Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2012, 1:00 am

'Perspectives' focuses on worldwide ministry

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By Leon Lagerstam, llagerstam@qconline.com

Photo: file
Douglas Decherd encourages people interested in doing mission work to attend a 16- week session of classes called 'Perspectives.' A new season begins Tuesday, Jan. 22, with a free introduction to be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 775, LeClaire Road, in Eldridge. Classes will continue every Tuesday night through early May. It will cost $245. Continuing education credits are available.
Photo:
Dale McCrea
MOLINE — Missionary perspectives and prospectives will be examined during a 16-week class that starts Tuesday, Jan. 22.

The first class of this series, called "Perspectives" will be from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 775, LeClaire Road, Eldridge. The initial session will be free for people to see what it is all about, coordinator Dale McCrea said.

Remaining sessions will cost $245. Meetings will be held every Tuesday night through early May. Continuing education credits will be available.

"Basically, 'Perspectives' is an eye-opener to see what God's plan is for reaching people around the world, and what His plan is for you," Mr. McCrea said.

About 85 people attended last year's opening night, past coordinator Douglas Decherd said. "About 60 of them signed up for the course."

It's more than just a "missions" class, he said. "It is a course in which you will have your eyes opened to the heart and purpose of God and how you can take part in His work all over the world, from the jungles of Africa to Main Street, USA."

"We bring in speakers from around the world who will change the way you look at everything," Mr. McCrea said. "I have heard people say that, of all the religious or Bible study classes they've had, that 'Perspectives' has made the biggest impact."

Churches that want to "ramp up" their mission outreach programs should seriously consider enrolling representatives into the program, he said.

"Perspectives" is non-denominational and open to all faiths, Mr. Decherd said.

Since 1974, more than100,000 people in the U.S. and 130,000 worldwide have taken the course, according to perspectives.org.

"Perspectives" is run by the U.S. Center for World Mission, a non-denominational ministry, based in Pasadena, Calif.

For more information, or to register, visit the website, where descriptions of the first two sessions are listed, including biographical information about the first instructor, the Rev. Bryan Padgett, of Lubbock, Texas.

Many Harvest Bible Church members and representatives of World Relief have found "Perspectives" quite valuable, Mr. McCrea and Mr. Decherd said.

Mr. McCrea remembered how, after finishing the course, one woman traveled to China to teach English to Chinese people, "or as she called it 'ChinEnglish.'"

"Perspectives" encourages people to "get out of the church pews" and actually practice the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations, Mr. Decherd said in an earlier interview.

"As Americans," he said, "we tend to forget that God's community is the whole world, and not just America, and we have to wake up to how people in the world live differently than we do and understand what it is that we have to offer that will help them the most."