Leaving the nest – The implication of learning to fly is “leaving the nest.” Some of us birds do it naturally, others wait until the nest is “thorned” by mother, and a few just get thrown out by God himself! I’m suggesting that maturity is a process and what was once warm and pastoral and loving and comfortable can become somewhat perverse if we don’t graduate. What was once good and healing and from the heart of God can be turned into an idol!

He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.) 2 Kings 18:4

Imagine a child who nurses until the age of ten; a teenager who never moves out of the house; a college graduate who never gets a job.

What it feels like – The emotion of moving into marketplace ministry and the accompanying “Kingly” mentality is an “out of the boat” experience for all of us. Here is what it feels like… from a good friend in another state in response to the last newsletter, From Spiritual Covering to Practical Mentoring.

“Yes, I think this is where we have now settled our hearts, after a frustrating time of wondering why our pastor didn’t even acknowledge what we were trying to do in the “marketplace ministry.”  It is still disappointing, though, to feel a total lack of “pastoring” in our church, no matter what we do for a living.  But, yeah, we have ceased struggling for affirmation or understanding within the church.  Does that sound like sour grapes?”

We could try to portray these feelings in terms of the shortcomings of the pastor involved, but I think we would be missing the real point.

I wouldn’t assume the pastor has done anything wrong. He may well be feeling abandoned himself because his paradigm may be that the church is the only mountain. Pastors will value Kings functioning in a different mountain more in the future as we recognize the role of marketplace ministry in the Kingdom.

We shouldn’t impose expectations on our pastor that Jesus wants to fulfill Himself. You see the goal for all of us is to eventually mature from the healthy incubator of first love discipleship to relating directly to the Lord for ourselves… taking initiative, becoming entrepreneurial, stepping into new levels of creativity and ministry… moving from milk to meat (Heb 5:13-14) is a good thing! Seeing the flock mature is really the goal of every pastor. It’s a very natural progression after we’ve been faithful in that which is another man’s to be given that which is our own. It’s more responsibility and it “feels” more  alone… out on a limb. God simply won’t allow us to make pastors choose our destiny. We have to make that decision ourselves.

Choosing your destiny – It’s much easier to stay within the vision of a local church, play a role in building that church, and stay under the pastor’s covering. It’s even healthy… unless you’ve been equipped and called into a different mountain …and the Holy Spirit is personally driving you crazy. Pastors, apostles, prophets and churches are very good things until you begin to hold them in a role Jesus wants to occupy himself. All the complaining about authority issues really resides right between our ears… some are just being invited into a place of “growing up.” You can turn the invitation down and stay where you are. There is nothing wrong with building a local church. Equipping the saints is a very legitimate calling close to God’s heart. Some will be perfectly happy; others called to a different mountain may have a sense of forfeiting some of their personal destiny.

Owning the challenge – Can you see that it’s not necessarily a problem in the church? …Leaving one church for another, changing the church, or abandoning the church is not necessarily a solution? Sometimes in the course of growing up, we long for the wrong thing and the ajustment needed  is  in the mirror.

The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end? Jer 5:31

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2 Tim 4:3 NIV

The Kingdom is within you – Becoming a King and extending the Kingdom of God into all seven mountains and changing the world is exciting stuff. It’s scary, but having tasted what it’s like to be out of the boat, I don’t want to go back. This “way” is too much fun, too fruitful, too rewarding, too prosperous and too exciting. It’s closer to Jesus!

The highlight of 2009 for me was meeting David Tinney and Poul Dalgaard and seeing the great things God is doing in Ukraine. It is only exceeded by what is in store for 2010.

I want to suggest that the Lord is knocking on your door and inviting you into the next level. I agree, it’s scary and risky. But see if you can’t hear that invitation from Jesus himself. And after having heard it from Him, see if the risk doesn’t melt away. See if you can believe that God values the desire of your heart. Your dream can come true – if you will take the initiative to make it happen.

No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Josh 1:5 NIV

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut 31:6 KJV

I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.  10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11 “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.  12 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. 13 For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isa 41:9-13 NIV

Need practical encouragement? The best source is another King in the same mountain. Here’s a recipe for starting a small group with other Kingdom builders. God’s doing the same thing in many and you’ll find they already speak your language. Start Your Own Group. Take your dream with you and get some help with it… Write Your Business Plan.

Learn to fly in 2010…
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isa 40:29 NIV

who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.      Ps 103:5 NIV

We’re Dancing,

John and Sue