reading Level ($255....because of COVID 19 you will pay $225 and will order your book with a coordinator provided link at approximately $30):  Prepare for great speakers and great material with light reading. Be challenged to consider your own role in world missions. This level requires about 1-2 hours of optional reading each week with little written homework. Five "Personal Reflections" assigned during the term will require about an hour each to complete. 

Certificate Level ($255...because of COVID 19 you will pay $225 and will order your book with a coordinator provided link at approximately $30):  This is the recommended course level which provides a rich learning experience. It involves weekly homework assignments, five "Personal Reflections" and one research project due by the end of the course. This level requires about 4 hours of work per week. 

Credit Level ($555...because of COVID 19 you will pay $525 and will order your book with a coordinator provided link at approximately $30):  An in-depth study with 3 semester credit hours given through Trinity International University. It involves additional reading and two research projects. It is offered at the undergraduate or graduate level.


FAQs about Perspectives

What is Perspectives?
Perspectives is a Christian education course designed to help believers understand God's heart for all peoples and the active role they can play in their day-to-day lives for the great commission

Why take Perspectives?
Perspectives equips believers with the Biblical, Historical, Cultural, and Strategic context in which missions is derived. It provides resources for believers of all walks of life to engage those around them in effective evangelism, discipleship, and partnership. 

In this course, you will learn about Abraham’s calling in Genesis to be a blessing to all nations. You will learn about the movement of the church after Acts and up to the present day. You will learn about God’s current work in redeeming people from every tribe, tongue, and nation to himself, and you will learn about the task that still remains. 

Throughout this course, led each week by 15 different key speakers sharing their experience and knowledge, you will discern God’s own invitation in your life to serve him, and begin to hear how and where God is leading you.

Which enrollment level is right for me?

 - Key Reading Level: This is for people unable to commit to the reading requirements of the Certificate level. We recommend you sign up for Certificate level and if you can't keep up with the homework, you can change to Key Reading at any time during the course.

 - Certificate Level: While the course provides fantastic instructors, the richness and full impact of this course come from the readings. This level provides accountability, and is often required by missions agencies. It is also required by those looking to coordinate a Perspectives course in the future. Because Certificate and Key Readings are the same price, we recommend students register for Certificate level and drop down to Key Reading at any point during the course if they are unable to meet Certificate requirements. Students who complete Certificate level can take future Perspectives classes as Alumni at no cost. 

 - Credit Level: Graduate credit students attend class, read weekly articles, take weekly quizzes, take 2 exams (midterm and final), and write a 18-20 page paper at the end of the course to receive graduate credit. This level requires 5-8 hours of reading per week. Additional work may be required depending on the Graduate program. 

*With either Undergraduate or Graduate Credit levels, if students are planning on transferring credit, provided through Trinity International University, it is their responsibility to check with their adviser to ascertain their school's policy on transferring credit into their program.


Class Info

Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Location: Valley Baptist Church 590 W Avon Rd Avon CT 06001

Contact: Arshi Paul

(336) 287-7193

 
    • Instructor


    • Lesson 1

      The Living God is a Missionary God

      God's purpose is three-fold: against evil—kingdom victory; for the nations—redemption and blessing; and for God—global glory in worship. God's purpose revealed in promise to Abraham. Exploring God's purpose for the nations: Blessing to the nations described.

    • Instructor

      Steve Treash

      Fairfield CT

      Steve Treash is the senior pastor of Black Rock Congregational Church in Fairfield, CT. After Wheaton College and Gordon Conwell Seminary, Steve earned a Ph.D. in theology and church history from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Steve and his wife Jen live in Newtown, CT with their fourteen year old twins, Caileigh and Parker.

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 2

      The Story of His Glory

      Exploring God's purpose for Himself: How God has been steadily unfolding a plan throughout all nations and generations to bring about His greater glory, ultimately drawing to Himself the worship of all the peoples. Passion and prayer for God's glory.

