I believe we are at one of the biggest transitions for the church in recent history. All over the United States at least, I am seeing pockets of like-hearted believers who are starting to value the presence of God more than personal preferences, and they are placing a greater importance on relationship rather than religion.
A New Look at Disciple Making
We've been asking ourselves the question, “What’s more important, building our church or seeing our city saved?” We are choosing the latter and then asking another thought provoking question closely tied to the same idea: “What kind of disciple does it take to see a city transformed?” I think it’s interesting to approach disciple making from this perspective. If we can find out heaven’s end goal for the earth, what if we could reverse engineer it from there?
Heaven’s Plan for the Earth
We read in Mathew 6:9-10 what is typically called “The Lord’s Prayer”. It is a great indicator of what heaven is working towards when we read, “...your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” If we are going to make earth like heaven, then we have to start making disciples towards that end. Our lives and gatherings must start to become heaven centered or presence centered instead of event and numbers centered. We have to start stewarding atmospheres for encounter where there is no competing agenda with His presence, and we have to start creating media that carries that same encounter in a transformative way.
What if in our zeal to build a preference centered church, we are actually robbing generations of a presence centered legacy? What God is doing in the earth is multi-generational, each generation building on the truths established by the one before it. What if we began to ask God what He was planning for the next generation? I believe that if we can push our ceiling of what’s possible even higher, taking the limits off, we can create a platform for the next generation to launch off of that will propel them into exploits that will turn the tide from darkness to light in one century.
Presence Centered Community
What if we started building a community whose core values were built on the presence of God and on relationship? What if we gathered regularly within that community in order to practice moving in the presence of God together in a way that empowered and transformed the people’s lives that we were gathering with? What if by example we began to value relationships in such a way that it strengthened a bond of unity between believers and created a momentum that crushed darkness with a single word. I not only believe that it’s possible, but I believe that we are charged to do it.
Institution or a Movement?
We are moving away from events centered ministry and into adding momentum to a kingdom movement that is already occurring. If we are stewarding a movement that is born form heaven, then everything we do and say is going to serve that movement. Movements are powerful because they are often more flexible, more connecting, more inclusive, and more community centered than a single institution or ministry could ever be. Kingdom movements unify and strengthen disciples to be powerful participators with the speaking and doing agenda of heaven. Kingdom movements build a legacy that serves the next generation and empowers them to find their voice. Kingdom movements invest in people, championing and challenging them to link arms with like-hearted believers and do the impossible!
Let’s invest in the next generation of world changers starting right now. Let’s value each other and link hearts and minds to see cities transformed and nations discipled. Let’s be the Church. Let’s champion people. Let’s release heaven on earth. After all, we were born to change the world!