Monday, June 13, 2005

Vision Statement


The Agora: Vision Statement

"The Agora Ministry seeks to inspire & train laypeople in the marketplace to live out and proclaim the lordship of Christ over every domain of their life."

Mission

As a grassroots movement, the Agora seeks to encourage Christians in Malaysia to develop a robust and biblical worldview in which we fulfill our different vocations in the public square.

The church in Malaysia faces contemporary challenges to her life and mission in areas such as ethics, modern science, religious pluralism, church-state relations, culture, relativism, economics etc.

It is our conviction that the great challenge for the Church today is the call to engage contemporary culture in a constructive and critical manner through a biblically faithful vision.

Unless we do so, the Church’s witness for Christ suffers.

Vision

We seek to establish these values in our life, family and community

1. Thinking After God’s Thoughts – to think through the issues of life, faith and culture with a mind submitted to the Word of God. To integrate our minds, emotions, wills and strength in holistic worship of God and discerning His purpose for our times.

2. Learning Community – to learn and live in context of community, fellowship and accountability with other believers to benefit from each other in teaching, correction, and training in righteousness, that we may be equipped for every good work.

3. Mission in The Marketplace – To be accurately informed, winsome and wise ambassadors for Christ within our various callings and places in the marketplace as ‘little platoons’ of mercy and truth.

Values And Convictions

We are evangelical in that we believe the Bible is trustworthy and reliable, and Jesus is the only way for sinners to be reconciled with God.

We welcome discerning laypeople to work together in a multidisciplinary sharing to cross-pollinate ideas and contribute towards loving the Lord with all our hearts and minds. We are not scholars so we may not have all the answers. To the best of our abilities, we seek to diligently draw upon scholarly resources.

We have a bias towards using simple, understandable language in our conversations. But we also seek to grow together in our understanding of God’s word and God’s world.

We have a bias towards evangelism and translating theology into practice (praxis).
We do not issue 'fatwas', but we do hope to bring out issues into open dialogue, even debate, in a spirit of love and respect.

11 comments:

jedibaba said...

Thanks for putting this up again for the benefit of oldies like me who forget easily. Now... what was I supposed to have forgotten??

For a mission and vision to become reality we need two more things.

1. A few simple workable strategies.
2. A community willing to die for the vision.

That's all! :)

Anonymous said...

OK, we have a few good men and women... :)

Strategy... apa tu??

jedibaba said...

Concrete and workable plans to put the ideas into action...

Anonymous said...

Hey is Agora for Malaysians only?

The vision is indeed in line with the cultural mandate, which is the vision I have received too, to see laypeople rising up in all aspects of society through the power of God's Word, especially youngsters like us.

Unfortunately, I have not yet met such ministry in Singapore.

I am an Indonesian working in Singapore right now and so I'm not sure if Agora ministry includes network outside Malaysia?

The Hedonese said...

Hi Friend! We're more than happy to network with other Asian Christians who share the vision...

We're not hung-up about the 'name' at all. Just round up some friends who share your passion in this area, and start to bless the community around :)

Let's talk more - email me at
hedonese@yahoo.com

Benjamin Ho said...

Its pretty solid and biblical. do count me in if you've got any networking among reformed Christian believers going on. cheers!

Anonymous said...

I share your vision. Sure sounds promising! In fact it all sounds very similar to that of Regent College's in Vancouver.

Can it work? Theologically it ought to. If the Lordship of Christ is fundamentally acknowledged, it's then a matter of making the necessary connections with the rest of life.

Practically? well, how has it been going on the Malaysian side with "training" and "cross-pollination of ideas"? Are people taking to it?

In Singapore, the Graduate Christian Fellowship has a marketplace ministry brance that does training and seminars. The Biblical Graduate School of Theology (which I'll be teaching) seeks to train the laity and has a very similar vision. Eagles Communication does training and seminars too and have been quite successful at Christian mediation in legal matters. These are the 3 I know. There may be more. But generally, there's still a strong secular / sacred divide in thinking and practice.

My few cents of ideas - I think there's no hard and fast rule as to how to practicalize the vision since vocations and life situations are so diverse. But I do think we need to hear of HOW people are actually working it out in practice. If you have posts in the blog that seeks to answer the following 3 questions from the experience of the laity, it just might give some illuminating insights:

1. What is your vocation / occupation?
2. What are some struggles you face in your job?
3. How are you responding to it as a Christian?

You could of course frame the questions in terms of the "family", etc.

Alwyn said...

I like AGORA's vision and I too wrestle with these challenges on more than a few occasions. I think we see eye to eye on many key issues (e.g. ethics), even as we can hold in respectful tension others.

Let me know how I can help (if at all).

allan said...

It is wonderful to see the openness of Christians seeking to grow rather than closed limitations of doctrine.

God Bless.

The Hedonese said...

Bridging the gap between scholarship and church life, intellect and affections is a community project... No one can do it alone.

we look forward to continuing partnership with other ministries and churches :)

Let us know if you'd like to know more at hedonese at yahoo.com

TheAgora.net said...

AGORA, public square or marketplace of any ancient Greek city. It was originally the site of the popular assembly, but as time went by it was used increasingly for commercial purposes. Large and open and easily accessible, it was regarded as the center of political, commercial, religious, and social life in the city. The agora was surrounded by public buildings and temples, frequently with colonnades (stoai) on the side facing the square. The most famous agora is the Athenian, located northwest of the Acropolis. Funk and Wagnalls Online