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Is Your Worldview Clock-Wise or Counter-Clock-Wise?

vortex-146129_640We were traveling to some remote villages in Kenya, just northwest of Nairobi. As our African leaders drove down the road, we came to a place, “You are now crossing the Equator.” It suddenly occurred to me even though I had crossed the equator numerous times, it was always by ocean vessel or in an airplane. I don’t think I had ever crossed the Equator on the ground. Our African leader stopped the car and we got out.

A young African man came and welcomed us. He had a little “business” he operated at the expense of the equator crossing phenomenon. But it was worth every minute! I was with Brad Miller and Steve Trusty when we got out of the car and this young man, Peter, gave a very articulate demonstration. He had a picture of water and bowl. The bowl had a hole in center at the bottom. He began to tell the story of how water goes down a drain in circular fashion, a phenomenon caused by coriolis, the spin of the earth. I was immediately intrigued because I have told this story many times.

For years, I have been telling the story when Janet and I moved (for fourteen months) to Australia. Before
we left the US, I talked to one of my seminary professors who was visit from Australia. I told him we were
moving to Australia and wondered if he had anything to tell me that was unique or different. He told me the
water went down the toilet the opposite direction. I looked at him curiously, wondering if he was joking
with me or whether what sounded impossible to me could possibly be correct. When we arrived in Sidney, I
immediately went to the airport restroom. I didn’t even need to use the toilet. I just wanted to watch. Sure
enough the water went down the other direction. I have told this story for years as an example of helping
people understand a change in worldviews that comes by an experience of new information. It has been one
of my favorite stories.

Now I find myself right on the equator with Peter. He explained that a Dutch scientist several hundred years ago discovered this phenomenon. Then he took the pitcher and bowl and said let’s walk thirty meters to the north. So we walked thirty paces to the north and he knelt down and put the water in the bowl with his finger underneath the hole. Then he let the water drain back into the picture. While it was draining he put a blade of grass in the water. Sure enough, the water went clock-wise. Then we walk back to the sign that was right on the equator and walked thirty meters into the southern hemisphere. He knelt down and poured the water again. He put in a blade of grass and it went counter-clock-wise. Then he went back, right underneath the sign, and did the same experiment. Sure enough the water went straight down with blade of grass turning neither to the left of the right. What an outstanding experience!

Then he told me more that I had never heard. He asked us if we had ever noticed, that people at the crown of their heads have a little circular area where their hair grows in spiral. I had notice that. Then he went onto explain that people in the northern hemisphere has a spiral clock-wise and people in the southern hemisphere have that is counter-clock-wise. I immediately checked Brad Miller’s scale. And then I asked Peter if anyone there with him was from the southern hemisphere and he said his friend was from Tanzania. I checked his head and, sure enough, it was counter-clock-wise. He also went onto explain that when vines grow around trees they tend to circle the tree. In the northern hemisphere they circle clock-wise and in the southern hemisphere it’s counter-clock-wise. He continued to say that researchers have discovered the 90% of the people in the northern hemisphere, when they stir their coffee they stir it clock-wise. However, in southern hemisphere, when people stir their coffee, 90% of them do so counter-clock-wise.

Worldviews are amazing. It is the way we understand the world and the way the world works. When we get new information or are exposed to new ideas, we behave differently because we understand differently, we see things differently. When people get biblical worldviews and do things God’s way, the church is much more effective!

Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by emailTwitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.

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us-map

America Is a Mission Field

I love the story of what happened to a church in a neighboring town from where I live in Indiana. The Auburn Presbyterian Church, like most Presbyterian churches, was made up of upper-middle class and upper class, white-collar people who live in the all-white, bedroom community of Fort Wayne, IN, called Auburn. Like prim and proper Presbyterians, they were careful to follow the Presbyterian Liturgy and practices, what they call “the Presbyterian Way.”

us-mapOne day, some of the members of that Presbyterian church were studying and reading a book about being missional. They continued their conversation over several months and really got the vision for being a missionary-minded church. They soon discovered, however, that the entire congregation did not agree with their point of view. It was too much change, they were not comfortable with the missional ideas the group was proposing because it represented some change in the church. This conversation continued and the tension in the church mounted. Ultimately, the church split and divided. The group that didn’t want to change and become missionary-oriented got the church building. The missionary-minded group left and eventually rented a room in a renovated junior high school that wasn’t being used anymore. At this point, they wrote to the Presbyterian denomination and said they were missionary-minded and wanted a pastor who was a missionary.

About the same time that this little group wrote and asked for a missionary pastor, a pastor in Jamaica was feeling the call to be a missionary to America. This tall, black, Jamaican pastor, weighing 250 pounds, wanted to serve on the mission field that America has become.

The timing was perfect. The denominational executive who got both letters about the same time decided to send a new missionary pastor to this church in Auburn, Indiana. When he arrived with his family, the people were shocked at first. Here’s a guy who spoke English with a heavy Jamaican accent, his family represented the only people of color in the whole city of Auburn, and he liked worshipping with a little Jamaican beat and even a little dance. Remember, these were Presbyterians!

