A Different Perspective
By Kate Berkey - November 16, 2017
Posted in Global Impact, Stories from NMC, Discipleship
A Different Mindset
He looked around the room and realized he was the youngest person there. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing; he was used to it, and he tried not to let it faze him. It didn’t matter that he was young. He knew God had a calling on his life.
For Keaton Diener, taking Perspectives on the World Christian Movement was a chance to explore this calling as he learned from men and women who were living out the Great Commission. They shared their stories and their passions, moments of God’s faithfulness and moments where they fell short, and over time, the Lord began to change Keaton’s perspective
“I realized after taking this class that missions is a lot harder than I originally thought, and it’s really important to count the cost of missionary work,” Keaton shared.
Throughout the 15-week course, the Lord didn’t just show him the cost of being His disciple. He challenged Keaton to move to the next level in his faith, even as a 17-year-old. Since taking Perspectives, his mindset has shifted. Sometimes he’s still the youngest person in a room, but that doesn’t faze him like it did before.
“I’ve realized that my age doesn’t make me incapable of doing mission work and following the call of the Lord. It’s not about age. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are. You are never done serving the Lord, and the call to follow God is always there.”
A Different Prayer
When he closed his eyes, he could see his friends all over the world and the needs they faced that day. He saw faces and families and unreached people who lived every day not knowing about Jesus. His prayers were fervent, deliberate, and consistent. For the first time, he had a framework and a deep-seated passion for intercession.
As a doctor, Randy Suttor had a love of solving problems and helping people overcome the obstacles they faced. He also had a passion for missions and for coming alongside organizations as they tried to reach the world for Jesus. These passions were the driving force that led him to take Perspectives.
Through the class, he gained a greater understanding of people all over the world, about how different cultures affect people’s ability to understand the Gospel, and about his role in missions. He’d always felt a passion for prayer, but through Perspectives, he was given a framework that focused his prayers.
“Since Perspectives, I try to step back from focusing on what I naturally see as the most important problems around me, and instead I ask God to show me what matters most to Him. What is it that breaks God’s heart?” Randy explained.
In Perspectives, Randy saw more of God’s heart for the nations. He heard stories and was greatly impacted by the way God was pulling people to Himself. Through this, his walk with the Lord changed, allowing him to be even more a part of God’s work in the world through prayer.
A Different Home
Her life felt strangely surreal, like she was living a dream. Every once in awhile, most often as she rode her bike to work, she remembered the journey she took to get to where she was. She always remembered that class—Perspectives—the one that had awakened a deep passion for the 10-40 window.
Kristy Mikel knew the Lord was calling her to be an overseas, career missionary, and although this was always a little scary, it was always more exciting than anything. When this class was offered in 2016, she was in the middle of discerning where God was leading, fairly convinced it was to an African country.
“This class really began to break down some of the walls of fear I had built up about serving in certain parts of the world or to certain groups of people,” Kristy said.
Through this course, Kristy was able to gain a greater understanding of how to engage with different cultures and religions around her. Week after week, she was challenged to trade in fear and misunderstanding for truth about the people God created. This truth didn’t just impact her life when she moved to Thailand though. It was something she was able to put into practice right where she was, allowing God to transform her heart for those who were different from her.
“I see the world differently, and I’m not fearful of those differences. There are certainly things that make me uncomfortable, but I have a greater desire to understand and to dialogue about those things rather than close myself off to interacting with others who believe so differently than I do,” Kristy explained.
A Different Mantra
Those two words rang in her ears as she stood outside of the county courthouse for the first time. It was her first time serving with Courtside Ministries, an organization that prays with people outside of courthouses. Those words were what gave her the courage to volunteer with this organization in the first place. If Perspectives had taught her anything, it was “go scared.”
Mary Slabaugh didn’t realize how greatly Perspectives on the World Christian Movement would impact her life. Each week she learned from people who were on the front-lines of missions, whether they lived halfway across the world or in the U.S. In their lives, she saw an intentionality that beckoned them to follow the call of Christ wherever He led them. And it was this intentionality that deeply inspired and challenged her to be more purposeful in her commitment to follow the Lord.
“I didn’t feel called to an official missionary, but I am called to share Jesus’ love in my classroom, through my relationships with family and friends, and be available to ministry opportunities He places in my path,” Mary explained.
After everything she learned and experienced during Perspectives, she decided to say “yes” to whatever the Lord brought across her path. Not being a naturally bold person, she found herself feeling fearful about every opportunity that came along, but it was in those moments that she remembered something Margie shared one week during the class.
“She said that we are all called to go, even if we are scared. Her comment, ‘Go scared,’ has been my mantra,” Mary said.
With the Great Commission in one hand and her mantra in the other, Mary has found new levels of serving and loving others to Jesus because of what she learned in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement.
What is Perspectives?
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is a 15-week course that dives into God’s heart for the nations and the purpose of missions. Each week, students see how they can become threaded into God’s story of redeeming people from every tribe, tongue, and nation to himself. It’s not just a class for those considering full-time, overseas missions. It is for any disciple of Jesus who wants to learn what the Great Commission looks like in his or her life. To learn more and to register for Perspectives, click here.