Mobilizers Meet in Amsterdam to Advance the Perspectives Movement
God’s purposes, an emphasis given even greater prominence since a 1999 curriculum revision. Furthermore, the vision of Perspectives is intended to give integration and significance not only to aspiring missionaries but to every Christian.
For nearly a full day, the Amsterdam participants reviewed five case studies, illustrating the contextual diversity of the Perspectives course in Nigeria, India, New Zealand / Australia, Korea, and Latin America. Three other case studies featured reports on the Condensed World Mission course in the Philippines and beyond, the World Mission course developed initially for schools, and the development of core materials for non / semi-literate people, each study exposing participants to cultural and educational challenges as well as creative innovations.
Also announced in Amsterdam was the emergence of the Perspectives Global Desk (PGD), intended as a reference point and clearinghouse for inquiries about Perspectives plans and programs. Leaders from the PGD are available to help course initiators and adapters with development documents and consultation, and to assist in the evolution of Perspectives curricula. The PGD presented “Core Ideas”, the most foundational of these development documents, and highlighted the great value of using two or more curricula in the same setting in order to reach different audiences or to impact the same audience with introductory or follow-up materials. One participant captured the consultation’s mood and solidarity of purpose by declaring the existence of a “Perspectives family” of curricula. Concern was expressed regarding the clear and consistent use of the Perspectives name so that specialized curricula are not confused with adaptations of the standard curriculum. A consensus was quickly reached by those representing courses derived from Perspectives to take it upon themselves to protect the name and identity of the standard curriculum.
Other sessions in Amsterdam focused on the challenges and opportunities of serving churches and mission structures through mission education courses. Participants reviewed the world’s major instructional and commercial languages as possible indicators of future course development. While poring over a global map, they noted dozens of initiatives underway in order to identify more clearly and strategically languages and lands to target.
Discussion intensified over tools necessary to deal with the contexts of education, finances, and anti-Christian hostility. Mobilizers exchanged ideas about different media, different arrangements for classrooms and instructors, and the intricacies of publishing and distributing materials. The Amsterdam participants agreed with the PGD to convene a larger, more comprehensive gathering of course developers in Pasadena, California December 10-13, 2003, with an emphasis on how the Perspectives course may be improved and how supportive, introductory, or follow-up courses may also be supported or developed. Expectations are high that this new spirit of collegiality will accelerate efforts to multiply appropriate forms of mission mobilization through education.
Prospective participants in the December 10-13 consultation, “Advancing the Perspectives Movement Globally,” are invited to write [email protected] for further information.