    • Instructor

      Douglas Christgau

      World Outreach, Farmington CT

      Rev. Doug Christgau MedSend Global Ambassador Doug has served as mission pastor in three churches from 1985 to 2019. During that time his churches have sent 42 long-term missionaries. Doug has led 100 short-term mission trips in 45 countries and has engaged almost half of the congregants he has served in missionary prayer partnerships. The three churches served by Doug have been described in books on outstanding U.S. mission churches. Doug is a former board member of the National Association of Missions Pastors. Currently he is vice-chair of the board of MedSend. He is co-founder of Mission Consortiums in IL and CT. Doug is a presenter for Perspectives on the World Christian Movement and speaks at church mission events. In 2020 Doug began work as a full-time volunteer with MedSend, assisting churches in increasing the impact of their world missions ministries. 1/20

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 4

      Mandate for the Nations

      Jesus shows great strategic interest in Gentiles; wise strategic focus by initiating a global mission on a few disciples among the Hebrew people. The Great Commission and the ways of God's sending in relational power. Dealing with the ideas of pluralism (all religions the same) and universalism (all persons saved).

    • Instructor

      Samya Johnson

      Call of Love Ministries , Cincinnati OH

      Samya was born into a Christian family in Beirut, Lebanon. She accepted Christ at age six. Samya lived in three Middle Eastern countries serving among Muslims before coming to the US with her family in 1999. She and her husband Mike founded Call of Love Ministries in 2001. She hosts English TV and radio programs. She continues to author publications and teach seminars that equip believers to reach Muslims. Samya’s 25+ years of Islamic research, writing, teaching, and working among Muslims bring a fresh and enthusiastic outlook about evangelism to Muslims. Samya resides with her family in Ohio. www.calloflove.org | samya@calloflove.org | 832-220-4040

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 3

      Your Kingdom Come

      Exploring God's purpose regarding evil: How God has accomplished a defeat of evil powers in order to open a season of history in which the nations can freely follow Christ. The kingdom of God as the destiny of all history. Christ's mission seeks a hindering of evil to bring about a sign of the coming peace of the kingdom of God. Our prayers contend with evil in order to bring about the transformation of society with Christ's kingdom in view.

    • Instructor

      Thomas Turbiak

      , Canton CT

      Tom has a passion for serving God through his church and short term medical missions. It is a great blessing to be able to join God in His great commission.

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, February 9, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 6

      The Expansion of the Christian Movement

      The story of God's purpose continues relentlessly from Abraham's day until the present moment. An overview of the largest and the longest-running movement ever in history—the world Christian movement. How the gospel surged through the peoples and places of the world. Important insights for our own day.

    • Instructor

      Todd Johnson

      , South Hamilton MA

      Todd M. Johnson is Eva B. and Paul E. Toms Distinguished Professor of Mission and Global Christianity and co-Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Johnson is visiting Research Fellow at Boston University’s Institute for Culture, Religion and World Affairs leading a research project on international religious demography. He is co-editor of the Atlas of Global Christianity (Edinburgh University Press) and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed, 3rd ed.) and World Christian Trends (William Carey Library). He is editor of the World Christian Database (Brill) and co-editor of the World Religion Database (Brill).

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 5

      Unleashing the Gospel

      The first followers of Jesus: obedient in costly, foundational ways. The climactic act of the book of Acts is the freeing of the gospel to be followed by Gentiles without Jewish traditions as a requirement. A foundational act of God which speaks to the situations where the gospel is hindered today. Strategic suffering and apostolic passion.

    • Instructor

      Chris Clayman

      Global Gates Network, NYC West African Outreach, Bronx NY

      Chris Clayman is an Associate Director and Co-Founder of Global Gates (www.globalgates.info), a mission organization focused on reaching the ends of the earth through global gateway cities. He has been involved in pioneer church planting in urban and rural West Africa and New York City among unreached Muslim peoples. Chris is also the author of Superplan: a journey into God's story (thesuperplan.com), and ethNYcity: The Nations, Tongues, and Faiths of Metropolitan New York (unreachednewyork.com). Chris lives with his wife and three children in the Bronx.

