Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Kingdom Focused Church

I must admit that through the years, I have collected many books to define what church is. The User Friendly Church, the Purpose Driven Church, Simple Church, recently Transformational Church, and many more. All telling us what the author's view of church from Scripture and how they relate to that view. It obviously was a defining moment in their life as they have written a book on those moments of knowledge and understanding.

Gene Mim's writes in his book, The Kingdom-Focused Church, that the definition of a Kingdom-Focused Church is: (drum roll...please) It is a church that exists to transform unbelievers into Christlike believers and mature these believers into kingdom multipliers of the message of Christ.

What activites of the church can you pull out of this definition? I can pull out presenting the gospel message to unbelievers, transforming unbelievers by teaching and preaching the Word, mature believers by understanding of Scripture and spiritual biblical disciplines, and then unnderstanding giftedness of believers in order to be fishers of men as they minister and present the gospel to others. I am sure there are many others, but at first glance this is what I read and see.

Mims says, "A kingdom-focused church makes, matures and multiplies disciples." How bad can that be. A focus on results of what a complete Christian is to be. So, if a pastor arrives at their called assignment, this result based definition should be easy to accomplish. Pastors are armed with the Word of God to move forward in the teaching, preaching and prayer ministy as they dig in to do the work they are called to do. What if, however, the church needs fixing?

The pastor doesnt have the wrenches and tools needed to tighten up or to replace some parts. He is not equipped to handle the situation, esp. when a church doesnt want to make disciples much less mature them. Everyone is happy with where they are at. Leadership is discouraged and worried about the moment instead of the kingdom. Job security, if you will, is in question and the pastor doesnt know if really wants to be here after a few short years and the church may feel the same. This is the reason why we have so many pastors leaving the ministry and choosing secular employment and some forsake church all together.

The reason I pick on Mim's book is that he wrote a profound statement on page 20, "Programs depend on people and resources, while a kingdom focus does not. A kingdom focus is utterly dependent on God. People sitting out there in the pews don't give their lives to Christ because they like up-tempo music or great Sunday School lessons...they commit their lives to Jesus becuase they see a need in their lives and because they recognize that Jesus can satisfy in a way nothing else can." WOW!! What a huge statement!! I see the need in this statement. The need to lead people to this Jesus...the One the Bible and Mim's is talking about. He is my Jesus, my Savior, my Messiah!! The head of the church, the forgiver of sins, the King of Kings!! Without Him I am nothing!! Let's keep our eyes focused on Him and what He wants for us and then Do it!!


Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear B,

With so many choices, it's hard to decide whether to be a purpose-driven church or a simple church or a kingdom-focused church or just a church! :)

I'm thinking about what you've written here, and I'm a bit uncomfortable with the emphasis on the church being able to determine the results of its efforts. The quotes are "transform unbelievers into Christ-like believers" and "mature these believers." Can a church really do those things? I can't think of a command given in the Bible about how the church is supposed to transform unbelievers into believers. How about more emphasis on living in obedience to Christ's commands, trusting that the Holy Spirit does the transforming and the maturing?

Love in Christ,


Kev said...

I'm doing some catch up reading, sorry for the delay. Jeff, I see where you are going with the work of the Holy Spirit. As I read this I am reminded to the "go and make disciples" part of the great commission. If we are to go and make disciples as commanded then I believe God has called us to come along side the Holy Spirit to transform and mature people in this process. If that is the definition of decipleship. Just a thought.

Your Brother In Christ,