After they got over their culture shock, the people quickly fell in love with Donovan. They became the most unusual Presbyterian church in Auburn, but experienced being led by a missionary. God has a strange sense of humor!

I’ve read recently that approximately 20,000 missionaries a year come to the United States. The U.S. has become the third largest mission field in the world. There are only two countries in the whole world that have more self-declared non-Christians (by number) than the U.S.: China and India. People all over the world are recognizing that America is a mission field. Unfortunately, unlike this small group of Presbyterians, most churches are sleeping through the sweeping changes that have taken place in this country. What it takes to reach people today is missionary pastors and missionary congregations. It’s amazing how God can arrange this!

Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by emailTwitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.

Have the Church Doctor Report and more news from Church Doctor Ministries delivered direct to your email inbox by subscribing now.

Kent R. Hunter

Spiritual Gifts — Discover Your Sweet Spot

Help write my new book and provide me feedback on this article. Please comment at the end after reading this article! – Kent

Kent R. HunterThe concept, paradigm, or worldview of spiritual gifts establishes a culture, a reality: each person has different gifts, and therefore different roles.  The key, as Jim Collins says, in his classic book, Good to Great, is to help people get on the right bus—direction, goal, and the right seats on the bus.  This is the discovery of your “sweet spot.”

Has this ever happened to you?  We were at a restaurant the other day and we had a waitress that couldn’t get anything right.  I’m sure she was a really nice person.  Or to say it another way, I don’t think she was a bad person.  She was just in the wrong seat on the bus.  Or, maybe she caught the wrong bus.

Over the years I’ve noticed that churches are filled with people who are nice people and who mean well.  They want to serve.  They want to work in the church.  They want to help the ministry.  They want to expend their energy for God.  But they’re in the wrong seat or maybe on the wrong bus.  Being in the wrong seat is just not being where your gifts will flourish.

Any wonder we have a lot of people working from the wrong seat in the church.  Their gifts are somewhere else.  We tend not to follow biblical approaches to helping them find the right seat.  We ask for volunteers, as if anyone is a gifted Sunday school teacher.  Or as if everyone is a gifted Bible class teacher.  Of as if anyone is an usher.  Or as if anyone would be just thrilled to wash dishes in the kitchen.  Or as if anyone can’t wait to go out and share the gospel with people out on the street.

The Bible says that the church is the body of Christ.  How would you like it if your foot volunteered to be a liver?  It’s a little absurd, but so is the way many churches operate!  What about if your esophagus was nominated and got elected to be your knee?  Again, absolutely absurd.  If your human body operated the way most churches operate, it would be the most ineffective, unproductive, disorganized inefficient operating organism.  It would be, in effect, like most churches.

Some people caught the wrong bus.  It sounds odd, coming from a Church Doctor, but I meet a lot of people who actually ought to go find another church.  Not for selfish or consumer oriented reasons like, “I’m not getting my way” or “I’m not getting fed”.  But sometimes people are just on the wrong bus.  Some people are in the wrong fleet of buses, the wrong denomination.  I know Jim Collins isn’t one of the writers of the Bible, but what he talks about in Good to Great is the biblical principle that Scripture laid down long before Jim Collins was ever born.  The way Collins describes it is brilliant and much help to all kinds of people.  If Christians would only read the Scripture and fashion their church accordingly, they would be happier, more fulfilled, and their churches would be more effective.

Help write my new book and provide me feedback on this article. Please comment below using the form immediately below for private submission and the comment section further below for comments that others may see! – Kent

By: C!...

Share what God is doing in your life

By: C!…

I’m sure you would like to see your church reach those who don’t know Jesus in your community and beyond.

Outreach has three parts:

(1) Evangelism: telling others about Jesus

  • Some people have the gift of evangelist (about 10% of most congregations).
  • Most of us do not have the gift.
  • Nowhere in the Bible does it say that everyone should do evangelism.
  • The Bible calls us to be witnesses (Acts 1:8).
  • A witness is like being an eyewitness.
  • This is like telling your God stories.  Matthew 13: the disciples asked Jesus “Why do you tell stories (parables)?”
  • Jesus explained to the disciples that they had been with Him and understood much about the Kingdom of God.  But for new people, He told stories (parables) to “nudge them to receptive insight” (The Message version of the Bible).
  • You have hundreds of God stories.  You just need to learn to share them when you know that a person is receptive—open to hearing what you have to say.
  • You can start changing your friends at church, in your Bible study, or your whole church, simply by starting every small group meeting with the question, “What is God doing in your life?”  What they share is God stories.
  • When they get used to sharing God stories, they will start sharing them with unchurched people in their social networks.

(2) Beyond evangelism, the other part of outreach is discipling.  That is growing others in the faith and Christian service.

(3) The third part of outreach is sending: going out beyond your immediate circle of friends.  This is when you are a witness to people beyond those in your church.

Share what God is doing in your life. It is more productive than inviting non-Christians to church.

After you have shared your faith and they have shown some interest and you have discipled them, then, when they’re interested, bring them to church.

Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by emailTwitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.

