Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Getting in S.H.A.P.E. for C.H.U.R.C.H.

With more than 2 billion members, churches have the world's largest volunteer labor force. "What if half of those volunteers could be mobilized?" Rick Warren said....
Church members can be trained to distribute and support HIV/AIDS medications, assist with essential nutrition, give medication education, and more.
[Press release, "Rick and Kay Warren to Host AIDS Summit Featuring Health Care, Religion, Government Leaders," Wednesday September 27, 11:46 am ET]

“So the nonprofit social sector is where management is today most needed and where systematic, principled, theory-based management can yield the greatest results fastest. Just think of the enormous problems facing the world—poverty, health care, education, international tension—and the need for managed solutions becomes loud and clear.”
[Re: the church] "The community … needs a community center… I'm not talking religion now, I'm talking society. There is no other institution on the American community that could be the center."
[Peter Drucker, see footnotes 21 & 24, "What’s Wrong with the 21st Century Church?
Synopsis - Part 3 by Dr. Robert Klenck]

Okay, you've taken your S.H.A.P.E. test. You've reported to your draft board (your small group leaders). You've enlisted in the billion man army. You're now a foot soldier for the Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. What's next?

You'll be assigned to your "sweet spot." This is, as Max Lucado defined it, "a zone, a region, a life precinct." (Cure for the Common Life, p. 1)

For 50% of you, your assignment has already been determined for you. You will be drafted into working with HIV/AIDS whether this was something that scored high on your interest inventory or not. But first you'll have to learn how to S.L.O.W. and S.T.O.P.

Confused? You won't be by the time this public relations campaign has gone mainstream. The most massive citizens' volunteer movement in human history is just getting off the ground.

Churches are ground zero. They are to become the center of Global Society. And they'll make these inroads via the HIV/AIDS crisis. In today's press release Rick Warren is quoted as saying that "in many communities, churches are the most trusted organizations -- where people would be willing to go for testing and counseling."

So, here is how half of you will be mobilized to fight against the disease of HIV/AIDS:

1. First you have to support the new mission of the C.H.U.R.C.H.

"Warren said that every church, regardless of size, can do six things to address HIV/AIDS:

"Care and comfort.

"Handle HIV testing and counseling.

"Unleash a volunteer force of compassion.

"Reduce the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS.

"Champion healthy behavior. “You can’t really talk about poverty without talking about injustice, and it is amazing to me that people would try to talk about AIDS without talking about behavior since it is primarily a behavior-based disease,” Warren said. “You don’t get it out of the air. Even for those who are innocent, it was someone else’s behavior.”

"Help with nutrition and medications."

2. Second, you have to engage in S.L.O.W. and S.T.O.P. activities:

"Using the acronym S.L.O.W., Warren detailed strategies various groups have employed to slow the pandemic:

"Supply condoms.

"Limit the number of sexual partners.

"Offer needle exchange for intravenous drug users.

"Wait for sex by delaying the first sexual experience.

"These strategies are popular because they are relatively easy to work on, but they’re not enough, Warren said. They only reduce risk. They don’t eliminate it.

"As they continue to employ some of the S.L.O.W. strategies, people need to work together to stop HIV/AIDS in four ways, he said:

"Save sex for marriage. No logical person can deny that engaging in sex only in the context of marriage would go a long way toward stopping the spread of HIV, he said.

"Train men to respect women. If men around the world had a biblical view of women, lives would change for the better. “This is a spiritual issue, not a health care issue,” Warren said. “Lives can change.”

"Offer treatment through churches. With 2.3 billion people around the world claiming to be followers of Christ, local churches offer a significant volunteer base for treatment and recovery from the behaviors that further HIV/AIDS, including intravenous drug use.

"Pledge yourself to one partner. Labeled as a fringe idea by many groups around the world, having one sexual partner for life eliminates much of the risk of contracting HIV."

(Excerpted from "HIV/AIDS won’t be stopped without churches, Warren tells religious leaders," By Manda Gibson.)

3. Third, you can take more tests, etc.

If you are still itching to take more tests, you can log on to a "quick quiz to test your awareness of HIV/AIDS." And, if you really feel like divulging lots of personal information, you can take a longer "Purpose Driven HIV/AIDS Survey at And if you feel the urge to immerse yourself in the media frenzy launching all of this, you can visit

4. Finally, put it all into perspective.

Are you ready to pass out condoms, dispense drugs, hand out needles, offer counseling, and discuss the most intimate details of the deviant types of sexual behaviors that lead to HIV/AIDS? Are you prepared to counsel people to "remain with one partner" without saying anything about what Scripture says on this topic? Are you prepared to become an arm of the State and the Pharmaceutical Industry -- following their guidelines, mandates, reports and instructions? And, have you counted the cost -- are you prepared to speak the Truth even if you are forbidden to do so in this context?

Once again, the mission of the Church has been changed. Notice the disappearance of the Gospel. Rick Warren explained how "the world's largest volunteer labor force" will work:

“Government has a role – no doubt about that – but it’s highly overrated,” Warren said. “Businesses and NGOs have a role. But the Church … is the missing leg of the stool, and we will never, never resolve this pandemic until the Church – and I mean local churches – is mobilized.” [emphasis added]

This is business guru Peter Drucker's 3-legged stool concept of Society. In his model, the secularized and commercialized Church becomes an arm of Society, i.e., the State. And this Church becomes a mega-center, the hub of the Community in which all of one's life needs are met, duties are prescribed, standards are set, and outcomes (results) are required.

The Truth:

"Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His Own Right Hand in the Heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church, Which is His Body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all." (Eph. 1:20-23)