We are too quick to want to start movements and too slow to join them.
We live in a culture of advocacy. We are overwhelmed by causes banding together to fight deep injustices. It’s in our faces and our social media feeds. We long to experience the wholeness, or shalom, that Jesus unfurled on the earth. People are showing and telling this freeing message of Jesus in unique ways. Jesus has invited all of us, to join the team.
Here are five things to remember when joining God’s Kingdom work.
Pursue obedience, not activity.
Disciples learn the desires of Jesus and obey. This requires a downward humility that pushes past entitlement to love and servanthood.
The needs in our cities and our world can be overwhelming. Don’t get wrapped up in frenetic activity, busily joining any cause you can.
Fight the urge to chase impact; just obey. Talk is cheap, tweets are cheap and token participation in causes is cheap. Obedience is costly.
Shed layers; don’t add them.
Most Christian leaders, especially those of us who feel more at home in the right side of our brains, desperately need simple systems to follow. We have good ideas for obeying Jesus, but they are often clouded by several layers of fog, leaving us paralyzed.
Find a simple framework and a practical structure to help you take your next right step of obedience to God. This simplification in my own discipleship process was freeing and led me to write Guardrails: Six Principles for a Multiplying Church.
Join something; don’t start something.
In the roughly 50 commands Christ gives throughout his ministry, he never asks us to start new things.
The disciples weren’t entrepreneurs; they were servants.
Founders of new ventures or ministries are simply joining God in his renewal of all things, the realization of his Shalom. Don’t become obsessed with brand and publicity.
The movement of God is already taking place in homes, neighborhoods, cafés, art galleries and tattoo parlors all over. There’s no need to try to start a movement; just join one.
Focus on the ‘why,’ not the ‘what.’
The power lies not in what you’re doing to follow Jesus but in why you’re doing it. The gospel invites us to receive, embody and proclaim the truth that Jesus died to save a wretch like me.
The gospel doesn’t offer us easy solutions; it invites us into the freedom and joy of Kingdom life.
Think ‘us,’ not ‘me.’
A band of ordinary dudes traveled on foot to show and tell of this upside-down way of life oriented around Jesus. If the disciples needed a team to embody and proclaim the Kingdom, so do we.
We live in a selfie culture, grasp for some kind of credit and fly solo in an effort to build and protect our own little kingdoms. The gospel is not about hoarding and grasping but about participating and sharing.
Get out of the comfortable nosebleed seats. Roll up your sleeves. God is inviting you onto the field to join his Kingdom work.
Alan Briggs is the Director of Frontline Church Planting, a network and equipping hub in Colorado. He is also the Multiplying Pastor at Vanguard Church in Colorado Springs where he makes disciples and trains leaders to multiply. Learn more.