Theology of Reclaiming 7 Mountains

Transcript of Interview of Loren Cunningham on Original 7 Mountains Vision

By Loren Cunningham
It was August, 1975. My family and I were up in a little cabin in Colorado. And the Lord had given me that day a list of things I had never thought about before. He said "This is the way to reach America and nations for God. And , "You have to see them like classrooms or like places that were already there, and go into them with those who are already working in those areas." And I call them "mind-molders" or "spheres".


Interview with Loren Cunningham
Founder, Youth With a Mission (YWAM)
"7 Spheres" with Os Hillman and Kelle Hughes in Atlanta

November 19, 2007



It was August, 1975.My family and I were up in a little cabin in Colorado. And the Lord had given me that day a list of things I had never thought about before. He said "This is the way to reach America and nations for God.And {He said}, "You have to see them like classrooms or like places that were already there, and go into them with those who are already working in those areas." And I call them "mind-molders" or "spheres". I got the word "spheres" from II Corinthians 10 where Paul speaks in the New American Standard about the "spheres" he had been called into. And with these spheres there were seven of them, and I'll get to those in a moment. But it was a little later that day, the ranger came up, and he said, "There is a phone call for you back at the ranger's station." So I went back down, about 7 miles, and took the call. It was a mutual friend who said, "Bill Bright and Vonnette are in Colorado at the same time as you are. Would you and Darlene come over and meet with them? They would love to meet with you." So we flew over to Boulder on a private plane of a friend of ours.And as we came in and greeted each other, {we were friends for quite a while}, and I was reaching for my yellow paper that I had written on the day before.And he said, "Loren, I want to show you what God has shown me!" And it was virtually the same list that God had given me the day before. Three weeks later, my wife Darlene had seen Dr. Francis Shaffer on TV and he had the same list! And so I realized that this was for the body of Christ.


I gave it for the first time in Hamburg, Germany at the big cathedral there to a group of hundreds of young people that had gathered at that time. And I said, "These are the areas that you can go into as missionaries.Here they are: First, it's the institution set up by God first, the family. After the family was church, or the people of God. The third was the area of school, or education. The fourth was media, public communication, in all forms, printed and electronic. The fifth was what I call "celebration", the arts, entertainment, and sports, where you celebrate within a culture. The sixth would be the whole area of the economy, which starts with innovations in science and technology, productivity, sales, and service. The whole area we often call it business but we leave out sometimes the scientific part, which actually raises the wealth of the world. Anything new, like making sand into chips for a microchip, that increases wealth in the world. And then of course prediction sales and service helps to spread the wealth. And so the last was the area of government. Now government, the Bible shows in Isaiah 33 verse 22 that there are three branches of government, so it's all of the three branches: judicial, legislative, and executive. And then there are subgroups under all of those seven groups. And there are literally thousands upon thousands of sub-groups. But those seven can be considered like Caleb: "Give me this mountain," and they can be a "mountain" to achieve for God. Or they can be a classroom that you're going to disciple a nation in.Because Jesus said, "Go and disciple all nations." And it also can affect us because in those areas we can be changed, transformed by the Holy Spirit to be effective missionaries into the area that God has called us into, and we will see it as not just a job to get money to stay alive, but "as the Father sent Me, so send I you," Jesus said. Therefore, we can be missionaries, where the word "missionary" means "one sent", and one sent of Jesus, if you're a lawyer in a legal office, you are sent of God. You're sent to be his missionary, or if you're in Hollywood, or you're working as a dentist, or you're working as a doctor, everything you can do for the glory of God. You may be in the area of food services. The Bible says in Zach 14:20 that even the cooking pots will be called "holy" to the Lord. That's food services. Or transportation. Everything from a bus driver to an airplane pilot or to a car dealer or whatever it is, it says even the veils of horses will be called holy to the Lord.


So we make whatever we do, if we do it as unto the Lord, a sanctified, or a holy work, it is Holy unto the Lord. It's not just the pulpit on Sunday, that's one of the spheres.It's also all the other spheres together, and that's how we achieve advancing the kingdom of God.



Q: What did you do after that?


