There is presently a revolution taking place among those on the leading edge of change in the Evangelical Church. The result is a transition from a church mindset to a kingdom mindset in which the walls of church buildings are no longer able to contain the raw creative energy of Christ-followers who are committed to preaching and applying the Gospel of the Kingdom to all the world, including its systems and structures.
As political solutions and big government attempts to heal our land fail miserably, more people will look to faith-based partnerships and churches to find solutions. Hence the irrelevancy of old church patterns and traditions will become more noticeable in the decades to come.
Consequently, it behooves us to continue to study the contrasts between leading-edge kingdom practices and old, irrelevant religious church patterns that have failed to effectively evangelize and transform communities with the gospel.
The following is a contrast between leaders with a kingdom mindset and those with a church mindset.
I. Kingdom leaders interpret Matthew 28:19-20 as referring to discipling all nations. Church leaders believe it only refers to all individual ethnic peoples.
II. Kingdom leaders attempt to nurture and release world-class leaders who serve their communities. Church leaders nurture only those who serve in Sunday ministry.
III. Kingdom leaders understand and work with God’s common grace. Church leaders only understand and work with those who have experienced saving grace.
IV. Kingdom leaders have a biblical worldview that encompasses all of life. Church leaders have a semi-Gnostic Greek view of Scripture that regards only spiritual things as important.
V. Kingdom leaders are working towards a new Christendom. Church leaders are only trying to produce individual Christians.
VI. Kingdom leaders teach the church to embrace their secular communities before they experience conversion. Church leaders embrace people into their faith communities only after they experience salvation.
VII. Kingdom leaders turn the world upside down (Acts 17:1-7). Church leaders restructure their local churches.
VIII. Kingdom leaders articulate Christ as Lord over every culture. Church leaders preach Christ as only the head of the church.
IX. Kingdom leaders shepherd whole communities. Church leaders shepherd only their church congregations.
X. Kingdom leaders attempt to exorcise demons out of ungodly social systems. Church leaders only cast devils out of individual people.
XI. Kingdom leaders pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Church leaders pray for revival in their churches.
XII. Kingdom leaders believe for the gospel to economically lift whole communities. Church leaders believe for greater tithes and offerings to support their building projects and programs.
XIII. Kingdom leaders gravitate toward the complexities and challenges of cities. Church leaders gravitate toward lives of isolation and inward focus.
XIV. Kingdom leaders equip people for life. Church leaders equip people for church life.
XV. Kingdom leaders honor Jesus’ dual role as Redeemer and Creator. Church leaders separate redemption from creation.
XVI. Kingdom leaders are forward thinkers. Church leaders long for the past.
XVII. Kingdom leaders apply their faith to the earth. Church leaders are focused on escaping the earth and making it to heaven.
XVIII. Kingdom leaders envision the building of universities with theology serving as the “queen of the sciences.” Church leaders envision the establishment of church-centered Bible institutes that avoid liberal arts and the humanities.
XIX. Kingdom leaders are entrepreneurs. Church leaders are stuck in maintenance mode, merely holding their ground until Jesus comes back or they make it to heaven!
XX. Kingdom leaders pray for revival to bring people into the church and reformation to place believers as leaders in world systems. Church leaders merely pray and believe for higher attendance on Sundays.
XXI. Kingdom leaders work for cultural transformation. Church leaders focus on waiting for the rapture.
XXII. Kingdom leaders train their children to walk in biblical dominion in society. Church leaders’ highest hope is that their children don’t fall away from the faith!
XXIII. Kingdom leaders empower the poor to own the pond. Church leaders give the poor some fish.
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