There is a seismic shift taking place today in the marketplace and the church. We need to understand how to respond if we are going to bring systemic transformation. This article deals with how the church should apply the gospel in response to cultural shifts.
Jesus, John the Baptist, and the apostles went about proclaiming the kingdom–not the church (read Matthew 3:2, 4:17, 10:7; Acts 28:30-31). Although the church is in the kingdom, it is not the entire kingdom.
“Kingdom” denotes the rule of God over the whole cosmos, not just a single entity on the earth, like the church. In spite of this, most preaching today has as its goal to get people to make a weekly two-hour commitment to come to a building on Sundays and to give tithes to support that building! This is because a spirit of religion has captivated the church and blinded the minds of church leaders, so that we now have a very limiting church mindset instead of a kingdom perspective. The negative results of this cannot be overstated.
Some erroneous views have been articulated by some in the Marketplace Movement in regards to their relationship with the local church. Their teachings have either dismissed the proper role and function of the local church in regards to the marketplace or replaced it with a “mobile church” mentality in which a “church” or “congregation” exists “whenever two or three are gathered in His name,” thus legitimizing “church gatherings” in their offices and ministry or association meetings that are disconnected from typical local church congregations.
A very important conversation occurred between an earthly governor and the Governor of the Universe that saliently disclosed the main purpose for the coming of the Messiah. In John 18:37 we find:
Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are you a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
As someone who has been involved in teaching and implementing principles of the Kingdom of God since the mid-1990’s I have observed many ways Christian leaders do not expand the kingdom! The following are some of the most common ways we work without kingdom effectiveness.
There is a seismic shift-taking place today in the marketplace and the church. We need to understand how to respond if we are going to bring systemic transformation. This article deals with how the church should apply the gospel in response to cultural shifts.
First of all, it is a mistake to believe that the culture will shift because of a church revival or a societal awakening. Often, we as believers think the key to societal transformation is to convert masses of people, but the truth is that everyone is led by the decisions of the approximately 3-5% of people who make up the cultural elite in a society. Thus, the only way to affect cultural change is to convert the elite who formulate culture in every sphere of society.
One of the most important things leaders involved with societal transformation need to focus upon is their own personal transformation. Because of our fallen state, all leaders should be in an ongoing process of inner transformation that deals with the root issues of the heart, mind and emotions.
In my opinion, this is the reason why Jesus spoke about the proper attitudes of the heart in Matthew 5:1-12, before He called us to function as the salt of the earth and the light of the world in Matthew 5:13-16! Only changed leaders can truly change culture!
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