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, March 2, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 7

      Eras of Mission History

      The greatest explosion of growth ever has taken place in last 200 years in three "bursts" of activity. Why we could be in the final era of missions. The global harvest force comprised increasingly of non-Western missionaries.

    • Instructor

      Glenn Sunshine

      Every Square Inch Ministrieswww, Newington CT

      Glenn is professor of early modern European history at Central Connecticut State University and specializes in the Reformation. He teaches in the Centurions program, a worldview training program set up by Chuck Colson, and has consulted for and appeared in a variety of worldview DVD series. He is also the founder and president of Every Square Inch Ministries.

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 8

      Pioneers of the World Christian Movement

      Today we anchor the race by continuing what others have begun. It's a day of finishing. All the more reason to learn the wisdom and the heart of ordinary people who did extraordinary things in earlier generations. Reading the writings of William Carey and other leaders to discern what these people have left to us. Exploring the contribution of women in missions throughout the centuries.

    • Instructor

      Mark Buchanan

      , Avon CT

      For more than a decade Mark has coordinated Valley's work with Project Zero, T-Net International's program to finish the Great Commission in every country of the world. He has taught the program to African pastors 11 times, and mobilizes other Valley members to do the same. Mark has also done short-term medical missions in 5 countries, and has been active in mobilizing the church through its World Outreach Committee.

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, March 16, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 9

      The Task Remaining

      God's pressed His purpose forward until the present hour of amazing opportunity. Understanding the concept of "unreached peoples" to assess the remaining task. Recognizing the imbalance of mission resources shapes strategic priorities. The basic minimal missiological achievement in every people group opens the way for working with God against every kind of evil so that the gospel of the kingdom is declared and displayed with clarity and power. The need and opportunity of urban mission.

    • Instructor

      Stephen Vannah

      SIM USA, Lee MA

      Stephen Vannah is an ordained pastor, has been the field leader for SIM in Senegal for about ten years. He is presently the Northeastern Regional Director for SIM. He and his wife live in Western MA. They have two daughters. He holds a Masters in New Testament Studies, an MDiv. and a DMin. His current responsibilities involve a considerable amount of traveling to churches, Christian colleges and institutions to preach, teach seminars and workshops on missions, leadership and synergetic teamwork. He teachers Missions, at Berkshire Institute of Christian Studies.

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 10

      How Shall They Hear?

      Culture and intercultural communication of the gospel. Communicating the gospel with relevance at the worldview level helps avoid syncretism (blending of cultural error with God?s truth) and also enables powerful movements of the gospel. Sensitive missionaries will look for ways that God has preserved or prepared people to hear the gospel, often finding redemptive analogies for God's truth.

    • Instructor

      Alfonse Javed

      Calvary Baptist Church, New York NY

      Dr. Alfonse Javed is the founder of RAM Foundation, an organization dedicated to serving religious minorities in the Muslim world. He is also the Executive Director for Heart for Muslims, an organization which equips believers to reach their Muslim neighbors for Christ. He holds three doctoral degrees, three masters degrees, and three bachelors degrees in various subjects both secular and spiritual. He lives in New York City with his wife and young children.

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 11

      Building Bridges of Love

      The incarnation as a model of missionary humility. How missionaries can enter appropriate roles in order to form relationships of trust and respect to develop a sense of belonging, and thus to communicate with credibility for understanding. Explore the intricacy of identification in another culture. Explore the even greater complexity of presenting identity with integrity in a globalized, terrorized, pluralized world. Recognizing the dynamics of social structure in order to initiate growing movements of ongoing communication throughout the society.

    • Instructor

      Susan Patt

      Frontier Ventures, Exton PA

      Sue Patt has worked as a mobilizer for more than 35 years (since 1982) with Frontier Ventures, formerly the US Center for World Mission. She has served as a Perspectives Regional Director (13 years) and as the Perspectives National Program Director (7 years). Her current assignment is Director of Diaspora Initiatives with FV. She has been developing deliberate friendships with Muslims since 1980, and Hindus since 2005. She is married to Fran Patt since 1986. They have 3 young adult children and live in Exton, PA in the Philadelphia suburbs.

