On a mission to make and grow disciples

An introduction to Kairos

Posted by Alan Mcknight on June 5, 2014

Kairos is a nine-session, interactive course on world Christian mission, designed to educate, inspire and challenge Christians to active and meaningful participation in mission. It looks at the four main areas of mission concern which are the Biblical, Historical, Strategic and Cultural dimensions.

Kairos is a Greek word which in its biblical sense means the appointed time in the purpose of God. It presents mission as God’s heartbeat – a thread that runs from Genesis to Revelation and the course teaches that now is the time for Christians, obeying the Great Commandment (Matt 22:37,38) and the Great Commission (Matt 28:19,20), to complete the task to reach all people groups.

The Kairos Course utilises a variety of adult learning styles including group discussions, short lecture introductions, devotions, video teaching, reading tasks and student participation in specially designed activities. It is ideally suited to be conducted in local churches, organisations or with special interest groups such as Christian business people. The course is delivered by trained facilitators and the schedule is adapted to suit the participants. It can be spread over nine weeks, one week, or over two full-on weekends. Kairos is co-ordinated in Scotland through Interserve. (www.interservescotlandandireland.org)

I have been involved in five Kairos courses and each one has had significant impact on participants. The most recent, in Stornoway, was no exception. 12 participants and 4 facilitators met over two very stormy weekends in St Columbas Church Halls. Participants’ ages ranged from early twenties to senior citizens; they were from a variety of occupations, and came from three different churches. One, writing for her church magazine, described the experience and the impact very well, “Those who attended the Kairos course held on two week-ends found it intensive, challenging and stimulating. It was also very demanding, even exhausting at times. But it could also be described as life, or faith enhancing .... Even before the end of the course, those taking part were talking of increasing their giving and of organizing outreach to summer visitors, particularly those coming to the Celtic festival. It’s to be hoped this initial enthusiasm can be maintained. So soon the everyday cares of life come in and dim the vision. But with the help of the Holy Spirit and prayer, all 12 of us will now be missionaries.

I teach on the course for several reasons. Firstly, I believe what is taught through this course. Secondly, having served in Ethiopia for almost 25 years, I know the thrill of being involved in mission and want others to experience that. Thirdly, it keeps me focussed. Another reason is that it is very satisfying to observe changes in people’s attitude as the Spirit enlightens and convinces them. Finally, it is an extension of Harper’s Mission and vision:
‚Äč“Together on a mission to make and grow disciples of Jesus, seeing lives changed, around our doors, in our city, across our nation and around His world. . . . and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
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