We began to speak it out. And today, as I fast forward to today, whenever God gave us the message, we began to speak it out and proclaim it, and then with Youth with a Mission, we began to follow what God said to do next, which was to start a university. We call it the University of the Nations. Our first year was 1978. We set up a college, or as they call it oversees a "faculty", in all seven of the areas that was relating to each one. Instead of setting up a college for family, but we called it counseling and healthcare in that category of family, and then we also had a school of family ministers. So, that was a part of it. And in each one of the categories we were able to do that. And from this particular basis, the Lord showed us to do it in a modular form. Rather than one campus, we would have many campuses, multiple campuses worldwide. We presently have over 500 in 140 nations. We're offering over 800 courses and seminars and we offer courses and seminars in 82 languages now. And as they're spread around the world, this brings the university to the young people where many of them have no opportunity to go on to tertiary education. And so, this is one of the things we have continued on.


And as we are in our 29th year of the university, we're seeing about 25,000 students a year go through the university every year, and we are also moving into another category, and that's participation with several organizations in convergence and convening; we are converging for collaboration purposes, with over 200 organizations coming together under what we call "Call to All", or you'll find it on the internet at www.call2all.org. As we are coming together, we're doing this in forty regions in the world, all over.We've done three already, one in the Hispanic South America, another one in Southern Africa, another one in South Pacific and Oceania which includes Australia and New Zealand.And now we are going to the rest of them throughout the nations, and as we do so, we're challenging the body of Christ to come together and having a global pastor's network, a global media network, a global educators network, and so on, using all of these spheres. And now the church is adopting these spheres worldwide, and they're at the same time adopting what we call a map that is 4,379 locations, we call that/these are "zones", "omega zones", the name of Jesus is "Omega", {he's the alpha, the omega}, and it also means "to complete". So to complete the great commission, we want to go where we're not. Where the church isn't. Where the body of Christ isn't. Where Christians in business aren't. Where Christian educators aren't. And we want to plant all the seven spheres in all 4000 of those "Omega Zones." And in doing so, we believe that we will forward the purpose of discipling all nations. And so this is what we're involved in right now. And it's one of those exciting times as we meet with thousands upon thousands of people around the world, and explain to them what these seven spheres are all about, and how every, literally every culture has elements of all seven spheres. So we want to be sure that Jesus, the Omega, is in every one of the spheres of the world.


Q: Specifically, I'd like to ask you about the business sphere, or the business mountain.Talk about the role of the business mountain, and how you think it could change our society.You said earlier that that kind of helps the wealth of the world…what would it look like if Christians started to take over that business mountain?


First of all, according to Dr. David Barrett, Christians own over two-thirds of all the wealth in the world now - those who claim to be Christians. If we would use the wealth of the world to bless the world, and bless it not just those in blessing the needy, but bless it to multiply it. In the last century, the twentieth century, the wealth was multiplied over three times - three times the wealth of the world. How? Every time someone discovers something new, how God has made the matter, and so on, and I used for example the idea of the microchip, but there's all kinds of new innovations that have been coming into the twentieth century, and now into the 21st. Well with all of those inventions, it creates a new enlargement of the market. And in creating a larger market, you actually are spreading the wealth, by production, sales, and service, that's the real business part of business.


But the motor to business, as quite famous scientists have described to me, is the scientific creativity part, because that's the part that fuels the multiplication of wealth. The other distributes it. And so, you don't just give away money to give away money; and like Carl Marx would say, what that did was to destroy the economy of the Soviet Union in just 70 years. Rather, you have productivity, micro-enterprise, you go into a little nation where there's no hope for this lady who has three children and she doesn't know how she's going to support herself, her husband has died - what does she do? And you make a little loan to her. That loan may be a cart to distribute eggs, and she could make a little profit when you teach her how to do that, and then she pays you back the loan.


