We know that living out a Kingdom life requires authentic biblical faith. And we know that Biblical faith calls us all to a faithful stewardship that involves much more than simply our money. It involves seeking practical ways to demonstrate Christ's love and lordship in every area of life and every sector of society. Guided by the Holy Spirit, it involves employing clearly biblical principles, and discovering ways that the good news really can be good news…right where we are!
But in our real lives in the real world, we all need a little encouragement. A little help keeping perspective. A little hope. Why do we do what we do? Why do we do it the way we do? In the details. In the day to day.
Our friend Dirk Ailts returns as our featured guest for the next couple episodes of Marketplace Kingdom. Dirk is US Outreach and Strategies Leader for Steward Leader Ministries, a truly unique global ministry engaged in raising up leaders and influencers to advance the Kingdom of God and transform lives, cultures and nations through the gospel and the message of biblical stewardship. Today, Dirk talks with us about the ways God actually moves in our lives…ways that go “Beyond What We Imagine!”
We are just over a week from leaving for TEN DAYS IN KENYA! Dave Huizenga and DJ Swanger will be bringing Marketplace Kingdom strategy to hundreds of leaders at a special conference in the metro Nairobi region…preaching, teaching, and conducting large and small group sessions. The message of the transforming power of God’s Kingdom and His presence in the streets is going on the road and taking to the streets of Kenya, and we want you to have a part in it, praying and offering support.
When the request came in to share with this group of leaders face to face in Kenya, how could we refuse?
We’ve recorded a brief Special Update explaining the impending trip, and how you can help. Please listen, and join with us in this crucial work. Thank you!
There was a time during Elisha’s ministry when Israel was constantly being raided by neighboring kingdoms. Sometimes by small bands of mercenaries and sometimes by entire armies. 2 Kings 6 contains the dramatic story of one such raid and God’s direct intervention.
The king of Aram had assembled his army and invaded Israel, targeting a key city just north of the capitol. Strategically, they outnumbered the locals. They were better equipped and victory was a certainty to any logical observer. From the vantage point of a mountain overlooking their encampment, Elisha’s servant saw no good options. He saw the city completely surrounded by infantry, horses and chariots. Despairing, he asked Elisha, “My lord, what shall we do?”
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6: 16-17)
There are times in our own day to day lives when we can be overwhelmed by what crowds and circumstances and public opinion seems to say. All the principles, all the logic, all the strategies in the world just fall short. Even our friends agree. They think we’re crazy. Defeat seems a logical certainty. Just face reality. God must be trying to teach us something.
But maybe there’s another reality in play. Maybe God IS interested in teaching us something…by DOING something. Something extraordinary! Maybe, like the prophet’s servant, we need to have our own eyes opened to the reality that “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
In this episode, our conversation centers on this other reality, and on living our daily lives with eyes truly open, experiencing God’s presence here and now, dreaming dreams and seeing visions and angels in the street…right where we are.
None of us wants to be viewed as "abnormal"...right? And yet, in our world today, society's idea of what's normal seems to be a constantly moving target. For some it means playing it safe. For others, it's all about keeping up with the latest. It varies depending on who we're talking with and what's trending at the time. But maybe we need to take note of what Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn once wrote. "The trouble with normal is it always gets worse."
Maybe we're not supposed to be "normal". Is it normal to chop a hole in the roof of someone's house so you can bypass a crowd and get healing for a friend? Is it normal to scramble out of a boat in the middle of a stormy lake and try to walk on water to get to Jesus? Is it normal to try to feed five thousand people with five bagels and couple smoked herrings? God seems to think normal is overrated.
Maybe we're supposed to be living lives that cause people around us to wonder...and ask "Why???" With this in mind, we want to continue our conversation with Dan Clites in Part Two of "Live a Questionable Life."
Friends, we’ve been talking a lot in recent weeks about training and releasing Christians to be truly…radically Christian in their day to day lives…right where they are…in every relationship and every sphere of influence.
Our guest for the next couple episodes is a friend and kindred spirit who is doing just that. Dan Clites is the church planting coordinator for Lutheran Congregations in Missions for Christ. Dan is passionate about the Kingdom of God advancing beyond the walls of the church, and he’s pioneering some strategies that are making that vision a reality in the very DNA of churches across North America and breaking into regions around the world.
In this conversation, Dan invites us act up right where we are…seize the opportunity to be who we’re created to be in Christ…and Live a Questionable Life.
I love my church. I love the people, the worship, the contagious sense of God’s presence and the abandoned crazy in love with Jesus atmosphere. And I love that my teenage son loves it too. We were talking over a truck stop lunch after church a couple weeks ago and I asked him why? He said, “It makes me want to worship. And it makes me want to listen to the sermons. They’re real. They remind me that God is real…But mostly it’s because when people come up and ask you how you’re doing, they really want to know. If you’re happy, they’re happy with you. And if something’s bothering you, they really listen. Then they want to stop and pray with you…right then and there.”
