The church is God’s plan to change the world. The government is not the plan. Philanthropy isn’t. The church is. The church is God’s idea of how the Kingdom of God will come to earth. The world is waiting for the Kingdom of God to come to earth. Jesus sent His disciples out with power. We are to announce the Kingdom of God is here… not, “we have a cool, innovative church!”
He is sending us out as sheep amongst wolves. That’s why we have to be as smart as we can be and be as innocent as possible. The kingdom of God comes at a great price –there is a clear and present danger – but it’s a force that will not stop. Our generation’s dissatisfaction with the church needs to move to focus on how God is inspiring us to move the church the forward.
The church is everywhere and wherever the church is, the kingdom of God is. The truth is, the church is doing pretty good. God is advancing! Jesus said He would build His church and nothing would stop it. Each and every one of us has the power, through the Holy Spirit, to proclaim that the kingdom of God is near.
What God is calling us to is a dangerous thing and it requires dangerous people. We need to get back to our radical beginning (Acts). The church should be the least safest place on earth. We are charged with something with incredible purpose that will charge us right into the face of dangerous things.
The first generation church saw the miracles, heard Jesus, and saw Him crucified, resurrected and experienced the power of God coming down with shaking power that transformed their beings into the likeness of Christ. That was the beginning of our movement! They were told to take that message to the world. It’s a challenging cause they embodied and they went for it with God. It’s not safe, it’s not comfortable and it doesn’t seem to make sense.
There is so much Jesus that needs to get in our conversations. We need to go for it. God is doing something phenomenal. Who cares if you fall or make mistakes? Its OK. Try something else. We live under such pressure to be perfect, but its OK if we aren’t because we have a God in Heaven who loves us.
There is an idea that’s bigger than us. That’s what the early church was about. It wasn’t about “us” or “them”, it was about the Kingdom of God. Lift up the name of Jesus everywhere you go and in everything you do. So many of us get stuck on trying to focus on who we are trying to reach and what our ‘target audience’ is, when we should be focusing on who we are trying to produce, what do we want them to look like, and how will we know when they are there.
We want to produce…
1 – God-lovers
People are moved by an intimate connection with the creator of the universe. That’s the beginning. Vision and strategy are great, but love carries people through the journey. 2 Corinthians 5 – if we are out of our minds, it’s because we met Jesus! If we are in our minds, it’s for your sake.
We have to translate the love of God to people who don’t get it – we need to get in their worlds for God. For Christ’s love compels us. What really is compelling you to build the church you are building? What’s driving you from the inside out? Is it building something cool to be seen, or is it out of our love for God?
The love God is doing something in us that compels us – our world desires for accomplishment, but in Christ our estate called “me” went under when Jesus gave it all for us. When He said, we said. When He died, we died that those of us who live will not live for ourselves, but for Him who gave it all.
God lovers come from people who God-loved and know it.
We need less gatherings and more goings…We need to be innocent and pure, shining the light as you go forth into the world. We want to be culture-shapers, we need to unleash people.
There is something in you that is a God-wired passion and you need to go for it with all you have. There’s no distinction between sacred and spiritual when you are a child of God. Do what you do in the name of Jesus for the glory of God. We need to stop insulating and stop isolating. The Kingdom of God is near.
The danger we tell people to go for it and do something great for God and then things fall apart, but that’s not a good enough reason not to do anything. The church needs to equip people to propel them into the darkest places on earth.
We need to ask if our people are healthy and whole, equipped and inspired.
Do the best you can do at what you do.
2 – Hell-raisers
Shake the gates of hell with the power of the Holy Spirit.
We don’t need slick, business-minded leaders. We need hell raisers. The first generation church was so full of the Holy Spirit that Hell shook when they went anywhere. The church is a spiritual mission – a place that empowers normal people to do supernatural things.
3 – Inside traders
Take the Word to those who need to hear God’s message.
Inside trade happens when you have information before someone else does. You get a tip. Buzz happens. Those of us who have met Jesus have in “in” that He is going to determine what matters in eternity. Heaven is on the way. We need proclaim it!
Notes from www.timschraeder.com. Catalyst Conference. Permissions from Catalyst Conference.