What Kingdom Churches Look Like

by Oct 23, 2014

God is expanding his kingdom in Hawaii in a powerful way right now. As Harbor Church and others seek to follow the Spirit in what he’s doing, there are certain kingdom priorities we need to pursue. Jesus said…

The kingdom should be proclaimed continually (Luke 9:60). Whatever good things we do in the world, we must first and foremost display the kingship of Jesus and call people to live joyfully under his reign.

The kingdom is owned by the poor in spirit (Matt. 5:3). Kingdom ministry works best when leaders and churches are poor in pride, selfishness, insecurity, and a sense of entitlement. We’re always tempted to look for ways a ministry might enhance the reputation of ourselves or our churches, but a phrase I heard somewhere reminds me to keep this in check: “No egos and no logos.” We’re not working to put our own stamp on everything, but the King’s!

The kingdom starts out small and may be slow to grow (Matt. 13:31–32). When we’re ambitious in our dreams and goals, it’s tempting to be ambitiously impatient. But Jesus has been slowly expanding his kingdom for more than two thousand years. Whatever small corner of the kingdom God might use us to influence will also probably take a few decades to develop.

The kingdom is gained by forceful people (Luke 16:16). We’re talking about people who aren’t afraid to go through serious trials with Jesus for the sake of the gospel. Every kingdom ministry encounters opposition at some point, from within or without. It’s time to man up.

The kingdom gives more responsibility to those who use what they’ve already been given (Luke 19:17). I once heard about a church of about a hundred people that had a million dollars stashed away in its bank account for more than a decade. This church had also been slowly dying for more than a decade. Coincidence? Maybe. But when we fail to use God’s gifts to advance God’s kingdom, why would he want to give us more influence? Ministries thrive when they steward their time, energy, people, and resources wisely for the sake of the kingdom.