Biblical-worldview conference in USA opens eyes to cultural lies

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ReachGlobal, a DNA affiliate organization and the missions arm of the Evangelical Free Church of America, recently hosted 40 church leaders, missionaries and missions equippers from the USA and across Africa at its Biblical Worldview Conference.

The DNA provided the bulk of the teaching material for this conference.

Peggy Arendt (above, standing), community development resource facilitator for ReachGlobal, taught sessions on The Irreducible Minimum: Jesus’ Model of Growth and Service and Kingdom Math, designed to help participants practically move away from secular-materialist or animist worldviews toward a better understanding of God’s plan for human flourishing.

Integral to the DNA’s teaching is the understanding that all cultures have succumbed to lies from Satan that keep people from flourishing as God intended. In some places, these lies keep people trapped in extreme poverty. In other places, the damage of these lies is harder to see but no less harmful.

“As Americans, comfort and safety have become our highest values,” one participant reflected. “Because of this lie, we don’t take risks to be hospitable to strangers, or even to get to know our neighbors. We don’t make sacrifices for the gospel to go forward among people who are different than we are. In fact, we don’t even make friends with people who don’t share our opinions and beliefs! This is leading to a divisive spirit within our country.”

One African ministry leader reflected on American culture: “You’re so isolated from one another. How can you ever share the gospel?”

An American missionary confessed, “I thought we would learn how to ‘fix’ the African worldview. Now I see that it’s me who needs a biblical worldview!”

In many places where cycles of extreme poverty persist, the lie than men are superior to women often can be found. Conference participants discussed how to identify harmful cultural lies and then to replace them with biblical truth.

The Kingdom Math exercise demonstrates how God takes our weakness and turns it into strength, multiplying our meager offerings into something fruitful and glorifying to him.

Scott Allen and Dwight Vogt, from the DNA secretariat office, also taught sessions. Scott presented The Transforming Story, The Power of Story and God’s Unshakable Kingdom, and Dwight taught from his new book Made to Flourish: God’s Design for All People to Flourish as Individuals and shared real-life examples and models of transformation based on a biblical-worldview approach to missions.

(From left) Scott Allen presents with Richard Juma, a ReachGlobal associate who leads the Tanzania Disciple Making Movement focusing on unreached people groups. This approach cultivates local churches that are home based, avoiding rental fees and funneling more resources to reaching outward. It focuses on leadership development as a path to sustainability. Richard works closely with the Maasais, helping them apply biblical principles that lead to individual and community flourishing.

“What we believe–our ideas–have consequences,” says Peggy. “Our prayer is that the conference will be the start of a movement of biblical thinking throughout the world where ReachGlobal works.”

One conference participant didn’t delay in applying what she learned from the Disciplines of Love lesson. “As a Discipline of Love,” she says, “I decided to call my daughter to encourage her. She needed the encouragement, and we prayed for one another.”

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