We're finding for example, with Opportunity International, they have created a million new businesses in one year alone. And they're doing this all over the world, by micro-enterprise.This is a Christian organization started and run by Christians to help people as they grow into a greater productivity, therefore, greater and greater prosperity. Then there are other groups that will take them at the next level.But, that's the way to help the people that are in need so that they do it responsibly, and they're getting paid back, even up to 98-99% of the loans are being paid back. And so it's teaching them responsibility rather than just making them welfare people that says "Ok, give me something for nothing." And this doesn't help people this hurts them. And if they literally can't help themselves, there are certain things they can do still that will make them feel self-respect, and productive, and there are ways to do that as well. But the main thing is to be sure that we take care of people by giving them something that is productive in the realm of business. Now to do this in every area of the world where there's poverty, or to do it where there's wealth and there are people in pockets of poverty, we can help lift them out of poverty through the Bible-way.And the Bible-way: "they that don't work shouldn't eat." In other words, you are driven by your stomach, the Bible says, in order that you will work and be productive. And so, for people who can, you help them, and you help them get into a business. So if you're going to climb a mountain, and say like Caleb, "Give me this mountain, and call it the realm of business," well that's one of the ways you can do it - by using business for the glory of God. I once said to a German businessman, {his particular product was the best of the best within the nation of Germany, and the world}, and I said to him, {he's a Christian}, I said to him, "Would you consider going into…" and I named a major big country that is closed to the gospel. And I said, "Would you set up a business there and begin to help and open the way even for people to come in from outside so that there can be a broader witness in that nation, a so-called 'closed' nation? "I don't believe there's really a closed nation anywhere, it's just that it's closed to the present method we try to use to get in. And so, as he did this, and it was so successful, he opened it up in several other countries, eventually over 20 nations, and he got so into it he went into Asia himself, and loves being a part of seeing nations changed through the realm of business.


Q: How can this and the next generation conquer the seven spheres? What can this generation do?


For this generation presently, it's one of the most exciting generations. They're about 26 and below. Some call them the "media" generation, or the "millennial" generation, or they call them "y" generation, but whatever, they are the most exciting group. One, they are more concerned about the poor and needy than any nation that we've seen in a long time in the generations. They're also global in their thinking, and they don't think of just their own nation. And because of this, and their connectivity because of the media through IT, through the various forms of the Internet and so on, they are really connected around the world. Now when they are sparked by God, and see that God has the answers through them, to change the nations, and find out, "hey, we can do it in the category God's already given us a gifting and a calling to", so it call comes back to their gifts and callings. The gifts and callings of God are without repentance. And so, if they're called into business, or called into education or called into missions and the church or whatever the category is, they can see God coming in and make a change, because we don't have to use old paradigms, we can use the new. And this generation is going to find them, because the greatest form of communication is on us, through the Internet. There's never been a time like this. The first communication was multiplied when we discovered the alphabet. The second was when we discovered the printing press, the Guttenberg press and printed the Bible, and that spread it. And the next time was the electronic when we started using telephones and radio, and then finally, the movie, to put images, and then putting it all together in television, and then together through the Internet. There's no limit now through the internet.Billions can be communicated with. So, through that communication form, we can challenge people that are really wanting to seek God, to go into their category, and be a missionary for the glory of God.To give one-hundred percent to their mountain of achievement--the mountain they're claming for God, and their sphere that they're going to fill with the glory of God, with the word of God, with the testimony of their life, allowing their life to shine, because Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine that they may see your good works, and then glorify your father in heaven." How can we shine? He's the light of the world, Jesus is! Well, He's in us, and through us, He can shine into every one of the spheres onto every mountain that needs to be climbed and brought into the kingdom of God. So we have the challenge for this generation that just fits perfectly and I think it's like dry kindling ready to be set afire, and it's going be spread about like a wildfire in a hurry and across the nations and across the internet in every form, texting and you name it, blogging and on YouTube and a lot of other tubes that are coming out, like God-tube, and there's Yahweh, and there's others that are coming out to give their testimony of what God is doing and then through that, beginning to effect their sphere of life.



Q: Loren, you know in Deuteronomy 28 it talks about us being the "head", not the "tail", and then in Matthew when Jesus prayed to bring "heaven on earth"; what has prevented us from moving over society at that level in these seven spheres and do you think that the focus of the evangelical church of the gospel of salvation vs. the gospel of the kingdom has hindered that at all?