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 12

      Christian Community Development

      A survey of world need. Dynamic balance of evangelism and social action. Hope for significant transformation as a sign of Christ's Lordship by Christian community development. Exploring the charge that missionaries destroy instead of serve cultures. Healing the wounds of the world between the peoples.

    • Instructor

      Robert Liu

      health, Warwick RI

      Bob was involved in community development in impoverished rural areas of East Asia from 1995 to 2010. He also served in disaster relief efforts following the tsunami in Indonesia in 2004 and earthquake in China in 2008. Bob is a medical doctor and holds a master's in public health. He currently works at the Coast Guard Academy in CT and serves part-time with EFCA-ReachGlobal. He and his wife have three grown children and currently live in Rhode Island.

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 13

      The Spontaneous Multiplication of Churches

      Look beyond institutional features of churches to understand churches as dynamic movements of Christ Himself being followed. Such a view of churches as organic, living things opens up the practicality of seeing them multiply rapidly as movements and also flourish in society bearing the fruit of social transformation. Churches as counter-communities, acting as salt and light, bringing change to their cultures. How movements multiply by connecting with entire families and larger social structures.

    • Instructor

      James Cha

      Crescent Project, Leesburg VA

      Rev. James Cha was born in Korea, but grew up here in the US. He studied electrical engineering at Cornell University, and worked ten years as an engineer. In 2000 he and his family went to Central Asia, where they served ten years as church planting missionaries with Pioneers. They are now back in the US reaching out to the Muslims in the Washington, DC area. He is the Washington DC Area Coordinator for Crescent Project. His wife, Faith, is the ESOL Director in Leesburg. They have three children: Joniel, Josiah and Karis.

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 14

      Pioneer Church Planting

      The hope of planting churches among unreached peoples. How the breakthrough of the gospel in an unreached people requires that the gospel be "de-Westernized". The difference of contextualizing the message, the messenger and the movement. Distinguish and appreciate people movements, church planting movements and insider movements.

    • Instructor

      Joseph Steinitz

      GraceXtensions / unmissions.net, Towson MD

      After ministering in a Muslim context, Joe served as missions pastor at his church in Maryland for 8 years. Since 2001, he has been co-director of unmissions.net, a ministry that helps churches more effectively engage in world missions. He is also on staff at his local church helping to lead it’s local and international outreach efforts. Joe is married and has 6 children. For obvious reasons he has no hobbies.

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    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Lesson 15

      World Christian Discipleship

      What it means to integrate life for Christ's global purpose as a "'World Christian". Into the great story for His glory: a Person-driven life as a way of. pursuing a purpose-driven life. The basic practices of world Christians: going, sending, welcoming and mobilizing. The essential disciplines of World Christian discipleship: community, giving, praying and learning. Simplifying your lifestyle as if in "war-time". Exploring the practical ways of pursuing God's purpose. Business and mission. Short-term mission. Welcoming international visitors. Wisdom in working with local churches and in partnership with Christians in different parts of the world.

    • Instructor

      Douglas Christgau

      World Outreach, Farmington CT

      Rev. Doug Christgau MedSend Global Ambassador Doug has served as mission pastor in three churches from 1985 to 2019. During that time his churches have sent 42 long-term missionaries. Doug has led 100 short-term mission trips in 45 countries and has engaged almost half of the congregants he has served in missionary prayer partnerships. The three churches served by Doug have been described in books on outstanding U.S. mission churches. Doug is a former board member of the National Association of Missions Pastors. Currently he is vice-chair of the board of MedSend. He is co-founder of Mission Consortiums in IL and CT. Doug is a presenter for Perspectives on the World Christian Movement and speaks at church mission events. In 2020 Doug began work as a full-time volunteer with MedSend, assisting churches in increasing the impact of their world missions ministries. 1/20

      b

    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

    • Celebration

      Celebration

    • Instructor

    • Class Info

      Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2021

      Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

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