Have the Church Doctor Report and more news from Church Doctor Ministries delivered direct to your email inbox by subscribing now.

By: Elizabeth Hahn

Millennials: Faith and Mission

Millennials are those between 18-29. They might be your children, or your grandchildren. If you are a millennial, you likely are reading this column online.

Millennials are children of the internet. As those born into an electronic world, they are natural networkers. It’s in their DNA.

Many young adults are heavily in debt, due to student loans. Millennials think globally. Nothing seems far away. Many have traveled beyond their country, either on Delta, or on Skype. They have inherited global warming, information overload, broken families, cyber theft, government gridlock, terrorism, eroded values, widespread secularization, and aging churches. No wonder many millennials want to make a difference more than they want to earn a paycheck. They are cause-driven and challenge-motivated.

Those millennials of faith are a growing army of spiritual potential. Most are unlikely candidates for seminary or Bible college. Many hunger for training and deployment for the cause of Christ. The networking in their DNA makes them ideal for short-term boot camp, hands-on training for ministry.

Most Christian millennials are unwilling to “play church.” They are spiritually connected through a relationship with Jesus Christ. They are relationally oriented to reach others and introduce them to Jesus. They represent great hope for a rekindling of the Christian faith. Most human traditions are not relevant to them. They will create their own forms and refresh the faith for other millennials. Authentic millennial Christianity holds great promise for a revival of Christianity, as young adults reach their peers.

Who do you know, 18-29 years old? Are they faithful to Christianity? You may want to invite them to check out www.sendnorthamerica.com. This ten-month boot camp is hands-on training to become a Christian of impact. It changes lives forever. I know, my son went through this type of training. He and his young wife are now missionaries in Malaysia. They have joined other young adult Christians to plant a church. It is a few months old and there are already 250 in worship.

Not every SEND graduate works overseas. Some serve in their own communities. Some are full-time, serving in Christian ministries. Others are extraordinary volunteers at their churches.

Whenever there has been a great movement of Christianity, it has been fueled by young adults. Their energy is at the heart of the movement. Young adults led the Christian movement in the New Testament.

We take groups to England each year. They are exposed to the phenomenal movement of Christianity. Old cathedrals are now teeming with young adults. Many of the leaders are millennials. Some of the most meaningful Christian worship songs around the world are coming from young adults in England.

As a Christian, you should encourage millennials. Let them know that their generation is refueling Christianity around the globe. Tell them that they, too, can make a difference in our world.

Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by emailTwitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.

Have the Church Doctor Report and more news from Church Doctor Ministries delivered direct to your email inbox by subscribing now.

miracle

Do You Believe in the Miraculous?

miracleWhat do you think about miracles?

  • Your high school basketball team wins the state championship with a 3-point shot at the buzzer. Your reaction: “It’s a miracle!”
  • You’re driving through an intersection. A pickup truck hits your car with your 7-year old riding at the point of impact. She gets out of the car without a scratch. You say, “It’s a miracle she wasn’t hurt.”
  • Joann had knee surgery. During the operation, she suffered a stroke. Four days later, you visit her. She can hardly talk, her mouth is contorted, and her left side is paralyzed. You put olive oil on your finger and make the shape of a cross on Joann’s forehead and pray God will heal her completely. The next morning she wakes up with no signs of a stroke whatsoever. The doctor examines her and says, “We have no medical explanation. It’s a miracle!”

These stories are true and accurate. Which do you think is a true miracle? The first definition of a miracle, according to Webster’s Dictionary: “An event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws and is hence thought to be due to supernatural causes, especially to an act of God.” The second definition of a miracle: “A remarkable event or thing.” Which of the three stories would you describe as the first definition of a “miracle” and which would you connect to the second definition?

How do you understand the activities of evil people? Are they all psychologically or mentally challenged? Are some driven by evil spirits? Do you think that Christians, today, are ever involved in ministries of deliverance? Do you ever pray the Lord’s Prayer? What does it mean when you pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”? Is that a plea that God would keep you from committing a sin or a request that God deliver you from the presence from an evil force? Or is it both?

Most Christians know Jesus healed people. The Apostles were used by God to heal people. Believers understand Jesus cast out demons and the Apostles delivered people from evil spirits. Some Christians believe the Bible, but also believe that “weird stuff” stopped at the end of the first or second century.

In my work, I have trained many pastors and consulted hundreds of churches. This is what I often hear: “The God of the Bible is the God of today. Anything that occurred in the Bible can and does occur today.” Is that what you believe?

In the New Testament, the church grew rapidly, “Every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved,” (Acts 2: 47). “Many miracles and wonders were being done through the apostles and everyone was filled with awe,” (Acts 2:43).

This is what I have observed: where God is causing the Christian movement to grow rapidly, there is involvement in the miraculous (as an act of God, beyond scientific laws). This is not the cause of revival. But it appears to be a characteristic of a move of God. What do you think? We welcome your comments below.

Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by emailTwitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.

Have the Church Doctor Report and more news from Church Doctor Ministries delivered direct to your email inbox by subscribing now.