When it comes right down to it, isn’t that what being God’s people is really about? Jesus spent most of his time talking about the Kingdom of God. And when his listeners asked what that meant, he told them stories…about real people living real lives doing real things just like them. Then he showed them what the Kingdom looked like by forgiving sins and healing and driving off devils. And when they started asking about who the honored leaders were going to be, he turned the discussion upside down. “Anyone who wants to be great among you needs to be a servant to everybody around.” This kind of love is what the heart of the church should look like, because it’s what the heart of God looks like. And the heart of His Kingdom.
As I thought about this, I was reminded of a conversation with our friend Tim Vink. He was talking about all the different theories and programs for evangelism and discipleship and church building, and finally he paused and sighed and said, “If we just read the New Testament carefully, we quickly discover that 'the church' is not the model for the church. Jesus is the model for the church!"
So this past Sunday we had a guest speaker. I loved what he had to say, and I heard every word. I promise! But as is often the case, there was that one brief point that caught in my spirit and summed it all up. “God doesn’t have a church to which He gives a mission. He has a mission to which He gives the church.” And something inside me said YES!!! The church, the people of God, are His gift to the world. Out of the seats and into the streets. He doesn’t give His Kingdom to the church. He gives the church to His Kingdom! In Jesus, He pours out His love, His power, His glory…and Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to pour those things out through us. All of us. Every one. In every context. At home. At work. Wherever. Right where we are.
This is the topic of our latest episode of Marketplace Kingdom: “Everywhere—A Kingdom Conversation.” We hope you’re blessed!
The prophet Amos asked his hearers, "Do you really know what you're asking for when you call for the Day of the Lord? Do you understand the implications? Do you understand the impact that God's reign will have on how you live your own lives?"
We today could be asked the same questions. We talk about advancing God's Kingdom, and we pray...sometimes with little thought..."Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." But do we really know what we're asking? Do we really understand what the Kingdom of God is and the transformative, disruptive power we're asking God to release into our world and our lives?
This is the focus of this episode of Marketplace Kingdom. We hope it helps you as you seek to live and move in the name of Jesus and the power of His Spirit, disrupt the way things are, transform your world, and advance His Kingdom right where you are!
A while back, I took the opportunity to visit the church of a pastor with whom I'd been talking. That Sunday he poured out his heart from the platform. He
shared a vision for the transforming power of the presence of God moving through their congregation, healing lives and moving people out of the seats and into the streets. The Holy Spirit was palpably present and many were quietly moved to tears. But when he finished and invited people to come forward to pray with members of the ministry team, almost no one did. Many told him afterward how “touched” or “moved” they were by his words, but then quickly left. Others were silent, thoughtful, even struggling…but made their way to the doors and parking lot.
Two days later we met for coffee. When I asked for his thoughts on why so many were touched but so few responded, he was quiet for a long time. Finally said softly, “No one has ever given them permission to want more! No one has ever given them permission to be desperate.”
How often have you been given permission to be desperate? Different? Unique? To get the job done but to do it in your own way? To go after more when others seem satisfied? Does it seem that the “now” and the “how” of the calling you sense just doesn’t quite fit with the reasoned and orderly and dignified “when” and the “way things are done” of those around you? You’re not alone!
This is the topic of today’s Marketplace Kingdom conversation. We hope you’ll join us and invite others to do so as well. It’s time! Listen. Be encouraged…and find “Permission to Be Who You Are!”
We’ve had an amazing year so far, engaging with friends and listeners from nations around the world. We’ve been involved in both large and small conference settings, teleconferencing, and one-on-one conversations with folks who are moving beyond the walls of the church and bringing the message of God’s Kingdom to their cities and regions in Kenya, Ghana, the Gambia, Germany, India, and China, as well as here in North and Central America. And we’re excited about what we’ve learned from these discussions and how they are shaping our efforts going forward.
With all this in mind, we’re opening our fall series of podcasts with a prayer, that you would be released to be who you’re called to be and to do what you’re created to do. Here and now. It’s time! Join us for this conversation: “Released Where You Are!”
When we think of reaching unreached nations with the gospel, we usually think of countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Nations with people groups in remote and undeveloped regions, or closed countries whose governments are hostile to Christianity. But there is a another people group that has been largely ignored by church outreach and missions agencies. Scattered around the globe, they number some 240 million, and less than one percent are Christian.
They are the expatriate community. Diplomats, educators, researchers, business people, industry innovators, technicians and global corporate support personnel. People and families living and working in places other than their nations of birth. These distinctive international communities present a unique opportunity to bring the transforming power of the gospel and God’s Kingdom to people who are hard-wired to be ambassadors to every sphere of influence in nations and cultures around the world.
Our guest on this episode is Kyle Tromanhauser, a pioneer in outreach to the expat community. Kyle and his wife Matilda have been laying the groundwork for an exciting new work based in Munich, Germany. He joins us to share a vision and strategy for truly reaching the nations and impacting the world.