What’s a Tribe – Purpose is the difference between a tribe and an organization or a crowd. People in a tribe share a purpose. There are still leaders, but the mutual respect level is much different. Everyone is working on different facets of the same purpose. Because purpose is known, tribes are much more collaborative than hierarchies. Businesses and people all have unique Kingdom purpose. When those purposes are known, a tribe forms to facilitate the implementation. Tribes are more voluntary than obligatory and more collaborative than hierarchical. The momentum of Tribe is what a Kingdom business culture feels like (on the same team, plus on the same team with God).

People come to work for meaning, not just money. We are wired to make a contribution and love doing it. Therefore, if the business has a significant meaning, its staff will become a tribe who carry the culture, create the value, and allow the multiplication to follow.

Who is my Tribe? There is a middle dimension in our purpose; who do we work with? We each have a purpose statement, and right in the middle of that mission and purpose is our team.

  • To: __________ (the nature of my Mission; dream I want to manifest)
  • With: _________ (The leadership Team who share the dream)
  • So that: _________ (the purpose behind our mission; our why or Purpose)

Adding that middle bullet helped me realize that I (John) want to work with other sons and daughters who can navigate the courts and council of Heaven and bring Father’s purposes to earth because they have “seen it” in Heaven first. My purpose, including Tribe, is in the graphic below as an example.

Our Real product is people – Leaders paint a bigger picture with room for followers who see something that ignites their hearts, creativity, and contribution. Managers have employees and procedures that dull the senses into sheep-walking. Managers make widgets. Leaders make Kingdom. Everything we do releases the hearts and leadership of those in our Tribe. We’re growing our people and company by finding what God wrote in each heart, the area they can lead. We’re promoting them into being themselves and leading in their assignment from Heaven. That’s where the purpose of our company and God’s purpose in the Kingdom for sons come together; sons and daughters bringing Heaven to earth.

Father’s purpose:
To: Bring Many Sons to Glory Heb 2:10-11,
So that: They bring many Nations to Reformation Mt 28:19-20

Managers pride themselves on telling us what to do, how to do it, and when to have it done. Admittedly, we all need that kind of help in the beginning. As we mature, micromanagement causes us to sheepwalk ourselves through the day, longing for the weekend because we invest nothing of ourselves in our work; it’s someone else’s why, what, how, and when, not ours.

Jesus eventually reached a place with His disciples where He no longer called them servants but friends (Jn 15:15). He was pulling them into innovation and initiative so they could do the stuff when He was gone. We all long for that kind of shared leadership that draws us into that kind of contribution. Fear is the only thing that keeps business cultures from having leaders instead of managers. People fear criticism and responsibility, and managers fear the loss of control (it’s a cozy dysfunction for all). Factory cultures, repeatability, procedures, and repetition, have a place, but not the primary one. We should all exceed the minimum acceptable standards and replace them with excellence and initiative. We’re not just looking for what men and women can do; we’re looking for the exploits God can do through them. We’re looking for sons, not servants.

Dan 5:11-12There is a man in your Kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God… 12 Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel NKJV

Beyond Quality Assurance – Tribes are the landing place for those with an excellent spirit, leaders with purpose from Heaven that resonates, and people with the power and authority to make things happen and create value out of purpose. Excellence isn’t performance; it’s being yourself, marketing your own purpose through your own personality. Tribe is another term for Kingdom culture in a business.

John 15:15-16 – 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. NIV
Luke 9:1-2When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. NIV
Luke 10:17The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name. NIV

Mistakes and Failures – Fear of criticism (accusations) is the predecessor to the paralyzing fear of failure. We’re imagining (exercising faith) to hear the accusations before they happen. Our kingdom culture has to have a theology for mistakes because we all make them. Many presume that getting on the path of Kingdom purpose will immunize us from failure; it actually makes you a target for spiritual warfare. Initiative, failures, and breakthroughs all go together. If you’re willing to try, you’re willing to fail.

Our theology for failure tolerance is Father’s purpose. Implementing the purpose Father wrote in our hearts “is” the courage we have to face criticism, accusations, and mistakes. We’ve already decided it’s OK to be fools for Jesus’ sake (1 Cor. 4:10). It’s OK to try. If we don’t get it perfect the first time, we’ll get it the second or third time. Tribes give one another that space.

The initiative leaders’ trumpet can’t come from their egos or their ass. We’ve all known do-gooders who motivate with shame for no enduring reason; they are tiring! Followers happen when leaders advocate for Father’s purpose. People are more perceptive than we realize, and they can tell the difference between what is prophetically correct and what is self-serving. Courage for your leadership starts with a sincere belief that something should and can happen. That definition of faith originates in every word that proceeds from the Father (in the council).

Hiring – Good businesses are built on people with good resumes. Kingdom businesses are built on resumes plus calling. We need to help and hire people who can hear our purpose and have one of their own. We’re looking for the synergism that will provide their intrinsic motivation to move from quality to excellence. We don’t just read their resume and listen to their story; we’re listening for their book, too, the desires God wrote in their heart. We’re consciously trying to hire sons, not servants.

