The Kairos course began in the Philippines in 1994. It was known then as the CWMC (Condensed World Mission Course).
In 1989 and 1990 Mission Awareness Conferences were conducted in the southern Philippines to help focus the Filipino Church’s attention on the millions of individuals in unreached people groups within the country. The response to this challenge was overwhelming. The lack of education and understanding in cross-cultural missions in general, however was a major obstacle. Foreign missionaries had failed, by and large, to teach on cross-cultural mission and for the need of the Church to reach out to near-neighbor unreached peoples.
To address this need for education we (Living Springs International) introduced a course in mission using Dr Jonathan Lewis’ three-volume, ‘World Mission Book’ as a basis. Dr Lewis’ material focused on the four major areas of mission concern – Biblical, Historical, Strategic and Cultural. These four areas and much of the material used by Lewis were taken from Perspectives on the World Christian Movement produced by the Institute for International Studies at the US Center for World Mission. Based on Lewis’ material we put together a three week course which also included videos, additional teaching and group interaction. We emphasized the importance for church leaders to attend the course. This we saw as the key to seeing the Filipino Church fully embrace God’s missions agenda.
The response of church leaders to the Biblical mandate to bless all nations with the Gospel was huge. We were soon faced with two major problems. Firstly, to schedule sufficient courses to keep up with the demand for the course and secondly to produce materials and a course suited for use in the local church.
The second challenge saw the production of the Condensed World Mission Course and a structure for decentralization that enabled trained facilitators to conduct the course in all regions of the country. Since 1994 over fifteen thousand Filipinos have taken the CWMC (Kairos course). It has helped in seeing a “missions movement” sweep through the Filipino Church resulting in the Filipino Church moving from being ‘missionary receiving’ to ‘missionary sending’. All thirteen unreached people groups in the country now have one or more fellowships of worshipping believers and the Filipino Church now ranks as one of the top ten missionary sending countries of the world!
From the mid 1990s leaders from other nations began coming to the Philippines and attending the CWMC. Requests for this course to be introduced into other nations quickly grew. We ourselves were particularly interested in introducing the course into other non-western countries, for two reasons. Firstly, because of the need for cross-cultural mission education in general and secondly and most importantly, because most of the world’s remaining unreached peoples are ‘near’ to the non-western Church, geographically, linguistically and culturally. The Kairos Course is also proving effective for the Western Church. Firstly as it helps a new generation become meaningfully involved in world Christian mission and secondly to respond to the growing need for the Church to reach out to the least-reached peoples pouring into their countries and communities!
The latter development is heralding a new chapter in world Christian mission!
Now in its third edition, and under the name Kairos, this course is being used in more than thirty countries and has been translated into ten languages. The Kairos Course belongs to the whole Body of Christ. We are committed to making it available for the Church in all countries both western and non-western. Our passion is that the whole Church be mobilized for meaningful mission to the world’s remaining least–reached peoples!