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The Discipline of a Kingdom Mentality

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
A Kingdom Mentality means we are under the reign of God-past, present, and future! He is in charge of all things, sovereign in Heaven and in our will. He is our identity and our LORD. In contrast to Fullness, which means to be led and ruled by Christ and to allow Him to discipline and run our lives, the Kingdom Mentality is more about how we lead and manage our churches. As a discipline, this means we are to realize and "practice" our faith and church life "as if" He is The Sovereign Rule (well He is!), so that we are.
Is the Discipline of Kingdom Mentality Working in You?

Principle Scriptures on the Discipline of Kingdom Mentality: Isaiah 9:1-7; 24:14-25; 29:18; 31:1-32; 35:4-6; 40:1-11; 42:1f; 61; Matthew 3:2; 4:23; 5:3,10,19-20; 6:10; 33; 7:21; 10:7; 13:24-47; 23:13; Mark 9:42-47; Luke 4:14-21; 16:1-12; Romans 1:21; 13:1-7

Here is how you can find out. Take a careful look at this Discipline of Kingdom Mentality from God's most precious Word by examining your life and the passages above. Now ask yourself:

1.How do I exhibit a life of Kingdom Mentality in my "church life" now?

2.How can I develop the willingness to be a more disciplined person who will realize I am to run His Church His way for His glory?

3.What blocks Kingdom Mentality from working and being exhibited in me so I am only willing to run "my" church my way?

4.How can I initiate a Kingdom Mentality, and discipline myself to carry it out?

5.What can I do to make Kingdom Mentality function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainty and stress?

·Here are positive examples from Scripture: Luke 17:20-21; John 13:15; Romans 16:1; Ephesians 5:1; 6:21-22; 1 Peter 2:21; Revelation 21:3-4

·Here are negative examples from Scripture: Joshua 7:10; Judges 17:6; Rom. 12:11; Galatians 5:16-22, 26; 2 Thess. 3:10-15; Heb 6:12

The Discipline of Kingdom Mentality means we are under the reign of God-past, present, and future! He is in charge of all things, sovereign in Heaven and in our will. He is our identity and our LORD personally and collectively. In contrast to Fullness, which means to be led and ruled by Christ and to allow Him to discipline and run our lives, the Kingdom Mentality is more about how we lead and manage our churches. As a discipline, this means we are to realize and "practice" our faith and church life "as if" He is The Sovereign Rule (well He is!), so that we are willing to grow closer to Him and to lead others to Him. We cannot lead where we have not been. Nor, can we grow a healthy church when we are not healthy ourselves. Contrary to how many churches have a tendency to be run, Christ is Sovereign-not the leaders, elders, or pastor(s). Fullness helps us be healthy and a Kingdom Mentality helps our church be healthy! This means we lead others in His precepts by our being led by Him so we can lead others to His Centrality and Supremacy. Accomplishing the Discipline of Kingdom Mentality means each leader must be in submission to Christ's rule. Leading the Church is not about our ability but about His ability to allow His will to envelop ours, His children, as He is our future hope!

 

What Kingdom Mentality is not is merely about the return of Christ, nor is this about that the Church must establish itself as The Kingdom of God (because it already is). We are not called in this discipline or theological perspective to take political or social control or some establishment of a theocracy of a Church-run government. That did not work in the Holy Roman Empire or in Calvin's Geneva. Rather, our call is to be the influencers and shapers pointing to Christ and His redemptive work in the parameters of His Fruit in us, and absolutely not in the force of our will or agendas. Nor are we called to compromise the message of Who and What Jesus is, the Gospel. We are not to seek and bow to cultural trends so to accentuate our "authenticity" to attract others with a compromised legitimacy. Our authenticity is who we are in Christ, He is legitimate and our Truth that never needs to be water downed or hidden or reformed in some other image or marketing. For the reason that, we as Christians are to represent our Lord in an uncompromised manner with power, convection, and clarity and in Truth for His glory. A Kingdome of God Mentality sees the final authority in all matters of our faith and practice in His Word and not in personal inclinations or trends or human thinking. In so doing, we are called to be "Transformation-ists" (God's work in us) not "Dominion-ists" (our attempt to subjugate and control) or "Compromise-ists" (seeking to hide or change who we are thinking we can attract others for Him) as it is God's role to carry out His eternal redemptive plan for the nations. This means we are not called to demonize those who disagree with us, rather we are to be salt and light, models and persuaders of His character, principles and Truth. We can be participants and tools for His use that will be "completed" at His Return.

What happens when we do not practice this discipline? When we refuse to be governed and controlled by our Lord, anarchy and chaos will be the result in our church. Our identity and lead will come from cultural trends, the latest philosophies and our will and thus will translate into how we lead and handle our churches. Christ's lead will be muted and our sin and erroneous ideas will be rationalized as good. This will create gossip, strife, a lost focus, and disillusionment because of our sinful nature, and will cause harm to others. We will build a church of disease and dysfunction; then, we will try to blame others for it rather than take responsibility for our actions and inactions. We will be like small, irresponsible children refusing to play ball God's way, which is the best way. We must realize that the refusal to run His church His way from His precepts and call can only produce apathy, indifference, and dysfunction, which are the direct opposites of God's call for us. This bad mentality can also arise when we are thinking the greatness is in the past, or that it is for other churches and not "ours." We are a part of the Vine! If the vine (John 15) becomes withered, then there is no desire to impact one's self with Christ. The mismanagement of His church by our inactions or misguided actions will destroy others' passion and devotion; it will create cults, bad theology, false teaching, and a decadent and decaying society. Our way of leading will distort our direction in life and/or stop our opportunities all together. When there is no effort to impact others, the church will stagnate and eventually die. Our church family will become dysfunctional, and will decay to liberalism and discord. Then, the church will have no purpose and no meaning for impact on others, even those remaining, loyal Christians.

