Kings – Discipleship through gifts to calling
April 17, 2005
Your Gifts and Calling
Rom 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. NKJV
I’ve gotten some helpful feedback on Releasing Kings. It goes something like this;
Our premise is that Priests (the paid staff of a local church) makeup about 2% of the Christian population. Another 20% cover church ministries (Christian ed, counseling, worship, youth, etc.). That leaves about 80% to be Kings. However, the words we use to describe Kings are bold, creative, competitive, decisive, and willing to take risks. Those words describe an extroverted, type A personality that doesn’t fit 80% of any group, especially Christians. Most Christians recoil at the thought of donning an Amway salesman personality. What about the quiet, reserved, plodders that characterize the majority of us? How can we be Kings?
Here is my answer. Most of the 80% are not presently bold, creative, competitive, decisive or entrepreneurial. The reason for that is most of us are not in touch with the dream God put in our hearts. My favorite phrase is, “This book is not about how to be successful at your job; it’s about how to be successful at your dream.” Something happens in the discipleship process when you discover your gifts and calling. When we discover the thrill of being used by God for His purposes to minister to people to do great things; suddenly that becomes the most important thing in our life. It happens in two steps.
#1. You have gifts
The church is an incubator that matures the saints for the work of ministry. Once we get a handle on the basics (salvations, receiving the Holy Spirit, deliverance, overcoming sin, etc.) We see gifts flowing from God through us.
Nine Fruits of the Spirit – Gal 5:22-23
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
Nine Gifts of the Spirit – 1 Cor 12:8-10
Wisdom, knowledge, faith, gifts of healings, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. NKJV
Nine Ministries or Motivational Gifts – Rom 12:6-8, Eph 4:11-12, 1Cor 12:29-30
prophet, servant, pastor/teacher, exhorter, giver, ruler, mercy, apostle, evangelist
So the first phase of discipleship is learning our gifts in the church. Often we minister to people inside the church in a safe environment and then take them into the marketplace when our confidence grows. The mentality is that I belong to the church and I’m taking my ministry out into the marketplace to bless people.
Now if you have a job (nearly all of us do) we don’t at first connect our vocation with our ministry. We see our vocation as a secular necessity and exercising our gifts as spiritual ministry. This dual mindset is OK for a phase in our growth but it doesn’t define marketplace ministry. Here’s why – Each of us has a dream planted in our hearts by God. When we touch that dream, it will include our vocation. For the first time our gifts, ministry, and vocation line up as the will of God. That starts a fire that turns introverts like me and you into zealots with the passion of Kings.
I’m a chemical engineer. I chose a curriculum as a freshman in college by a very simple process. I detested the arts and gravitated toward math and science. Engineering was all that was left so I picked the one that paid the highest salary. After I got in touch with my spiritual gifting, I couldn’t find a connection between my vocation and my destiny. Most of us are there. My first response was to choose “pastoral ministry” (religious people make this mistake frequently) so we planted two churches over a 14 year period. That didn’t turn out to be the answer for me. I really didn’t want to be a full time pastor, once I got a taste of what it was really like. I loved the people, the leadership team, the worship, the conferences, but I was not content to shepherd God’s people. You can read the rest of my personal story on the interview page. Their is a raging fire burning in this heart to ordain the 80% – that reformation is my dream.
Workplace Ministry at this “gift focused” level of maturity retains a distinction between my vocation and my ministry. I go out from the church (after work) and use my gifts to minister to strangers (street evangelism, interpreting dreams in a mall, community service, lunch time bible studies, prayer at the flag pole, etc.). It’s very good, but it’s not the best.
#2. You Have a Calling
Those nine spiritual fruits, gifts, and ministries don’t define our destiny. For Kings they are all just tools we use to carry out God’s purposes. Kings are called to their dream and that dream always involves expanding the Kingdom through a vocation (not in spite of it). If you have a desire for full time priestly ministry on a church staff or traveling ministry that’s great, but if you’re called to be a King it’s another form of idolatry. It just means you’re still stuck in the gifting stage of the discipling process. We often fall in love with the gifts instead of the giver or instead of the calling where we use the gifts.
Marketplace ministry at this level sees my vocation and my ministry calling intertwined. My vocation is a tool like my gifts that take me toward my calling. Both are central parts of my heart’s desire; my dream. This opens up a whole new world.
*I can see the part of the Kingdom I’m called to expand
*I feel a sense of ownership over the work I do – It touches my dream and gifting
*I feel buoyed up by the Holy Spirit even though the warfare is more intense
*I’m experiencing creativity, initiative, boldness – I am courageous in my area
*I gave up my “offering mentality”. I am a source of wealth. Prosperity is part of the expression of my Kingly ministry
*My 40 hour work week is all one big church service – an opportunity to minister and co-labor with Christ
*I father (disciple) my employees and coworkers, pray for, minister to, and love them
* I’m not just training others to be in 5-fold ministry, I’m using those gifts (pastor, evangelist, prophet, etc. – at work)
*I can unveil God’s strategy for myself, my business, my city, even my nation
When 80% of the Christian community find out they carry an anointing for ministry in the marketplace, there will be a revival of “jail-break proportions” that will exceed the historic impact of the reformation. The gospel will be taken to the ends of the earth… through the marketplace. And it all begins with a personal dream – the desire of your heart. See, we’re not just inviting people to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. We’re inviting them to be a unique part of His purpose with the status of “friend.”
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. John 15:15-17
Allow the Lord to unveil the oneness of your vocation, your dream, your ministry gifts, and God’s purpose for your life. You’ll be amazed at the blessing that flows from a life integrated in those four areas. The ensuing passion is highly contagious. The real work of the ministry is in the marketplace; it’s the saints who take up the mantle of “Kings” who will carry the great commission into all the world. The good news is: We serve a God who calls us “friend” and meets with us in our heart’s desire and leads us to an abundant life. We’re going to take that abundance and bless all nations.
The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Gen 12:1-3
John & Harold
PS: we get lots of interesting feedback on these newsletters at “You Wrote Back”
Progress – Kingly Bio’s are Up
We’ve completed the first round of interviews with Kings. These are real people that have been blessed by God in the Market Place and have hearts for ministry. Check it out at http://www.releasing-kings.com/Interviewing-Kings.html. If you have a success story, we’d like to post it by giving you a web page on our site.
Progress – A Teacher’s Guide
We’ve completed the first version of a study guide that targets those teaching the material in Releasing Kings. It includes a page of notes on each chapter, all the graphics suitable to make overheads, and a PDF file of the book with the key points highlighted that includes marginal notes, comments, and questions. This material is available for purchase on the teacher’s guide page of the web.
Harold and I have both been hesitant to “market” this book… sounds self-serving. Here’s the “grassroots” reality. God has given us a great tool to communicate a message that sets people free in an amazing, contagious, life-changing way. If you haven’t read it – get it. If you have read it – give it.http://www.releasing-kings.com/Ordernow.html
We’ve gotten a ton of positive feedback on the newsletter too… get it, give it. Reloading Seniors was powerful. Pass the link on.http://www.releasing-kings.com/Newsletter.html
PS: don’t forget to look at the free reports – show your pastor the article on marketplace ministry from the pastor’s perspective. You can simply email him this link or print a copy to give him. http://releasing-kings.com/pastors-perspective.html