Stop Driving the Church Bus
In the course of encouraging Kings to be entrepreneurial and take their Kingdom land, I run into people new to these truths who are frustrated with their local church. The idea of giving your heart permission to go out and create wealth, have fun, love people, and convert money into ministry is a new sound. The Kings that God is calling in this hour are first-fruits. They have lots of initiative, creativity, ideas and enthusiasm by nature. After God stirs them, they can no longer “sit.” Their first instinct is to try to shift the compulsion the Holy Spirit is putting on them over to the church or their pastor. Kings are very prone to offer to drive the bus – whether it’s their bus or not!
My own compelling – I started getting the marketplace ministry message a little over ten years ago and had the same natural instinct as my friends above. The only difference was that I was a pastor and had no one but myself to blame for the condition of the church – I was already driving the bus. Not being short of initiative or enthusiasm for this new found truth, I set about to change the world starting with the people in my own church. I preached for a year, inspired dreams, helped write business plans, people started businesses or got better jobs, and after a year here’s what happened:
- The church did not split, but it divided between those who were ready to be Kingly and those who weren’t. The Kings, who sat on the left side of the aisle, loved it; the saints who sat on the other side wondered when we would ever move on to another emphasis. Both sides still loved me. It was just a question of direction.
- I realized that I couldn’t move on to another emphasis and that I wasn’t a pastor… or at least that my heart was choosing to be a King in the marketplace over a priestly pastor in a local church. All my friends accuse me of being a pastor because I still love people… but I feel a level of freedom and joy that rivals a jailbreak with a homecoming party. I am finally myself.
Roots in Theology – For several years my theological heritage looked like a global warming video as large chunks of my ice age belief system cracked off and fell into the bay. I wrote Releasing Kings to capture that process in detail. My first change was to see the difference between the church and Kingdom of heaven or Kingdom of God. I always thought of “Kingdom” as either heaven or some far-off millennial state. I now understood that the Kingdom is God’s influence on the planet right now and that it’s our responsibility to expand His Kingdom into all the earth. The Kingdom on earth began with Jesus like a tiny mustard seed; we continue to receive and grow it in the marketplace; we eventually fill the earth with His Glory and disciple nations (our great commission). Mt 28:19 and Gen 12:2-3
But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Matt 12:28 NIV
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.” Heb 12:28-29 NIV
Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. Ps 72:19 NIV
What’s the church? – The local church is simply the place where the saints are equipped in Biblical foundations of knowing Jesus. The application of that foundation is ministry in the marketplace. Although we need to plant churches, to encourage those who have a priestly call to be pastors, and to support the church financially… the local church is not the goal or the end; it’s just a means to an end. The greek word for church (ekklesia translated as church or assembly) generally refers to the local church and it means “called out ones.” We generally assume being called out of a corrupt society into the save haven of a local congregation. I think that’s true when we first get saved. But, ultimately we are called out for the great commission to disciple nations (Mt 28:16), and to bless nations (Gen 12:2-3) and to play a role in the Kingdom to impact the seven mountains of our culture. Being mature and fully equipped doesn’t mean we leave the local church, but it does mean we function in the Kingdom blessing cities and nations and people. Your pastor will not be disappointed if you come back to church every Sunday with stories of Kingdom impact. The bottleneck is not pastors and churches laying foundations, it’s you and I using that foundation in the marketplace. Many are being “called out” to “go and do.”
Note to file, “Please don’t underestimate the significance of this debate by challenging your pastor.” That would be driving the bus again. What should you do? If you have been “equipped” then simply find your land and possess it! FYI – you can read more about the difference between the gospel of salvation and the Gospel of the Kingdom in two prior newsletters; Thy Kingdom Come and Have Fun, Make Money and Love People.
One of the theology-based attitudes we are changing in ourselves is that all ministry comes through the church or is at least under the covering / control of a priestly hierarchy. People feel naked when they start out in the marketplace because of it. You will need a marketplace mentor to be successful; it just won’t be a pastor or come to you through the ministry of the local church.
Instead of driving the bus – Find out where the desire of your own heart overlaps with God’s heart in the marketplace and make it happen. We’ve articulated a great coaching process to help you through this transition into your dream. Instead of trying to change your church or pastor, simply ask him, “What’s the desire of your heart?” Accept that he has a different vision and direction as a priest, give him what help you can, and get busy on what God has called you to do. Realize that all your friends may not switch from “church” to “Kingdom” on your schedule, and love them anyway. Be the example of wealth creation, joy, and ministry fruit rooted in love. You are not the rebel gathering other bad attitudes; you are the light and the glory – the one in touch with your own heart. We have a whole world to change that is outside the church. If you catch a little religious flak, send me an email and I will calm your ruffled feathers. Just repeat these words, “I will no longer drive the church bus or try to wrestle away the steering wheel from my pastor. God has given me the keys to my own bus in the Kingdom.”
One additional thought – you could get frustrated and move your family to another church. That’s not the brightest move in the world because the grass isn’t greener anyplace else. However, if you get your eyes off the church and find the desire of your heart in the Kingdom, you will find revival right now.
“…the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21 NIV
Once your heart has permission to dream and to connect with God’s heart, you will start running into all kinds of people on the same page. I love the viral contagion of revival in the marketplace. When God speaks, we all hear it at the same time. When we say these things at conferences, it is obvious that we are just repeating things that the Lord has been saying to His people. Very fun!
PS: the video version of this newsletter is also available.
John and Sue
Newsletter – If your newsletter comes incomplete (filtered), you can always catch the latest version in our archive along with 200 others. 1800+ people from around the world get Kingly encouragement from our weekly newsletter. Invite a friend to subscribe – they will be blessed.
How to Start a Small Group – Kings are increasingly getting involved in Bible study or mentoring groups to facilitate their “Release.” Here are some helpful suggestions www.Releasing-Kings.com/Starting-a-Group.html. We’ve also updated our Vision Brochure with graphics to show how to become a King and how you can help Release Kings. Lastly we’ve created a guideline to help you take your dream to the next level by considering the elements of a business plan. See Write Your Business Plan and a Free Management Library for many other helpful resources.
French Translation – Releasing Kings is now available in French thanks to the efforts of Cees Bakker and Support Ministries in the Netherlands. In France, copies can be obtained from Editions Menor or Librairie Chretienne CLC. The Title in French is “Libération des Rois pour le ministère dans le monde du travail”. Cees is also the guy who made the Dutch translation possible – available through his website. He can be contacted for Releasing Kings conferences in France and throughout Europe.
Other language websites –
Face Book – I’m posting more information on Face book at http://www.facebook.com/john.garfield1
PS: I want to recommend some follow-up reading.
Who is God by Harold Eberle provides the best explanation of a more relational view of God. It’s must reading that connects our perception of God with everyday life.
Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace takes that foundation into marketplace ministry and the entrepreneurial nature of Kings. Fruit in the marketplace naturally springs out of sound doctrine.
Desire to Destiny – Takes the foundation and marketplace ministry and puts them in the context of seven practical keys or stages of growth you can apply in your own life.
You’re invited into the vision to release Kings; communicate the message, make the money, and do the mission.
- The Message – Our first goal is to get the Releasing Kings message into the hands of the messengers that will carry it… do it, preach it, teach it, example it.
- The Money – The second goal is to help Kings break out of poverty by networking them with practical opportunities to prosper. We want to introduce them to the right people, the right opportunity, and the right financial approach.
- The Mission – Network Kings with opportunities to mix business and missions. Accomplish the great commission through the marketplace and occupy the Seven mountains of: business, media, arts & entertainment, education, family and government in addition to the church. See video #1 and video #2