Personal Initiative in Disciples
April 16, 2006
Personal Initiative in Disciples
If you missed last week’s newsletter (Making Kingly Disciples), please read it with this one. We summarized 5 books which are a little prone to point to areas of change for the church. Without discounting those ideas, I want to suggest the prophetic impetus behind the books is striking a chord in God’s people. However, the most pressing thing on God’s heart is not changing local churches; it’s changing his people. See if you can hear God’s heart in the following:
I am stirring hearts of a generation who are no longer content to sit; either in their jobs or in their pews. I am leading them into new initiatives. I am positioning them to multiply prosperity and ministry throughout the earth. I am raising an army of David’s who know both my power, my presence, and my provision. When I place a promise in their hearts they seize the initiative to possess the land I have for them. I can trust them to walk through doors of opportunity and persevere through tribulation to expand my Kingdom. My heart delights in this people. Once again I have an army of David’s zealous to possess the land I have reserved for them. I will give you every place you set your foot. You will overcome every obstacle.
3 I will give you every place where you set your foot , as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates — all the Hittite country — to the Great Sea on the west. 5 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 1:3-5 NIV
The Local Church Mandate
– is to make disciples instead of just getting people saved. Most churches have that in their mission statements, thanks to the clear thinking of Rick Warren. We’re actually seeing people mature. I want to suggest the discipleship process doesn’t take forever. 5-fold ministers in the church equip the saints for ministry “until” they reach a point of maturity and start to fly. That word “until” is in every translation.
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Eph 4:10-13 NIV
– So what happens after we reach the level of maturity described by that “until”? Let’s continue in the context:
…we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Eph 4:15-16 NIV
The answer seems pretty simple; we grow up and each part of the body starts doing its work. Here’s where it gets a little tricky. Most of us have been taught the body of Christ was the local church… so we try to do our part inside our local churches. And the result is??? You find out your part isn’t all that welcome for a 1000 reasons. Instead of being mad at your pastor, God, or the local church, I want to try something new on you. God’s plan is that your ministry function outside the local church in the marketplace. Get it? After we experience the foundation we have two choices. We can help the pastor teach the classes or we can go out in the marketplace and implement what we’ve experienced.
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so. Heb 6:1-3 NIV
– Maturity for Kings is really defined when you’re ready to take the initiative to do ministry outside your local church. Full-time ministry for Kings means you found an entrepreneurial anointing that pays the bills and funds your ministry. Your work week is the setting for your ministry. Here’s the best part: there are no limits on your ministry. You can be as apostolic, as prophetic, as evangelistic, and as pastor/teacher oriented as you want to be. Why? Jesus himself is the head of the Body of Christ. Your pastor helped you “grow up into him who is the Head”. Now the ball is in your court. What SHALL we do? How about the “work of the ministry?”
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. Luke 10:1-4 NIV
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Luke 10:17 NIV
– Local churches are like nests; warm, incubating, welcoming places that are conducive to growth. You’ll eventually grow some feathers and develop enough strength to fly. Flying is like the initiative required to find your real ministry in the market place. Some of the young eagles are anxious to try their wings and become the first to leave the nest. Others wait for the nest to get so uncomfortable they have to leave. You’re an eagle. You were born to fly. You were made for such a time as this; to make a difference and help build the Kingdom; to find your entrepreneurial expression and the prosperity and ministry that goes with it. There is a place for you, but it may no longer be in the nest. It may be in the marketplace.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isa 40:31 NIV
Please hear this
– My analogy breaks down in this sense. I’m not suggesting you have to leave your local church. Most Kings are happy to attend their local church and love it. However, your local church won’t be the primary expression of your ministry. What you do in the marketplace won’t be directly under the jurisdiction of your pastor. Local churches are moving “from” measuring those that attend “toward” measuring those they send. Sending churches are growing and alive. Kings that learn to fly are growing and alive.
Please don’t make the relationship between Kings and pastors antagonistic. We’re a team building the Kingdom. In fact, one of my goals is to plant 100 churches by jump starting them with a facility and a staff pastor. I’ve already got the hardest one – the first one.
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.
John & Harold
– Our goal in Releasing Kings was to articulate a theological basis for Marketplace ministry such that people naturally mature toward being more entrepreneurial and more generous. Harold has continued that theme in a new book that I really enjoyed. This book is a brief explanation of Resurrection-based Christianity entitled Jesus Came Out of the Tomb, So Can You. It also appears on our Recommendations Page. There are four other books that tie closely to the chapters in Part 2 of Releasing Kings that are all worth while.
No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married. As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. Isa 62:4-5
– The Last trip to the Netherlands was a real eye-opener! I greatly underestimated the value of our book, the impact of the message on individual lives, and the value of live conferences. I witnessed the power of God being unleashed in the hearts of men and women by simply explaining the theology and experience behind releasing their heart’s desire to expand the Kingdom. Seeing the lights come up in the hearts of God’s people feels like sponsoring a jailbreak. One of my goals is to equip others to help us share the message in conference formats before we get overwhelmed with the momentum of what God is about to do. If your church or organization is ready, we can help you start a fire… a big one!
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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
You can get your copy of Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace at