NOW!. . . Itís TIME 4 BBC Mission Conference
- By Dr. Chris Gnanakan
- Published 11/6/2010
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.
Remember the time you waited for that important letter to come, a critical phone call or urgent appointment? Then, at last, it did and you heaved: ‘It’s about time!’ Does God have such moments? How about when we eventually ‘get it’ with regard to Jesus’ ‘so send I you’ missionary call? Seriously, do we know what time it is? – the signs of our times?
A generation ago, Arthur Guitherman described ‘modernity’ with a humorous poem:
First dentistry was painless then bicycles were chainless,
Carriages were horseless and many laws enforceless;
Next cookery was fireless and Telegraphy wireless,
Cigars were nicotineless and coffee caffieneless;
Soon oranges were seedless, the putting green weedless,
The college boy was hairless, the proper diet fatless;
Then motor roads were dustless, the latest steel is rustless,
Our tennis courts are sodless and our new religion – Godless!
Our conference is about ‘time’ – the ‘stuff’ life is made up of. Time is not commodity but a gift; divine currency to invest during life. How we use it has consequences NOW and for eternity. We cannot manufacture time but are called to manage it for missio Dei, the Mission of God! Christians need to take ‘time out’ to redeem i.e. buy back the time wasted in not investing our talents and treasures to win the lost at any cost, while we can! Do we really believe all without Christ as personal Savior are eternally lost? Carl Henry notes: ‘The Gospel is only good news if it reaches people in time!’ Is our mission possible? Can we reach the lost? Yes we can, but we must engage – NOW!
Our theme: ‘NOW ’, unpacks Romans 13: 11 on the
(2) Priority and
(3) Urgency of missions.
First, from Jesus’ parable of the shrewd manager (Luke 16:1-13) we deal with the ‘USA Today’: It seems like Party Time with anarchy in Postmodernity, apostasy in Churchianity and an apathy in Christianity! We’ve broken God’s laws and Judgment Day is a comin! It’s time for God to work!
Second, we examine Jesus’ parable of the Sower and soils (8:4-15) relating it to ‘Church Today’ and our response to God’s Word and Jesus’ Great Commission. Hardened, Half-hearted and Hollow-hearted church-goers hear but don’t heed the call ‘Go’ or ‘Give’ for missions. How can we break up our fallow grounds? Third, the story of the foolish farmer (12:13-21) explains ‘Missions Today’. Our meaningless mess is characterized by Materialism that is body/pleasure-centered, Narcissism that is self-centered and an Instant-ism that abuses the ‘now’ at the expense of caring for others and their Christ-less eternity!
Our committee has arranged an exciting program each week with griping skits and special songs directed by Bob Wilber & Jane Mick, DVD clips on ‘unreached peoples’ and stimulating stories by our field missionaries. Come, miss-ion with us; don’t miss out on what God wants to do in and for and through us!
Dr. Chris Gnanakan