Sheepwalking is the natural consequence of hiring people indoctrinated in school to obediently follow the procedures and instill enough fear to keep them in line. If they comply, they are one person at home and another person at work (double-minded), the antithesis of whole-hearted! We want sons and daughters who are heart-connected with our (and their) Kingdom purpose and who can help lead the charge.

What it takes to build your Tribe – There are four simple ingredients for Tribe:

  • A common purpose – a narrative that tells a story about who we are and the future we’re trying to build. It’s compelling when it’s prophetically correct, and people feel Father’s hand in it. (Listen to God)
  • Open Communication – from leader to Tribe, from Tribe to leader, among tribe members, and from Tribe to outsiders. Celebrate success. (Listen to your staff)
  • Something to do – Faith without works is dead. Whatever the cause, there has to be obvious room for contribution from the Tribe. They have an important role and need to see an open invitation to share the purpose, not just the work.
  • Higher Purpose – Tribes have a unique purpose that can feel either inclusive or exclusive. An insulin manufacturer set a corporate/tribe goal of being the largest supplier of insulin in the world. They found it more effective to have a brand tagline “to eliminate diabetes in our generation.” It moved the staff, suppliers, and customers into a purpose they could all share. It was their Kingdom purpose, not just the corporate purpose.

Leaders Listen (To Books) – An awareness of what Father wrote in hearts is the foundation for Tribe. Building books into Kingdom culture is how we respect other people for their calling and honor the exploits in line with that direction. It’s cause for celebration. We’ve helped enough people navigate entrance into their hearts, Kingdom, and Tribe to summarize the experiences in the graphic below. The Lead Your Tribe Field Guide is great resource.


Cutting Room Floor – More about Kingdom Culture here:


If I believe God has written in the hearts of the people I work with, I’ll be very interested in what’s in their hearts. Somewhere there’s a lion in there. I won’t bother to ask if I believe people are basically mindless oxen. They, in return, will behave like oxen… present at work, but their hearts are someplace else… and the corporate culture they work in feels heartless.


So how would a Kingdom manager in a Kingdom corporation act? …in the first person.

Respect – I believe that every person carries a gift from God, a commission He placed as a desire in their heart that motivates them to achieve their greatest contribution. My job is to help them make that heart connection… to help make their dream come true.

Love – People are wounded and withdrawn by experiences with rejection and hatred. They’ve already had a bad experience… with a leader. They’ve been misled. But they are healed and empowered by encounters with love. I would watch for opportunities to walk people through the “experience” of being loved and appreciated by my actions and words. I would hug people as often as I could get away with it. I would develop a culture of honor in the leadership. There may be no greater practical expression of love than helping them identify their purpose and goals on a mind map.

John 13:34-35 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” NIV

Rom 12:10-13 – Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. NIV

Listening – I have good reason to believe that there is something of value in each person’s heart that can benefit me, the corporation, the Kingdom, and our competitive edge in productivity and profitability. I would try to hear what that contribution is and connect it with opportunities in the company. I would make time for personal conversations to “hear” the heart of everyone on the team. I would use the purpose mind maps to have these conversations, call them 1-on-1’s, and have them weekly or bi-weekly. I’m not listening to be empathetic, I want to hear what is in their book (I have one ear on God).

Creativity – I would try to cultivate every employee’s intuitive and spiritual skills because I believe God is building His Kingdom through the same corporation I’m leading. By encouraging people to have a God connection, I’m leveraging Jesus’ power and presence in our company to make it successful through the people with whom I work. I’m creating space for all of us to put the Kingdom first and do what Father is doing (Jn 5:19).

Development – I would create a network of mentors and journeymen to cultivate both intellectual and heart skills to experience contribution in a nurturing, accountable, personal, and playful environment. I would constantly focus on developing young people and regard them as precious. I would speak prophetically as often as possible to draw their gifts and dreams to the surface. I would make a conscious effort to get their book in writing, on a mind map, in a story, with aspirations.

Competition – I would raise the goals for the corporation and share them transparently with the staff to draw out ways to fulfill all of our Kingdom contributions… and have fun doing it. I wouldn’t compete to defeat others, but I will instill a culture of competition toward excellence that strives to fulfill our high calling. Working on our desires at what we love, and play are the same thing; in a work atmosphere, it brings out a youthful exuberance. I would use humor and find reasons to smile and laugh.

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. Phil 3:13-15 NIV

Kingdom Culture feels like love:

When we get it right; hear hearts, and connect people with Father, and what He’s doing:

  • The lost become leaders
  • Complainers become creators
  • Attrition becomes graduation
  • Loners become lovers

Employees stay when they:

  • Become themselves
  • Have a story
  • Have aspirations
  • Are Free from accusations
  • Share a purpose
  • Are enthusiastic
  • Share their successes
  • Belong to a Tribe

Yes! I want the Releasing Kings Newsletter.

John's weekly blog posts hit your inbox first.  Let's talk about marketplace ministry, personal purpose and changing the world!

You have Successfully Subscribed!