It's been a bit liberating to think and live with a new attitude about growing the Kingdom. In the past, I've always linked Kingdom growth with ministry growth or church growth. I think it is just natural for us American Capitalist Christians to try to quantify our success with the ABC’s. It’s all about (A)ttendance, (B)uildings and (C)ash. Are we doing our job as Christian leaders? Well, just look at the ABC’s! As they increase, our success increases, right? Well, maybe not.
The problem has always been tied to finances, in my opinion. We truly do want to be effective in our community, but we’ve imagined that we will need property to make that impact. We need financial traction! Property and money have always represented INFLUENCE in our way of thinking. Property requires money and eventually it will require a paid staff. So as we collect believers and converts, we are careful to pay attention to the financial contribution that each believer represents. It’s sad but true. We start to believe that church or ministry growth is somehow the same as Kingdom growth, and therefore, we become very possessive about those who we have ‘collected’.
It’s not long before we start to get uptight about ‘membership’. How big is our group? Are they happy? Will they stay? Are they considering another church or ministry? How will we survive financially if they leave? The Christian life becomes a numbers game. But something wonderful happens when you let go of the financial requirements. When you move toward a more organic form of Christianity that requires NO paid staff or property, you can be at liberty to grow the Kingdom, rather than the Church. There is a difference.
There is no longer a requirement that we be at a certain SIZE. Two or three of us can gather and serve, and be content that we CAN make an impact on the Kingdom. And what’s even better, we can now hold our people with an open hand, ready to RELEASE them to another phase of their spiritual development without a sense of betrayal or loss. They are still saved, and that is all that matters. They don’t need to be a tithing member of THIS group. The new empty chair is not seen as a setback, but as an opportunity to bring someone else into the Kingdom of God…
please visit us at www.PleaseConvinceMe.com