As I anticipate the gathering of our fourth session in the Church Renewal Lab, I have some insights from Reggie McNeal’s book Kingdom Come percolating in my brain. The fourth session of the Lab spends some time wrestling with issues of justice and mercy.
- The temptation for some of us is to look at our financial resources and our leadership resources and say, “We don’t have enough to serve our church, let alone people in our community!” This attitude runs counter to the Kingdom of God.
Life in the Kingdom says we give everything, even to the point of sacrificing our lives, in service to others.
Here are some insights from Reggie’s book that can help us regain a Kingdom mindset on the journey of renewal:
Five Insights to regain a Kingdom Mindset
Insight 1: The Kingdom Story is Compelling Because we are living it.
- You have been appointed by God to serve His purposes right where you are. That concept has the potential to fill us with the kind of hope that comes straight from heaven.
- There are no circumstances, no matter how limiting they might feel, that can keep us from our role in bringing life as God intended to our neck of the woods.
Insight 2: The Kingdom of God is Primarily a Mission, not just a message.
- At times the church has taken the approach that all we do is speak God’s message to the world around us. That is absolutely true, but it is only part of the truth.
- We are to be God’s presence in the world by the fruit that we bear. Loving mercy, doing justice, and walking humbly with God bring us beyond a message to a mission that we live in countless practical ways every day. We cannot say we love God if we walk past our brother who is in need and do nothing.
Insight 3: All efforts that enhance life as God intends are kingdom efforts.
- We partner in our community here in Lake Worth, Florida with an organization that feeds the hungry. They have a wonderful gleaning program in partnership with the local produce farmers.
- This organization does not have all their theological ducks in a row in a way I would prefer. However, they are absolutely being used by God to bring a slice of the Kingdom to earth.
Insight 4: The kingdom agenda belongs to the King.
- Daniel had no idea when he was taken as a prisoner of war and submitted to reorientation training that he would someday be one of the most influential leaders in the country that conquered his homeland.
- Regardless of where you are on the journey of renewal, trust that the King is working all things together for the good of His Kingdom. That might mean captivity, loss, struggle and more. But remember that not even death can thwart His purposes.
Insight 5: Kingdom timelines and story lines run longer than a single human lifespan.
- I have often had the thought that my children will see greater kingdom impact than I ever have in my ministry. The older I get and the more I see all four of my children find their roles in the Kingdom, the more I believe this to be true. It is so encouraging for me to think like this.
- Though I long for greater impact through my leadership and in my time frame, I need to take a step back and see the bigger picture. It does not mean I take my foot off the pedal it just means I leave the results in the hands of the King and His timeline runs different than mine.
Reggie McNeal has a few more on his “Kingdom” list. I’ll try to share those in a future edition of Fresh Ideas for Renewal.