Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. Ps 2:8 NIV
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… Matt 28:19 NIV
As we have cultivated the concept of Releasing Kings for Marketplace Ministry through books, conferences, coaching and relationships, we’ve done a lot of our work through churches and believers. I always assumed that it would become a natural part of the church discipleship process with the ultimate goal of helping people to find their mountain, toward the larger Kingdom goal of reaching nations. After nearly a decade of trying, we haven’t gotten our first church committed to this idea yet. Here’s why.
Regular Church – Most churches understand the great commission to be, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” Pastors love to preach and people yearn to find their own opportunity at the podium themselves. Although this infatuation with the pulpit approaches idolatry, people are saved through preaching. However, after a few thousand sermons we are well programmed not to implement or even to remember anything that’s said. We’re called and wired to “go,” not to “sit.”
The purpose of the pulpit church is preaching, souls, church growth measured by attendance, and finding a bigger and better building for all the classes. Members emphasize attendance and inviting their friends to the pulpit event (service, conference, class, Sunday school, cell, orientation, etc.)
House, home, or cell church – House churches hear the great commission as, “Go into all the world and make disciples.” These smaller versions of traditional church emphasize relationships as opposed to the impersonal, large, pulpit churches. Their goal is to make disciples in an intimate home setting that allows for more personal accountability and participation.
The purpose of the house church is to make disciples and for that disciple to make more disciples… sort of an MLM version of Christianity where the number of house churches multiplies as new disciples branch out and make more disciples.
Both of these concepts of churches claim a concept of the Kingdom, but by definition it (Kingdom) is the church itself. Thus, the church exists for its own self-perpetuation, and you only have to be a member for so long before church feels like a perpetual motion machine where the “will of God” for you is carrying out the vision of the pastor/leader to build the church… so that we can have even more meetings.
The real thing – I still believe in church as the mountain by which the saints are equipped for the work of ministry. I just don’t believe that most of us are called to the ministry of building more churches (perpetual motion machines). Some churches are in decline and some are growing. People are getting saved and many are transferring between churches, searching for what’s missing… so what is missing?
God’s people are starting to understand that the concept of the Kingdom of God includes the other mountains, and they are beginning to see their role in those mountains as far more important than preaching or listening to sermons. It doesn’t take a lifetime to make and release a disciple into another mountain. I’m not suggesting that you have to leave “church,” but many people do because there is simply no value placed on any other mountain. For 98% of us, the real calling for which God is equipping us is in another mountain: an entrepreneurial business, the arts and entertainment, education, the media, the home and family, or government. It’s from our Kingdom influence in these seven-plus mountains that nations will be changed and discipled, and we will truly fulfill our individual purpose and calling in life. All of those mountains navigate one common denominator that is different than the church mountain – we all have to learn to create wealth by offering goods or services or ideas that have value to others. Pulpit preaching is not the model, and offerings are not the means of financing our dream.
Dear pastors – We all appreciate individual discipleship – getting saved, baptized, learning to worship, have devotions, studying the word, having strong families, ministering the gifts, etc. We think you’re doing a good job in those areas. We’re just inviting you to graduate your disciples into their mountain. They will go, whether you send them or not. It would just make your life so much easier of you would acknowledge those mountains and encourage the people in your care to see the Kingdom as more than just the church. It would save you church splits. It would help people to understand their true calling so that they’re not competing for your job. Graduating disciples into their mountain would close the embarrassing exodus out the back door. And, those people who have their ministries in other mountains would probably still attend your church! …instead of fighting with you to establish their ministry identity in the church.
Here are few specific suggestions that you can use to implement “Kingdom” in your church.
- Continue your work of making individual disciples.
- Build the larger vision for the Kingdom and let the church be the equipping foundation for it all.
- Help people to find their heart’s desire in the mountain of their calling.
- Teach them to multiply wealth by creating value in that mountain to bless others in the marketplace.
- Celebrate their achievements and encourage them to greater heights.
- Let them go – to create their own networks and ministries within those mountains. Don’t pretend to be over them, or to be closer to God, or suggest that the church mountain is more important. It’s not. It just has a different function.
- Instead of asking them to serve you and facilitate your vision, ask how you could supply pastors to support their vision. Offer to help them to equip the saints inside their mountain and don’t worry about calling it “church,” even though it is.
- Add “nations” back into your definition of the Great Commission. “Make disciples of all nations.”
Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance. Ps 82:8 NIV
May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. Ps 67:4 NIV
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Rev 21:24-26 NIV
Dear Saints – The institutional church will eventually come around to Releasing Kings into their respective mountains. It may take a decade or two! In the meantime, you should own the responsibility for fulfilling your destiny before God. Don’t get frustrated or blame anyone else – especially your pastor or church. Here’s a list of proactive suggestions that you can start today.
- If you’re not familiar with what God is doing in the marketplace to establish His Kingdom, you will enjoy two books. Releasing Kings and Desire to Destiny.
- Get the free newsletter (www.ReleasingKings.com) and connect on Face Book to stay in touch. We use Skype to talk to people all over the world. Networking is a huge Kingdom dynamic.
- Define your dream or calling. We use a “Heart Plan” to help people connect with their Kingdom destiny – we can help you if you’re stuck. See Heart Plan Intro.
- Get connected with a coach or mentor who can help you to take the next step. You are welcomed to contact me if you need a suggestion.
- Create the wealth and convert the money into your ministry dream to build the Kingdom. It’s fun to enjoy what you do, be part of what God is doing, create wealth through the value you bring, and minister to others in the process.