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Posted by David Smith on

This past January, I had the privilege of taking a 15-week course called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. I was encouraged to take this course by the leadership of GPBC and the Global Partnership Team to help me further grow in my role as Global Partner Pastor. To be honest, I wasn’t really excited to take Perspectives. It seemed like an interesting course but the thought of a 15-week class with a few hours of reading every week was not that appealing to me. Usually this course is offered in the form of a weekly, three-hour night class where you hear from a different speaker each week, speaking on that week’s lesson. However, I took the class in the form of a week-long intensive, where for five days, we had 6-8 hours hearing from different speakers. I then had the ensuing 15 weeks to do the reading and assignments.

Before taking the course and all throughout our week-long intensive, I kept hearing two things that people would say to describe Perspectives—“essential” and “life-changing.” I have to tell you that after finishing this class in May, I completely agree with that description. I believe Perspectives to be essential to every person who is a follower of Jesus Christ and it is potentially life-changing to those that complete the course. Yes, it was a significant commitment to make for those 15 weeks, but I am so thankful I was given the opportunity to make that commitment. God revealed His heart mightily through the speakers, the reading, and even the assignments!

So what actually is Perspectives? To put it simply, Perspectives answers the question that every human being asks—what is my purpose in life? Even as someone who grew up in the Church and has been a follower of Christ for most of my life, I don’t know if I could have answered that question. Honestly, I think that’s what is at the root of many of our anxieties and stress—we just ask ourselves, “what is the point of all this?” When you take the Perspectives course, you will be able to confidently and clearly describe what your purpose is—really, what every person’s purpose is who has ever lived. And what is that? Our purpose is God’s purpose. God’s purpose can be summarized like this:

                                “For His glory in global worship,
                                God purposes to overcome evil
                                by redeeming a people
                                who will love and obey Him within every people.”
To put it even more simply, our purpose in life is to worship God and by doing so, glorify Him. God is on mission to see every people love and obey Him and we, as His redeemed people, His church, get to partner with Him in his mission. When you take Perspectives, you discover what it means to live a life of purpose and how God has given each of us a unique role to help carry out His global purpose. You learn this through from four different “perspectives”—Biblical, Historical, Cultural, and Strategic.
Taking this course is certainly a commitment but it is one with the potential for God to transform the way you live your life. This fall, there will be a Perspectives course being offered at Sunset Presbyterian Church on Tuesday nights from 6-9pm, from August 29-December 12. We would like to see a group of people from our faith community commit to taking this class with occasional get-togethers to discuss what they are learning. There is a cost to register for the class, but partial scholarships will be provided for those who wish to take it.
For more information on Perspectives, please go to and for more information on the Perspectives course in the fall, please contact me.


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