Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matt 28:19-20 NIV
Discipling Nations – We’ve recently come to the realization that the great commission isn’t just reaching the world with the gospel. Matthew 28 specifically talks about discipling nations. Our tradition is to disciple individuals and our terminology is, “we’ll reach the world one salvation at a time.” The result is that we do reach individuals but we don’t reach the culture. For example, Africa has many nations that have a surprisingly high number of Christians yet the governments are still corrupt and poverty is still high. We haven’t had a vision for discipling a nation in all seven mountains. In fact, our version of the gospel is prone to cause people to get involved in church and avoid participation in the community.
The cure – I believe we all get saved individually and personally. It’s a “personal” relationship with Jesus. The cure is simply to Release Kings. The essence of that message starts when we give ourselves permission to pursue our heart’s desire and find the synergism between God’s will and our own desires and plans. God can guide us when we have a plan but the concept that he gives a plan (has a plan for your life) is a little misleading. God expects us to discern the desires of our heart and come up with a plan. He in turn will lead us to opportunities, resources, and divine appointments to make our dream and His will come to pass. However, He’s not going to hand us a fully developed plan for the details of our life; no matter how sincerely we ask or wish.
What’s the difference between people that have a personal plan built around their passions and heart’s desire and those that have no plan? In a word it’s passion and motivation. If you have a plan you love, you will also love bringing it to reality. When you have permission to pursue your heart’s desire you’ll naturally switch from a mindless servant to a creative entrepreneur with a vision for the future. Servants don’t expect to prosper while people with zeal and initiative have ideas that draw the favor of God and man (opportunities, friendships, new ideas, wealth, etc.). That whole dynamic is contagious. People stuck in religion always envy motivated believers that are in hot pursuit of a personal adventure to expand the Kingdom. It’s fun. It’s also contagious. Let’s think of it as “viral discipleship,” a term we’re borrowing from viral marketing… which was borrowed from the way Christianity has always grown – friends tell friends.
Wikipedia – Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can often be word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it can harness the network effect of the Internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly.
Believers are Priests – I’m not opposed to large organizations. Sometimes there is an efficiency in doing things together. However, certain aspects of the Kingdom are not built around a hierarchy. The have viral aspects. For example, Jesus wants a personal relationship with each one of us. We no longer relate to God through a popes, apostles, bishops or vicars. We are each able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. A mentor or pastor can help us learn to hear God’s voice, but the goal of the Kingdom is a very flat organization where God talks to all of us. Personal access to God’s presence is what the priesthood of the believer is all about. We’ve known that for about 500 years. Now let’s take it viral. Here’s how.
Believers can be Kings – In addition to access to the person and presence of God, we also have personal access to the ministry of God in the Kingdom through our heart’s desire. God has wired a skill set into our DNA that naturally draws us toward a plan in harmony with His will. You’ve even been designed to create some new ideas that have never been thought of before. You’ve been created in God’s own image. Your words can have prophetic power to create, and your actions can represent God’s own authority in the earth. The fruit of your work can result in wealth and ministry – whatever is in your plan can come to pass. God will work with you. It all starts when you’re willing to take responsibility for planning your life, instead of waiting for God to lead you at every level. He will show you some things. He will help your discern some things. You have to use wisdom for the rest, and take some initiative. He will not lay out all the details! Got it? You and I may have thought we were a sinful worm that should only obey God’s leading in every detail… but we were wrong. We’re forgiven, washed, created in His image and empowered by the Holy Spirit to reflect His Glory with our prophetic words and creative actions. God wants to see our plan!
To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue. Prov 16:1
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Prov 16:3
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Prov 16:9
Let the adventure begin – Don’t tell anyone it’s fun to be a Christian. Keep it quiet that God blesses people with wealth and creativity and vision. And for sure, don’t let it out that it’s fun to bless the nations and minister healing and salvation and revelation to other people and see the captives set free to dance before God. Cause if you do… your friends will all want some, and you’ll have a viral discipleship problem on your hands.
It’s a party out there – but somebody’s got a do it.
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.Luke 10:17-19 NIV
Lighten up. It’s not all warfare and suffering. The joy of the Lord is our strength. The privilege of being on the team that is building the Kingdom in this hour of history is a pure delight. We’re David’s might men of valor doing great exploits for the King of kings and the Lord of lords.