The call of God to the children of God in Deuteronomy chapter 8, first of all, he says that I led you these forty years to test you, to see if you would keep My commandments or not.And to learn that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.And, I don't think that there's a stereotype.God has a dynamic relationship with His own. Jesus said, "My sheep know My voice, and they follow." And so it's in obedience that we find the true disciples. They're the ones that show up when Jesus tells them to. For example, He said the 500 of His disciples waited, "Wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit comes…" but only 120 obeyed. They were the real disciples. And that's still true to this day. And in Deuteronomy 8 later on he says I'm gonna teach you how to make wealth. And he says in chapter 28, I've got blessings and cursings, and the blessings are wonderful, the cursings are terrible, and if you'll obey Me, these blessings will be yours." And we have seen those blessings. They have come in great, great amounts. In fact, the trillions of dollars that flow through the control of Christians every year is a part of that. But the problem is the obedience. When you arrive at that place, do you obey what God has told you to do? Or do you heap it upon yourself? Or do you obey God into the kingdom? He said to pray this prayer: "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth." When? That's now! Where? That's around us, "as it is in heaven." And so the kingdom coming, where is the kingdom? Jesus says in Luke; it's in your heart, it's within you. Whenever Jesus is on the throne of your heart, the kingdom has come. And when you go into a sphere, the kingdom has come into that sphere. But, if you go into that sphere obeying Jesus, you're going to change that sphere.


And so, we don't have to compare salvation to discipleship.Salvation comes before discipleship, however, preparation comes in the soil before the seed is planted. You see, the soil is really the world-view. And if the soil is hard, and unprepared, or has weeds, or birds come and take the seed, that soil doesn't produce anything. But Jesus said one out of four soils is good.And that's the prepared soil. So how do we prepare soil? It's tilled.It's also watered. It's also nurtured. And then, you drop the good seed into the good soil.And that good soil will produce out of that seed a 30-60-hundred fold reproduction.That's where we're missing it. Because the worldview has been shifted in America and the west. And it's been shifted away from the Biblical Christian worldview, which was in my childhood, the worldview of America, and of Europe. And then, as you see the change that has come, then we've taken on a humanistic worldview, that is basically anti-Christian. And with that, we call it a "secular worldview", {we call is "secular humanism"}, but it's really against the Biblical Christian worldview. And then, that hardness of the soil is not producing anything.


But in good soil, then you have good roots that are farmed. The roots are belief systems, what we know to be true.Our reality is, our belief is our world-view, what is real to us. And our trunk of the tree is the value-system, that's what is good, better, or best. And then the limbs of the tree are our behavior, what is done. And out of the end of course are the leaves. The Bible shows that the leaves are not only for protection from the UV rays and it also absorbs the carbon dioxide, there's also healing in the leaves the Bible says. But the fruit is for food. But it's also the seed is in the fruit for reproduction. And we can count how many seeds are in the apple, but we can never count how many apples are in the seed. So it's the multiplication, 30-60-100-fold that we want to see come about.


In order to have discipleship, you have to have converts.In order to have converts you have to have salvation. In order to have salvation, you need a prepared soil. And, so we need it all.And different people play different roles. And we don't just emphasize one to the disregard of the other, but we let them flow in the sequence of God, and the ones that are ready it's like a director of an orchestra, it's time for the violins to play, and then for the trumpets to be quiet or for the drums to be quiet and so on, and then you bring in the others. And that's how it is as we reach the world because in Mark 16 Jesus said, "Go into all the world," "go" means change of location, all the world means change of geography, "preach", that's communication in all of its forms, the "gospel" which is the core message, "to every creature", that's demographics, "every person", is an individual call to us to go to them with the gospel.

Now the second one is really the first one, which is Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus said, "I have all authority, in heaven and on earth, go therefore, and disciple all nations." "Nations" is not individual, that's corporate.And that's where we have to see the seven spheres or the seven mountains, and see them as a corporate change of even the worldview that they are presently having to shift them into a world-view that will allow the nations to receive all that God has for them in salvation and in all the other blessings beyond salvation, and especially in discipling them to disciple the nations. And He said, "baptizing them, in the name of the son, of the father, and the Holy Ghost." How do you baptise a whole nation? They have to die to the world-view they're in. If it's a Buddhist world-view, or a Hindu world-view, and be resurrected to the world-view of the Biblical, and that which is of Jesus' world-view. And as they're resurrected how do you do that? By teaching them "all that I taught you with." And He says, "And lo, I am with you always…"

So, He will be with us to teach them all that he has taught us.And that's how you change the world-view, both in the individual, and in the world itself.You don't have to have the majority. All you have to have is the tipping point part, and they have to be strong, and understand, but truly wrapped in love, not in arrogance and banging them over the head with a Bible, but rather in love, and living the message. You first model it, then you teach it, because the people are hungry now, because they've seen it in you, and then thirdly you coach it, as they begin to model it, and teach it, and coach it. And that's how the multiplication goes, so that we can multiply the kingdom of God in every sphere of life.


