Discovering our part in the plan near God’s heart


Alicia Britt Chole

onewholeworld, 2000, 120 pp.  ISBN 0-9707454-0-0


A creative mother of two in rural Missouri, Chole is also a speaker and author. Her mission statement is “mobilizing a generation to make disciples of all nations.”  This attractive eight-session interactive study on God’s heart for the world includes special readings, group facilitator instructions, a cross-cultural simulation game, and a variety of web resources.  It is “intentionally informal” and it’s purpose is to “birth and nurture active, life-absorbed, global-vision.” 


Chapter 1.  From Chaos to Choreography

(God is weaving our lives into his larger purpose.)

“What is our food?  What is the aim that nourishes us?  Could it be that our food is doing our will and finishing our work?  Could it be that we have centralized our lives around ourselves?  No wonder we miss miracles: Doing the Father’s will and finishing His work is not what guides our lives.  We need a change in diet.  We need Jesus’ food to become our food.” (13, referring to John 4: 31-35)


“When placed in the light of our awesome God, our lives find a new perspective.” (13)  “God is in the process of weaving all the threads of our lives, both the beautiful and the coarse, into His purposes for us.” (14)


“His design and purpose...embraces entire cities, whole nations, and complete generations.  God has an over-riding plan for our lives.”  “We are being woven together according to God’s plan for our generation.  The Almighty has a plan, a work, and a will that encompasses the entirety of history.  There is something BIG going on!  But to see it we must go beyond our noses, beyond our church buildings, beyond our country and continent, to embrace a vision for God’s world.” (15)


“Often we think and act as though our lives are the big picture.  ...our lives are not the big picture.  God is the big picture.  He is the universal backdrop....” (16)


“Jesus’ entire ministry was missionary in nature.”  “From scripture we see that world evangelization is the heart of our Father’s will and work on earth.  Our God is a missionary God.” (18)


“God’s mission is the backdrop of history.”  “Our God is a missionary God!  The focus of history is God’s passion for all to know Him.”  (18)


“My heart began to beat with anticipation as I considered the implications of being a choreographed, purposeful part of God’s over-riding, history-encompassing, eternal plan.  If God is a missionary God and Jesus demonstrated His Father’s missionary purpose, then we as Christ’s followers must be a missionary people.  Jesus’ food needs to be ours too.  Suddenly, world missions went from being a unique calling of an elite few, to a great commission for the entire Church.” (18)


“What consumes us?  The pursuit of comfort or a commitment to commission?” (20)


Chapter 2.  Tracing His Steps

(A biblical review of God’s plan to bless the nations.)

“Grasping the ‘Big Picture’ of God’s global purpose opens new doors for us to begin seeing things the way our missionary God sees them.” 


“We readily accept the statement that the Bible is the basis for missions, but would we also accept the statement that God’s mission is the basis of the Bible?” “The basis of the Bible is God’s relationship with His creation called man, and His desire for that relationship to culminate with Him in heaven.” (23)


“The method Jesus used to fulfill God’s promise was relational.  He picked a small group of disciples to train, teach, and commission for sharing the gospel and carrying out God’s plan.”  “Discipleship involves relationship and obedience.” (28)  “We are to know Him, continue what He has begun, and be available for His working through us until ‘the end.’” (29)


“With all God has at His disposal, He usually chooses to reach people through other people.  From God’s perspective, followers of Jesus have been placed on the earth at this time for a purpose.  We have the opportunity to bring the gospel to the people.  If we do not take personal and corporate responsibility for our generation, who will?”  He has not given us a ‘thing to do,’ but a plan to live.”  (29)


“God’s mission is the driving force of history.”  “To know God and to make Him known is the purpose of our lives.” (33)


“As you are reading through the Bible, keep God’s mission in view.  You will be amazed at how refreshing this perspective makes your personal study.” (35)


Chapter 3.  A Two Thousand Year Sprint 

(Brief historical overview of the spread of Christianity)


“While Christianity converted the world, the world converted Christianity.” (39)


