The theme of GoStrategic’s Transforum 2018 in Austin, Texas was LAUNCH! This year’s messages had a foundational recognition that as the church picks up the Kingdom of God reality and moves into today’s social and cultural milieu, each member of the Body must prepare for launch by being deeply rooted in their personal relationship with the Lord like the New Testament church. We must have the motivation to continually grow in preparation for the purposes Christ has for each of us. The more “public” one is, the more depth of character is required. Our equipping is not just an exercise but a real necessity for serving Jesus. He did not save us for our pie in the sky or we would already be there. He saved us to function as a member of His Body here for the now of His work.
In his keynote messages, Charles Flowers, Pastor of Faith Outreach Center International in San Antonio, Texas, drove home the concept of “a perpetual pattern of public persuasion” in how we present the Gospel to the world Christ wants to bless. Jesus made us to “win.” Sanctification is for His purposes and your lifestyle might be the only book some people read. After exhorting us to “choose prayerfully where the Kingdom of God can exert itself most strategically in your city,” his closing prayer was, “Lord, let the Body of Christ take its place!”
GoStrategic President, Dennis Peacocke, spoke in his opening keynote of the reality of biazo (the use of power to forcibly seize or advance; Matthew 11:12), a term used only twice in the New Testament (both times positively) that characterizes those who advance the Kingdom of God with force. Biazo has inferences such as: vigorous, compelled, focus, might, passion, and intense. This kind of “violence” in the act of apprehension would certainly create the trajectory of a highly disciplined learner, i.e. a disciple. A disciple is one captured by what Christ has shown of His Kingdom. Disciples, not believers, are those who change the world (2 Corinthians 11:22-28; Philippians 3:5-14). Our training routine must match the attacks of the adversary. We need solid food! And we must be able to discern good and evil. As you look at problems and possible solutions, can you discern the root premises so you are not caught up supporting the wrong solution to the right problem to be solved?
Dennis used the example of the dragnet of fishes at the end of the age (Matthew 13:47-49) when Jesus is the one to separate the good from the bad. With a religious spirit, we tend to do that ourselves out of God’s time. It is up to God to determine when someone’s “time is up.”
Dr. Gerald Chester gave a masterful teaching on merchant banking. The big take-away was the importance of character as a criterion in the early development of banking and the element of mixture so common in fallen man. Building on compelling examples from history in the first session, Dr. Chester continued in his GoBusiness workshop with practical insights on the topic, Biblical Worldview of Investing. He explained, “Investing is not really about money. Money is a tool that you use. Investing is about your heart, discerning what God wants done, and your role in what God wants done.” The reality is that we must first grow as disciples if we are to fulfill the mandate of the Great Commission to disciple the nations.
Continuing the theme, Adam Peacocke spoke on Building the Inner Life for Outward Transformation. He used Santa Rosa, California after the October fires as an example. Surprisingly, there was no increase in church attendance after the disaster. While the community may not have sought out the church, the church recognized the opportunity to cooperate with and serve the community and became the bedrock for the relief efforts. Our call as people of God is to cultivate our inner life so that we can manifest Christ in us as we step forward to serve. This fosters our own growth. Our intimacy with Christ and the fruit in our spirits shows as it transforms culture from the inside out and creates a new culture among the people. Adam suggested we remember to rest (the Sabbath), cultivate a willing ear to hear God (give Him a regular opportunity), and develop the skill of compassionate listening to others.
In a later session, Adam bemoaned that modern technology has pushed the world to value information more than wisdom. This is a truly profound statement and one that we as believers need to consider before the Lord. How can we communicate this reality with others while making sure that we ourselves are not trapped by this frightening observation? The net effect of choosing information over wisdom is similar to what is called the “flattening of the world.” This phrase deals with the pulling down of values relating to the unique contributions of thinking and culture. Economics, for example, have become more important than values. Wisdom is another word for recognizing the application of information through a hierarchy of values. That is the great challenge of our day. Will convenience, comfort, prosperity, and “doing our own thing” prevail? It surely will if believers’ inner spiritual life does not cast it out by example.
Dr. Patti Amsden led two workshops of which the recordings will be used as updates to the GoLife school curriculum. The first, Building Generationally, focused on a main theme throughout Scriptures of bringing sons and daughters to maturity who are prepared to manage their inheritance. Just as the role of parents functions within the family, so do the five-fold ministry gifts function within the church. While God’s son, Adam, was perfectly created but not fully mature, he introduced the first radical discontinuity in the Bible which continued through the generations. Jesus, the “second Adam,” broke off this cycle of death and introduced continuity through the leavening of the Kingdom which is ever increasing and available to all.
In her latter session, Dr. Amsden shared on Fueling the Prophetic Life and the promise spoken by the prophet Joel of a day when all would be allowed access to a prophetic life, and which was fulfilled for the first time on the day of Pentecost. Encouraging us all to practice the presence of God, we receive from Him that which we need to represent Him-that is what prophesy is. A special time followed as Dr. Amsden closed out the evening with an impromptu time of personal prophesy for all the participants!
Ken Negvesky, GoStrategic’s Director of Facilitation for the School of Business Leadership, led the GoBusiness workshop on the subject of “Discipleship in the Workplace.” He expounded on the need for deep, transformed, trained leaders in every generation and arena, and his personal testimony brought the subject to life and was well received by all the participants. He taught that as we seek those we are called to disciple, making them disciples of Jesus, not ourselves, is the endgame.
In her joint GoBusiness/GoLife workshop, GoStrategic Director of Operations, Katherine Gallagher, spoke on the topic of Tending Your Garden. She shared a very personal message on stewarding both yourself and the relationships God has called you to, from finding your garden and caring for it, to understanding the dynamics of the transformation process, to dealing with our personal barriers towards being used by God.
Meanwhile, the workshop times had additional impact as members of The Statesmen Project gathered to go through, for the first time, the curriculum being developed for the new School of Kingdom Citizenship. Focusing on the basics of transforming society and becoming effective change agents, Dennis taught on success as “doing eternal work that passes thru death.” Becoming conscious of our choices in our role as citizens allows us to avoid stagnation and isolation and instead experience a life of growth, purpose, joy, and ultimately being part of the Kingdom of God now and into eternity.
With a broad representation of attendees, both young and old, from numerous states and at least six different nations, it was a particularly rich time of giving and receiving. There is such value in the opportunity to fellowship in person with like-minded spirits committed to growing in the Lord. It is always exciting to witness the ways in which He forges new connections and strengthens existing relationships. The presence of the Holy Spirit was felt in every aspect, from morning worship together, to the dynamic teaching sessions and workshops, to the intimate discussion-group circles, to our school banquet celebration where we honored our graduating GoBusiness and GoLife students. For all who were unable to attend, we invite you to join us next year in person! In the meantime, we hope you will be blessed by the Transforum 2018 audio recordings which are now available on the GoStrategic website:
We Appreciate Your Prayers for:
- The relaunch of our schools and their new online format.
- The Statesmen Project and its work on Community Action Councils, the SENDA Citizen Education Project, and the building of national prayer teams.
- The formation of GoStrategic’s School of Kingdom Citizenship
- The translation of Doing Business God’s Way into Japanese.
- Prayer covering over GoStrategics’s staff, board, school facilitators, and students in the US and abroad.
Thank you for your faithful prayers & support!