Q: Are you encouraged by what you are seeing today in nations as it relates to affecting the seven mountains?



First of all, I am so encouraged.I've been to every nation on earth.I've also been to every dependent country, and another 150 territories and islands beyond. And so, I've gone throughout the world, for the cause of the gospel, not just putting my foot down, staying with the people, moving, for the sake of the gospel, and as I've done this, and I've preached all over the world, and all but a handful of nations where I couldn't speak to a group of at least 5 or 6, and so, in those, I've had to pray, or work individually. But in the area of going around the world, I have watched in over 50 years of travel, as my wife and I went into Nepal first, in 1963 there were 24 believers in the whole nation.


Today, it's reaching around a million or more.And this has been something I could see. I go in, and I see the church, under one of the spheres, under the mountain, as it's being born, I've watched those who are involved in the medical field, as they are developing in that country, I've watched them as they are in the business realm in Tibet, as some of our workers there, they were doing amazing things, business in other ways, and through this bringing the kingdom of God in.First of all, the growth of the body of believers to say, they have met Jesus personally. This has grown so fantastically from the time Martin Luther, one out of 69 in the world who have known Him personally, to the time of 1900 when we crossed the 1 billion mark, and at that time one in 27 were believers, to the time in 1980, when there were 4.5 billion people on earth and one out of every 11 are saying "We have met Jesus and are following him now." Or, if you count "cultural" Christians, one out of three. But I'm talking about those who are really being transformed, and they are endeavoring to transform in their realm. And I've seen it in government, I've seen it in the military, I've seen it in several ways.


Let me just mention the military.It was in a prayer meeting in 1971, or maybe 1972, I don't know, around there, in Switzerland, where God showed us to give away 100,000 Bibles among the V-Corp army of the military, US military in Germany. Well, we went, and I talked to Dr. Kenneth Taylor and he was coming through just for two hours in Germany, and I told him what had happened in the prayer meeting the day before, and he said, "That's strange, I have 100,000 Bibles left over from a Billy Graham crusade.I'll give them to you, free, but you'll have to get the transportation." So I went to my friend, the chaplain, who was over the V-Corp army Colonel Lamberman, and he was over all the other chaplains, and I shared this vision with him, and he said, "That's good.Tomorrow, I'm to meet with the generals.And I want you to give them the gospel, and then tell them what you want to do with the Bibles." So I did that the next day.And then they said, ok, we'll help you. If you can get the Navy and the Air Force to bring it over, we will get the green trucks to back up," {and if you consider 100,000 Bibles, these were big, thick Bibles, they will fill lots of trucks,} and they used the trucks to do it. And then the army, and the Navy and the Air Force, they brought them over, from Chicago, and we saw those distributed to the V-Corp army.At the funeral of my father, Colonel Lamberman and his wife were there, he said it was the greatest move of God he had ever seen: As the military guys were getting the Bible, and they were starting to apply it in their lives and we were praying and we were witnessing and we were working with them, they says they saw more people saved then any other time that we've seen-the power of the word. And then his wife spoke up and she said, "You know, when we joined the military, we didn't know of any top military, generals or majors even, or even colonels that knew Jesus, and now it's full of them.And many of them were saved during that time of Bible distribution. I thought, "Oh, God just wants us to get his word out."


1 Timothy Chapter 4 verse 4 says, "Everything created by God is good, and is received with gratitude," and verse 5 says, "and they can be sanctified all the things that God has created can be sanctified by the word of God in prayer." So that's a part of discipling. If we're going to disciple, we've got to use the word, and use prayer, because that's the way it's gonna get done. And that's what we want to see. People, as they're transformed, who will transform all spheres of society. All those mountains can be achieved, like Caleb got his mountain, we can get into those mountains, as we do so with the word of God in prayer.


Interview conducted by Kelle Ortiz and Os Hillman

©2007 - 2013 7 Cultural Mountains - All Rights Reserved