Principles of Environmental Analysis
Principles of Environmental Analysis: the study of the environment in which we are called to ministry, to understand it before we attempt to reach the community. Each born-again believer is called by God to become part of the great spiritual body known as the Church. The main commission given to the Church is to take the Gospel to all nations:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:19-20)
...Thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day... ...That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations... (Luke 24:46-47)
Efforts to fulfil this challenge are affected by something known as "environment". This lesson introduces the subject of the environment, defines the term, and explains how the environment relates to the mission of the Church.
More of Principles of Environmental Analysis
The "environment" includes the physical, social, cultural, and spiritual factors that surround a person. It includes all parts of the society in which a person lives, works, and ministers. Properly applied the Principles of Environmental Analysis will provide long-term insights into the community
The physical environment includes the visible material things that surround a man. It refers to the country, city, or village in which he lives. It refers to all that can be seen with the natural eye such as buildings, land, animals, trees, mountains, material possessions, etc.
The physical environment may be a dry desert, cold mountain region, jungle, or island. It may be a very nice environment with mild weather where crops grow easily. It may be a very harsh environment, with bad weather that makes providing adequate food supplies difficult. The physical environment may be a crowded city populated with many people or a remote area with only a few people.
The social environment refers to the people who live in any physical environment. The social environment is the people among whom you live, work, and minister.
Individuals in every society are members of families. These families may be organized into castes, clans, or tribes. Within these groups are other divisions such as the poor, rich, educated, and uneducated. A nation is made up of many "people groups", which you will study later in this course. The way people are organized in the environment is called the "social structure".
The cultural environment refers to the accepted patterns of life and behaviour within a group of people. These patterns include such things as language, manners, customs, and material standards of living.
Culture also includes such things as music, art, science, literature, educational systems and political structures. Culture develops as a result of religious and political influences and by repeated practice of customs over a long period of time.
Culture varies between nations and even between groups of people within a nation. For example, in Bible times the culture of Jews was different from that of the Gentiles. The Jews did not eat meat and they practised circumcision. The Gentiles ate meat and did not practice circumcision. The two groups varied in religion, customs, and social structure.
The spiritual environment refers to things affecting the spirit of man. God is a triune being: God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit. Man was created in the image of God as a triune being. Man has a body, soul, and spirit.
The spiritual environment is that which affects the soul and spirit of man. There are spiritual forces of evil under the control of Satan. There are spiritual forces of good under the control of God. These spiritual forces are constantly warring for control of the soul and spirit of man.
Along with Principles of Environmental Analysis, Harvestime International Institute offers a course entitled "Spiritual Strategies: A Manual Of Spiritual Warfare" which covers the subject of the spiritual environment in detail.
To understand the physical, social, cultural, and spiritual factors of man's environment, we must review the record provided by God in His written Word, the Holy Bible. We must go back in history to a period before time, as we know it, began here on earth.
Mission Stream of Studies
Principles of Environmental Analysis is taken from our Missions Stream of studies.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to Me in Heaven and in the earth. Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen. (Mat 28:18-20)