One reason there is so little courage in American churches is there’s so little vision.

Seems that the Church has completely forgotten what business its in.

Jesus was not in the religious education and entertainment business. He was not interested in drawing ever-larger crowds to listen to what he had to say.

He was in the Kingdom business.

His Father’s business: establishing and advancing the Kingdom reign and rule of God in the lives of women and men.

That business.

mature 2And, Jesus was in the people-development business: making mature apprentices of his way of life. His principle method for making disciples was challenge.

Read the Gospels and let yourself see how many times he put his disciples in situations that—in themselves—they were powerless to remedy.

They had to trust God.

So too, in the Book of Acts. Again and again they found themselves in unprecedented crises:

 

Warned

Threatened

Jailed

Beaten

Beheaded

Scattered

There was no playbook for what to do in any of these scenarios. Trusting God, they lept into the unknown—and kept moving, kept sharing, kept advancing Christ’s mission.  And it didn’t often play out perfectly, even when they had God’s mind on what to do.

“…until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” [Eph 4:13 NLT]

Into Christ-like maturity.

That business.

sprinting 2I don’t know about you, but when I contemplate American society is appears to be sprinting—at an ever-quickening pace—toward its own destruction.

In blind pursuit of self-centered indulgence, American culture is galloping as fast and as far as possible away from the Savior—her Savior.

As she does, her anxiety grows. And, as Edwin Friedman pointed out in A Failure of Nerve, as America becomes increasingly anxious, the least mature in society set the agenda.

decay 2That’s the U.S.A. in 2015.

It is the Church of Jesus Christ—alive, awake, and influential—that is the only hope for a nation bent on its own destruction.

This vision has captured my heart. Jesus’ Church, alive, awake, and influential. Mobilized to advance God’s Kingdom in our neighborhoods, communities, and cities. Congregations demonstrating Good News among the unchurched—regularly, generously, personally, and unconditionally. Evidencing the hope we have until people are compelled to ask us why.

That business.

Vision part two.doc

KRK 1/23/2015