Kingdom and Church

Over the last few months, I’ve been feeling the draw toward some larger vision aspects of what God may be wanting to do in Denver.  I suppose it’s natural for any pastor to keep our heads down and serve our own churches.  Yet, at times, you get the impression that God has His fingers under your chin, and is trying to get us to lift our heads and see something larger…something more “KINGDOM.”

When we hear the words “kingdom,” any pastor knows what is being said.  We’re saying, “Look, we need to get past our individual visions, our personal pressures, our denominational ties and do something that represents the real church.”  What strikes me in a sad way is that the only times I’ve used the word kingdom, is when I’m trying to get other pastors to join in something beyond their own…well…kingdoms.

Think about the profound challenge this is.

A “kingdom venture” is usually blocked by “church” ventures.   Obviously our church ventures are a part of God’s kingdom plan, but strangly our own churches often represent the biggest fight against the larger kingdom works that we know need to be done.  The scripture that comes to mind is where God says, “If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and prayer, and turn from their ways….I will heal their land.”  Healing the land is what I would call a “Kingdom work.”  It’s BIG! It’s what the world really wants to see happen, and it deep down, is what we’d love to see happen.

The big IF is about us, God’s people.  If we will make our kingdoms subservant to God’s kingdom; if we will be as concerned about our peer’s churches as much as we may be about our own; if we will make investments into things that don’t directly benefit us; if we will develop young leaders and get out of their way as soon as they can do our jobs; if we begin to prioritize the mission of the church over maintaining our churches; if we bless and care for people that may never enter our churches, build, or tithe to our churches; then we will see some cool stuff happen.

I look forward to a day when we don’t have to drag, coerce, or prod the church to be kingdom.