Monday, January 07, 2008

Seven Spheres of Influence

I wanted to introduce a topic that I learned in my time in Youth With A Mission. After the shootings at YWAM Arvada, I was keeping an eye out on the net to see what was being discussed about the mission organization in the wake of the event. Most of the coverage was positive, although I did come across negative publicity, which was bound to happen. No organization is perfect, and YWAM has its warts. However, one of the criticisms was that YWAM tended to produce people that were insular and didn't want to go out of what YWAM was doing.

YWAM is a pretty dynamic, if loose, organization, and it can be very attractive to stay with a group that seems more intense and going than the local church. I've seen folks that have done this very thing. Yet this is antithetical to YWAM's purpose, as evidenced by their teaching on the "Seven Spheres of Influence."

I wanted to introduce this topic because it plays into themes that this blog has touched on. Basically, all of life is under the watchful gaze of God (in Latin it is called "Coram Deo"). I've talked about this regarding creativity and art, but really no part of life is separate from God, especially for us as Christians. If we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, whatever we do can be used to advance the Kingdom of God. (Of course there are limits. I won't be promoting Christian erotica anytime soon.)

After a time YWAM decided that there was a greater role for Christians than just being in specific, called, identifiable ministry. You know, being called "Rev/Pastor/Father/Bishop/Deacon/etc." A Christian businessman could use his influence in his field, mentoring people in Kingdom principles to train a moral workforce in finance or whatever the field may be. There was a great untapped potential for discipleship and transforming not just lives, but entire cultures. If enough Christians entered these "spheres of influence," then a whole nation could be discipled.

I know this idea is not unique to YWAM, but the idea was one of the reasons they founded their University of the Nations to train people in a Biblical worldview of all fields of industry and work. I applaud all others who forge ahead in this way - I think it has the potential to radically change the world.

I'll break down this idea more, and spell out the Seven Spheres, in further posts this week.

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty excited about the marketplace/biblical world view message that is being shared right now.
    The 7 sphere is a great way of communicating how there are different spheres that need to be influenced and not just the church v. the world.
    btw i'm from pocatello... but i live in boise now. i just started a blog about this subject too.