“In God’s global plan, each of us is given a ‘call’ and accompanying gifts for service....  When we committed our lives to Jesus, we received, among many treasures, an inheritance of calling in God’s mission.  What marvelous news!  God’s heartbeat for the world is to be equally shared by all who know Him, not only by a select few.”  “You are on the playing field!”  “We are all in the starting line-up.  And yes, there is room, because the field is the world!”  (48)


“So then, the question is not, ‘Am I called to missions?, but ‘How am I called to God’s mission?’”  “A surrendered heart places no limitations on God’s answer to that question.” (48)


“If one hundred years from now, someone were to compile this generation’s missions history, what would you hope to be written in your entry?” (51)


“One concluding question: have you signed your life away?” (52)


Chapter 4.  Faces, Tools, and Dreams

(The world situation based on researching some web resources)


“Scripture and history are saturated with the fingerprints of our missionary God.”  “What do we see when we open our eyes?  The disciples saw a Samaritan village.  We see a global village!”  (59)


“Jesus described His mission as seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10).  Who are the lost in our global village?  Where do they live?  What do they believe?  What do they value?  What languages do they speak?  How can the lost be found?” (59)  “Ask Jesus to help us see the world through His eyes.” (60)


“If billions are to be reached, missions must come to the forefront of the life of the church.  During wartime whole nations work together and sacrifice to see the battle won.  They take on additional roles and ration their resources.” (65)


“There are two ways to stand in the present but work in the future: planning and dreaming.”  “Dreaming alone is futile, while planning alone is sterile.” (65, quoting Michael Jaffarian)


Chapter 5.  All for Him.  (Our role)

“If the Great Commission is to be completed, it will require the entire Church to commit to active global evangelism.” (69)


”David Bryant describes Global Christians, as, ‘day-to-day disciples for whom Christ’s global cause has become the integrating, overriding priority...Christians whose life directions have been solidly transformed by a world vision.’” (69)


“Jesus wants us to follow His goals before we choose our roles.  He calls us to His cause before our career.”  “Instead of seeking a fading self-fulfillment, Jesus offers us the genuine experience of ‘followship,’ following Him in His global purpose.”  (69, quoting Steve Hawthorne)


“Passive evangelism waits for the lost to come to the church, while active evangelism takes the church to the lost.” (70)


“Jesus commissioned the entire Church to be His witnesses ‘to the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8).” (72)


“The global missions movement could be described by two words: creatively explosive!”  “Every gift, talent, and skill is needed because each of us has a purposeful part in God’s Great Commission!”  (72)


“Though going is often emphasized, sending is an equally critical ministry.  Senders and goers form a team.  Together they share vision and responsibility.” “How can they preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10:15)” (73)


“Our world programs us to live to the end of our means.”  “The more we have, the more we need.”  “Our degree or job is not an end in itself, but a means to an end—His end.” (74)


“What changes in your life, if any, would committing all to Jesus and His global mission require?  As an individual or a family?  As a group or church?” (75)


Chapter 6.  Standing in the Gap.  (Intercession)

“The frontline in world evangelization is the Word of God and prayer.” (83, quoting Eric Alexander)


“By taking enough time to pray through decisions, we will not waste days, weeks and years doing things God did not desire us to do in the first place.  Ask Him, listen to Him, obey Him and you will always succeed.” (83, quoting Chris Stanton)


Chapter 7.  Go?  (Going for a season)

“God, in His wisdom, softly draws the curtain of His love across the future of our lives and lets us live day by day.” (91, quoting Lillian Trasher)


“Cross-cultural service has a way of uncluttering our lives and simplifying our definitions of reality, needs, and success.” (92)  “So, if at all possible, I encourage you to go serve for even a brief season cross-culturally.  What do you have to lose?     Your self.” (95)


Chapter 8.  And now?  (What next?)

“God’s missionary strategy was a life.  In the presence of the magnificent tools and resources God has placed in our hands we must be careful not to overlook the power of a life.”  “God has given us Life itself.  Are we willing to return to Him the greatest of gifts?  Are we willing to offer Jesus our very lives?”  (104)


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