July 12, 2010
Saturday Sue and I had the privilege of doing a family wedding. Although my pastoral days are over, I still get asked by the unchurched part of our relatives and friends to help out once in a while. This one was a collection of rural folks with farming and ranch backgrounds – an outdoor wedding at a fairgounds in some of the most productive wheat country in the US. You could tell many of the parents had gone or were still going to church. Those in the wedding party were all in their 20’s and virtually none of them were involved in church. The presence of God was at that wedding and I could feel God’s favor on those young people; all were working, some single and some married with young families. They are the best and brightest of God’s next generation. I could only feel His delight in them. They are hard-working, fun-loving and responsible. I honest think they carry less baggage than my generation.
20 something’s – It seemed obvious that our church message was missing them, and it made me wonder what the puzzle peace was. I do sense the presence of God in churches, so I’m not down on “church” at all. I do think our message is missing the next generation. The message they hear is that if I go to church, it will cost me my weekends and fun with my friends in exchange for something that is fairly boring and irrelevant. Now I don’t think the presence of God is boring or irrelevant, so I pressed on for the missing ingredient.
The message of the church (my message too) has been that we should repent and turn toward God and forsake our own ways in exchange for his will. I’m admitting to myself that this version of the gospel is theologically unproductive and only partially correct. There is a shift from church to Kingdom going on right now that represents a breath of fresh air for all of us, 20-something’s included.
The message of the Kingdom – God is inviting us to see the connection between the desires of our heart and his will. We’re no longer just abandoning everything in our own hearts to be “good Christians.” Our church theology has just produced a tiring form of religion that part of my generation will endure. However, it’s unanimously rejected by 20-something’s. This generation won’t abandon their dreams to sit in a pew for a lifetime. We can call it selfish and materialistic if we want to, but I think that it’s probably God leading them!
The gospel of the Kingdom sees the church as a means to an end – not the ultimate goal. Our objective is to release people into their own entrepreneurial creativity and release them as Kings to minister in our cities and cultures, setting the captives free instead of imprisoning them within the four walls. The institutional church can be a place where we learn how to make our dreams come true. The Kingdom is being built by people excited about what they are doing in every mountain. Making church growth the goal has been a huge mistake. We’re really building the Kingdom, one entrepreneurial dream at a time.
The first priority – Religion is defining our spirituality with a list of what we refrain from… we don’t do drugs and alcohol; we don’t watch bad movies; and we go to church on Sunday.
Jesus’ disciples asked Him what they should really focus on. His response was “believe in me.”
What’s the top priority? It’s not about the do’s and don’ts of religion; it’s not even about the miracles of those claiming to be free of religion. People who really believe in Jesus simply talk to Him… About what? Well, about those dreams, of course. The Father is inviting you and me to dream and to implement those dreams by the power that works within us. He’s inviting us to paint a picture of what we would really want our future to look like, and then he’s pulling the curtain back on His will so we can see that it’s the same thing. It includes wealth creation, ministry beyond our expectations, blessing on our families and jobs and new opportunities. When the curtain is pulled back on the will of God, it’s even better than we dreamed or imagined.
Have the conversation – Sit down with a pen and paper and write down what you would really like your future to be like. Then simply start the conversation with Father God and begin exchanging ideas. You’ll be amazed! He will make it better. He wants your cup to overflow in every area. We always minister to others out of the abundance in our own hearts, our wisdom, and our prosperity. I can only describe this lifestyle as fun. You’re invited to a wedding party.
John and Sue
Newsletter – If your newsletter comes incomplete (filtered), you can always catch the latest version in our archive along with nearly 200 others. 1400 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 show how to become a King and how your can help Release Kings.
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.
Facebook – I’m starting to post more information on Facebook 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 the open 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.
1.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.
2.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.
3.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.
You can get your copy of Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace or Desire to Destiny at