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Kingdom and Generational Mindset

In church planting I've found a severe lack of vision.

When I say "vision" I'm not saying that there are a lack of vision or mission 'statements' ... everyone has one... it's a trend. What I'm talking about is the lack of Generational Vision and Kingdom Vision. Many of our churches never reproduce and never lead anyone to Christ. The vision for most of our churches is self-preservation. There are a few (less than 10% of churches that reproduce) but even then many of those new churches only think about how to get 100 people in a room.

To me it seems that a vision that comes from God would align with God's agenda, not just ours.
God's agenda is world-wide and multi-generational (100 years from now).

I have to interject here and confess. When we launched our church I was a victim of this mentality. It wasn't until I saw what a church looked like when getting a crowd in a room was the primary goal. It looked good from the outside (and I was encouraged by our success early on) but the attitude of that church wasn't concerned with generations to come. The people of our church weren't even thinking about 10 years from that moment. It was ugly and I knew it wasn't what God wanted.

Well, back to Generational and Kingdom vision.

I think its vital that we consider what we are building for the long haul and for the big picture. In some areas one large church could effectively reach a community through extension ministries but in other places it will take hundreds of smaller churches to have that same effect. The key is for our churches to consider our part in the greater work as opposed to believing that our work IS the greater work.

Thinking Generational and Kingdom will lead us to ask "God, what do you want for these people of this generation of this location in context with what you're doing around the world and among generations? How can I join you in drawing them to you?" This is opposed to what I hear far too often "God, show me how to draw people to our particular church service." I'm so guilty of the second type of prayer. I've been repenting.

When we ask God how HE wants to church a city/state/nation/world the answer may come back that we aren't to be the main draw at the moment but rather we are to spend time investing in others who are doing the work. Have we ever considered that we're blessed for the moment in order to be a blessing to something God is doing right now somewhere else that needs the resources more than we do?

When we ask God how HE wants to church a city/state/nation/world we may find that part of that answer involves giving sacrificially for a work God is doing at the moment somewhere else.

I once heard a story about West Ridge Church in Dallas, GA (outside of ATL). As I recall the story Brian Bloye, the planting Pastor had come back from a foreign mission trip and he felt impressed by God to give a very significant amount of money to this ministry overseas. As he prayed he felt God telling him to give away a large sum of money to this ministry. The amount would nearly wipe out the bank account of this fledgling church. Brain went to the staff (many of whom weren't paid to be on staff at this point) and shared what God impressed on his heart. The staff agreed and the check was sent. That is Kingdom thinking with a Generational Mindset. What dominated his frontal lobe was for a people far away who couldn't pay WestRidge back. Generations of people would be blessed for this gift. Ultimately West Ridge was blessed many times over for this act of obedience.

Making this principle personal I've been thinking about my own life. I'm richly blessed. Honestly. I'm a guy who (as a kid) stood in line for government cheese in a neighborhood of Baltimore City where today bulldozers are demolishing the projects because crime is so bad the only way to fix it is to start over.

As I sit approaching my 30th birthday on June 5th I think at how far God has brought me. If I am to think for myself I will focus on praising God for what I've been given up until now and spend the rest of my existence trying to make my son's life better than my own. That will be good for one family... mine. I'd consider that a waste.

Did God bring me out of poverty just so I can look out for my family line or did God bring me out so that I can bring others out? Did God bring me out of spiritual poverty so that I can celebrate my own victory and then spend my life debating theology or did God bring me out of spiritual poverty so that I could join Him in bringing others out? Kingdom and Generational.

Friends... as we work and serve in our ministry areas I have to ask. Do we have a generational mindset? Is our passion to fill up our particular ministries or is it to change cities/states/nations and generations?

Church planters: Are you planting a church or are you trying to join God in churching a city, a state, a nation? Are you thinking about the here and now or do you have a generational and kingdom mindset? I'm just asking.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Monday, April 07, 2008


At 3:11 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Man, I'm really connecting with what you've been writing lately. I look forward to more. I've been wrestling with a lot of the same purpose of the Church issues you've written. I really believe that we are here for God's purposes not just to build and fill big buildings.


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