Ethos: Society

Society

Quick Review and Connection: The gospel of the kingdom makes disciples who fill the domains of society and from the domains of society the church emerges as the community of the kingdom.

Kingdom

“The kingdom is the renewal of the whole world through entrance of supernatural forces. As things are brought back under Christ’s rule and authority, they are restored to health, beauty and freedom.” – Tim Keller

“The kingdom of God is the reign of God. It is Jesus’ Christ, the Lord over all things in action. Wherever the will of God is being done, that’s where the kingdom is being manifested. In a very real sense Jesus is the kingdom in person.” – Bob Roberts

Disciple

A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ. In keeping with the mandate given in the Great Commission a disciple is someone who has been made a disciple, baptized and is learning to obey everything Jesus taught.

Disciples of Jesus Christ hear and obey Jesus.

Disciples of Jesus Christ live radical life (John 15)

  1. Up: Communion with God

Jesus is the essence of transformation

  1. In: Community (community of the kingdom)

Community is the context for transformation

  1. Out: Collision

Serving one’s domain in society is the catalyst for transformation

The gospel of the kingdom makes disciples who fill domains of society and from domains of society the church emerges as the community of the kingdom of Jesus Christ until the great commission is completed and Jesus returns to judge the living and the dead and completely establish his kingdom in a new heaven and an new earth.

Why is society so important?

Society is composed of groups of people who work within their own areas of expertise or “domains”. These core structures of society do not change. These domains are part of the created order. The people working within these domains meet the basic needs of society and keep it functioning.

The domains of society become crucial in the gospel’s transformation of a city. Those who assume leadership in these spheres of influence have the potential to completely reshape their city, its values, priorities, and practices

The Scriptures teach that domain leaders, people put in charge of governing / leading / bearing the authority to punish or reward / have delegated authority from God (Romans 13). Father is sovereign over his domains in society. In engaging God’s assigned domains of society, we have the powerful good news of the kingdom and indwelling Holy Spirit to see the kingdom come to people and entire domains of society in bringing all things under the rule of Jesus Christ.

There are multiple worldviews that are competing for the hearts and minds of people in all domains of society.

  1. Pagan / Pantheistic (everything is god and everything is spiritually good and we are trying to escape the bad cycle of life and get in touch with our inner self)
  2. Islamic (the whole world comes under sharia law)
  3. Institutional Church formed by Christendom (the church should have it’s own place for itself, be inward focused and the rest of the world is secular)
  4. Modernist / Humanist (everything is about man and the advancement of humanity’s betterment through the evolution of man and society)
  5. Biblical Christian (Father, Son and Spirit made all things good and there was a rebellion and this God set out to redeem all things for his glory and the rescue of his people and finally restore all thing in a new heaven and new earth where sin is forever banished and we live with God in creation regained)

Look at the original creation mandate: Genesis 1:26-28

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

  1. Man was made to have dominion over the whole earth (every sphere of society).
  1. The fall made man more of a casualty of creation’s brokenness rather than a “subduer” of creation and society as a whole.
  1. When Jesus came, he broke the curse of the fall and began bringing all things back under his reign (Ephesians 1:7-10).
  1. Jesus has given us the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16:18; Matthew 18:15-20), so we have the powerful good news to bring salvation and restoration to all nations.

Thinking about Jesus’ followers engaging every domain of society creates 4 key shifts.

 

  1. From needs to assets

This shift is one of mindset. This is not an organizational change or shift in processes, rather this is a shift in how we see each other as members of the community of the kingdom.

We move from asking what we need to evaluating assets to be given away in serving our individual and collective domains.

We move from asking: “what did you get out of the service today?” to “how can I engage my domain of society with the gospel of the kingdom?”

  1. From programs to domain engagement

This shift has organizational implications. This changes how we organize for work and what work is undertaken.

This is more Spirit-led as members of the community of the kingdom take ownership and responsibility for action.

You begin to ask questions like:

“What is my domain?”

“How can I begin to mobilize people in my domain who are in the kingdom to take this domain for the kingdom?”

“How can I partner with others to make changes in this domain?”

  1. From working for the city to working with the city or from simply funding the cross-cultural worker to partnering with the cross-cultural worker to get glocal resources in the work

 

This shift is one of relationships and expectations. This changes how we interact with the community. Here the church becomes more of a partner to help create solutions rather than simply a provider of a check or other resources.

It becomes a flesh in the game mentality.

We begin to realize that Father has placed valuable people resources in the community of the kingdom and those people are valuable glocally.

We begin to interact with other religions in the engagement of our society’s domains and get to make disciples!

Evangelism and great commission work begins to become natural (as well as part of the culture of a church) as we engage like this.

This multiplies the great commission work force because now everyone is a great commission disciple that can have impact locally and globally.

  1. From managing ministries to leading members

This shift impacts decision-making. The decision is not what ministries are the pastors going to run, but what will the pastors do in releasing the body to supply it’s part in the kingdom.

Ephesians 4:11-16

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry (teaching, praying, engaging domains as examples), for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

The power of the kingdom is NOT contained in a few talented men, rather it is the apostolic genius contained in every follower of Jesus walking in step with the Spirit bringing the rule of Jesus to their domain.

4 keys to begin engaging domains

 

  1. We must believe Jesus came to bring redemption and deliverance to all dimensions of life and to restore the original intention of Genesis 1:26, “…and let them have dominion…”
  1. We must believe the role of serving and giving our lives for the sake of the kingdom in our domain is worth it. We must believe there is treasure in the kingdom of heaven for bypassing temporal gains here and now.
  1. We must have a passion to see Jesus as Lord over all domains of society. (Ephesians 1:10)
  1. We must actually begin to engage all domains of society

Jesus has given us a mission. That mission’s success and completion is guaranteed. Let’s worship Jesus for that.

Psalm 147:1 “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”

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