One Degree Ministries

In partnership with:

What is One Degree Ministries? One Degree Ministries is a ministry of Asian Theological
Seminary in Manila, Philippines. One Degree’s mission, vision, and main objective are summarized as: “Growing leaders and communities from one degree to another.” One Degree works with pastors and communities and has a track record of producing interesting results such that established churches double, triple, and quadruple in size. These outcomes are achieved by participating with the living God as we allow him to transform us from one degree to another, 2 Cor. 3:18 NRSV.

What is unique about One Degree? The short answer is it’s the biblical perspective we

offer. We offer a biblical perspective that starts with the already present nature of the kingdom of God. One reason for starting here is that’s where Jesus started. A study of the Gospels shows that when God the Father sent Jesus Christ into the world, he was sent to announce the good news of the kingdom of God (see Luke 4:43, 8:1, and Mark 1:38.). Another reason for starting with the kingdom of God has to do with the fact that many pastors and leaders recognize little of it. Now you might ask how can that be? Well, it appears many churches and educational institutions simply have neglected it. A possible reason for this neglect is many people view the kingdom of God as only existing in the future or as an abstract idea. Yet, in the Gospels and the book of Acts the kingdom is dramatically displayed as an already present reality which will be fully revealed when Christ returns.

When we introduce the kingdom of God we work hard to emphasize the already pres-

ent nature of it. Our thinking runs as follows: According to Scripture once we’ve been born again, we have entered through the doorway of Christ, and are now enabled by the Spirit’s power to see and experience the kingdom of God, (see John 3:3, 5). And, if this is the case, if we are born again to an existing kingdom reality, then we should be experiencing some normal manifestations of it. We suggest these manifestations can occur either in us, through us, or around us. But if we are not seeing or experiencing the normal manifestations of the kingdom of God, then something is wrong! For how do we know the biblical message is real unless we see and experience some manifestations of it? How do we know God is alive unless he makes himself known to us? The thing we are trying to do is to create a paradigm shift from a mere theological concept about the kingdom to a lived reality within the kingdom. Once the leaders begin to affirm from their own experience that, “Yes, God is alive and he is at work in them,” we proceed to expand their knowledge of how the kingdom actually works by showing the if / then character of our relationship with God, (see John 15:4-7). We do this by opening Scripture and highlighting the normal ways God interacts with his people. A consequence of revealing the if / then characteristic of our relationship

with God is that a number of pastors will confess their sins. Apparently they are confessing because the Spirit is powerfully working to convict them of their disobedience and they are seeking to realign their lives with the ways of God.

A discovery we’ve made along the way is that when a leadership team wakes up to the

already present kingdom reality and aligns their lives according to God’s pathways, then God responds by making himself known to them in surprising ways. And next we frequently witness more people flocking to these communities of faith because they want to learn more about this new life. In other words, the churches start to grow in numbers. From here we go on to introduce and develop further aspects of the biblical perspective by speaking about: the Father’s everlasting plan; creation; our being created in the image of God; our love of darkness; our lives as new creations and in dwelt human beings, etc. Once the church starts to grow, we also broaden our focus by providing master level executive skill training. In this phase we help and encourage the pastors and leaders to acquire better communication, strategic planning, and pastoral care skills to name a few. Our assumption is that growing a church isn’t easy and so our aim is to help the leaders acquire the best possible knowledge and skills sets. And so in a nut shell, that is what makes One Degree Ministries unique.

Another way we are unique is our leadership

team is comprised of 11 experienced pastors who are serving as volunteers. We don’t pay these leaders. Their salaries come from their growing churches. Organizationally these pastoral leaders each work with a small group of pastors to teach, train, coach, and mentor them through the whole One Degree process. Currently, these leaders are working with 30 to 40 pastors. And as these pastors grow and transform from one degree to the next we add them to our expanding leadership structure. And as a result of this ministry growth, the One Degree team of leaders have recognized that we are actually creating a movement.

Thank you for your interest in and support of One Degree Ministries. Sincerely, Bob Harris September, 2011

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