Approved And Not Ashamed!
- By Dr. Chris Gnanakan
- Published 09/14/2009
Dr. Chris Gnanakan
Revd. Dr. Chris Gnanakan, DMin, PhD. is the Director of Training for Outreach To Asia Nationals. OTAN serves in over nine countries in Asia where traditional missions is ‘restricted’, by equipping and empowering national, pastoral leaders to fulfil the great commission.
Chris, a native of Bangalore, worked as an electrician in MICO factory for 3 years before theological studies at the Word of Life Bible Institute and School of Youth Mission (New York). He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from Tennessee Temple University and went on to do a Master’s in Divinity at Temple Baptist Seminary that he completed at the Asia Graduate School of Theology.
Chris was a youth pastor and ordained at Emmanuel Baptist Church. In 1990 he founded Banaswadi Bible Church where he was the pastor-teacher for over 10 years. He is known as a Youth, Bible & Mission conference speaker and for his radio broadcast with FEBA (Transforming Truth) and TWR (Thru the Bible). His passion is for evangelism, whole-life discipleship, mentoring, training leaders & empowering the Church in Mission.
Chris lectures on and produces curriculum for ‘Biblical Mandate for Evangelism’ at the Haggai Institute for Leadership Development (since 1999 at Maui & Singapore). As an evangelical, he has served as a consultant with the Commission on World Mission & Evangelism on-site London, Switzerland, Athens, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Chile and with Urban Missions in Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines and China.
During his stay and PhD research in the UK, Chris was a Teaching Assistance at the University of Leeds in the department of Theology & Religious Studies and also served as a minister at the South Parade Baptist Church, where he developed outreach & care cells. Chris teaches ‘Clinical Pastoral Education’ at the Bangalore Baptist Hospital. He is chairman for the Christian Forum for Child Development & Samaritan Purse’s regional Prescription for Hope program
Since 1995, Chris joined SAIACS as Professor and HoD of Pastoral Theology & Counseling and Dean of Chapel. Here, for 13 years, he trained leaders for ministry and mission in India’s globalising context and is passionate doing ”Evangelism through Local Churches”. He is now appointed to serve as the Director of Training for OTAN (Outreach To Asia Nationals) from June 2009.
Chris is happily married to Dorothy, an IT software educator, and they have two daughters Alethea and Charis. Chris enjoys memorising poems on the Bible and football.
Q1. Is the Word well Used? Researching at some of the world’s prestigious university libraries, I’ve found books by brilliant authors, geared to change people and society. God has had a book out! Have you read it? It claims to be alive and active; written to inform and able to transform the reader’s life (Heb.4:12). Yet, it is vital that while we go through Biblical texts, we allow its message to go through us i.e. shape our attitudes, actions and lifestyle. I try to keep in mind that all my educational degrees are merely tools to help me get on with doing God’s mission. Right belief determines right behavior. Christians must correctly handle God’s Word only then we can thoroughly equip others and let the Word do God’s work!
Q2. Is the Work well Done? While there is much, often undue, emphasis on ‘leadership’, our Lord is still looking for ‘laborers’. W-O-R-K is a clean four-letter word that gets us dirty! My PhD study was hard work yet I saw it as ‘loving God with all my mind’. Many Bible college students seek position and increased pay without counting the cost of serving Christ. They want the privileges but not the responsibility; forgetting the only place where ‘success’ comes before ‘work’ is in the English dictionary! Two virtues must characterize Christians whatever we do and wherever our workplace: Integrity – truthful, uprightness with transparency and Excellence – getting things done in a winsome way, above and beyond the call of duty. A job done well is a witness and our spiritual worship (Rom 12:1).
Q3. Is my Lord well Pleased? Isn’t it painful when someone does something ‘good’ but later we discover, it was done with the wrong or selfish motives? Many start well but for whatever reason, quit! Quitters never win; winners never quit. God is faithful to us and pleased when we are faithful –in the fight, to the faith, and till the finish (2Tim.4:7). In the end, what really matters is to hear Christ say ‘Well done!’ Enoch walked with God and one day God ‘took him’ because he had the testimony: ‘he pleased God’ (Heb 11:5). Our Lord himself could say, ‘I always do only those things that please the Father’ (Jn.8:28). Less wonder God, the Father, testified of Christ saying: ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’! (Matt.3:17).
The Apostle Paul’s constant aim regardless of his condition was to be pleasing to God and this should become our life’s daily aspiration (2Cor.4:9-10). Paul’s constant concern or greatest fear was that after preaching, teaching and training others, in the end, he himself be disqualified or disapproved! (1Cor. 9:27) He wanted to finish well, and, so do I! Hence I daily pray a 3-fold prayer I learnt from an evangelist twenty years ago. As I invite you to adopt this for yourself, I’m confident it will help us be found faithful in pleasing God and finishing well. It simply goes as follows:
Dear Lord, Keep my clean through your word, today; Lord, may I bring you pleasure as you use me for your glory and, help me finish well for Jesus’ sake! – Amen!
Revd. Dr. Chris Gnanakan