Further Questions

1.How would you define the Discipline of Kingdom Mentality? Are you a person who desires to be led (where you are going) and directed (what is your aim) by God's will or your will? How does your decision influence your church? How do your views affect your church's vision and agenda, whether you are in leadership or not?

2.What part does Kingdom Mentality play in your relationships with church members, friends, coworkers, and family? What does being filled with Christ mean to you? How do you practice it? How should you? How would the Discipline of Kingdom Mentality help your church handle disputes and overcome obstacles?

3. How does focusing on what we want, and thinking that "our" church is here to serve "me" counteract God's call? What does it mean to focus ones self to be servant leadership-oriented as Christ was? What is the cost to the Kingdom of God when Christians refuse to lead Christ's church His way?

4.What happens when your church does not engage in Kingdom Mentality or teach and encourage its people to be led by Christ?

5.What happens to your relationship with God, with others in your church's community, and with the opportunities God gives you when your church refuses to be led by Christ and instead seeks to follow misguided trends and the agendas of people?

6.When have you exercised a Kingdom Mentality the most? Why do so many Christians spend all of their time and efforts as pursuers of argumentation and not pursuers of holiness? Or, when we become seekers of personal ideas and agendas and not seek what is best for church and community from our call from His Word? What do you suppose is their rationalization? What would Christ feel about it?

7. In what situation did you or your church fail to engage in a Kingdom Mentality when you should have? What issues have you observed people in your church fighting over, rather than pursuing what we are called to do? How does this affect your church's call?

8.Why is nothing positive ever accomplished in the Kingdom of God by our infighting? Then, why do some churches fight so much and/or have "church politics?"

9. How would a Kingdom Mentality help you in distinguishing between what God's call is for your church and what is a bad tend or a skewed personal agenda? What would real, authentic Kingdom Mentality look like in your church fellowship, meetings, and other doings?

10. What issue is in your church that would improve with a Kingdom Mentality?

11. Take the time to see how much of your confidence comes from knowing that you are filled with the Living Spirit of the Lord of the universe. What do you need to do to raise your confidence? How does Kingdom Mentality play out here?

12. Think through the steps that you need to take to put Kingdom Mentality into action in a specific instance. For example, what have been some of the petty presumptions and agendas you have observed among some Christians in your church and how can they be resolved? What causes church politics and what can the leadership do to resolve the root issues so you are Kingdom-minded and not self-minded? How can your church teach uncompromised biblical convictions, the core truths of our faith, so to infuse its congregation to uphold and model Christ? How can the Discipline of Kingdom Mentality help your church focus on being edifying and encouraging? What will you do about this? What can your church do to make this a priority?

The solution for running and being a healthy church is simple. Put Christ and His will first, then everything else as secondary! When we have our church heart centered upon what is really important, which is Christ-who He is, what He has done, and what He can do-our real purpose and plans begin to function correctly, as our perspectives are in line with God's. Then also the "secret" to a life of church contentment will come about because we have the right perspective of our place in the Kingdom (Matt. 6:25-34).

The call for us is to implement this Discipline so our church can be a good and productive church that builds the kingdom of God and to have our mindset centered to make Him known in ourselves. Then, we can, from the fallout of this discipline, be encouraging and edifying to one another, our neighborhood, and world (John 3:3-5; Col. 3:15-17). Our understanding of Christ and who we are in Him will help sustain us and direct us in the right direction to be good stewards of His Church. As a result, we can and will center our motivations and directions on Christ alone, and on what is perfect and pleasing, not on what we think, want, or feel.

Unfortunately, the typical church in America is inherently inwardly focused when it is called to be outwardly focused and people-centered, with wholehearted obedience to our Lord and His plan. It is about the role of the church as "disseminator." This means being giving, starting with the leadership, then the members, and then giving what we have learned to the neighborhood. This means our church does not exist just to be to and for ourselves, but rather outward in our service too. The Discipline of Kingdom Mentality is about seeking to bring God's Kingdom to the social and cultural vicinity in which it is serving with the objective of bringing Christ, to give away, faith and resources, that which God has given to us.

Why would any real Christian seek to lead a church by his or her pride and will, and forsake their Lord and Savior? The key to prevent our skewed leadership tendencies is to understand that Jesus is our direction both in our personal life and in our church life. This is foundational for all aspects of who we are, what we do, and especially how we lead others for Him. What motivates us and creates in us our actions and behaviors will translate in our relationship with God and how we are with those around us. If we do not get this, that God is in control, we will have tremendous issues and obstacles that we may never climb over in becoming the church that God desires and calls us to be. The best opportunities, the best adventures, contentment, and joys we can ever have in life can easily be missed if we become stubborn and self-willed, and refuse to look up to Him.

The word Kingdom, in the Kingdom of God or Heaven, means government; it is the need to be organized for purpose and direction. This is paramount, especially for a church to function positively with God's intention in mind. It amazes me how many of our churches function by selfishly catering to selfish ambitions and personalities and not to the principles and character to which we are called. If we solve these root destinies and distractions, we will solve our church dysfunction and "church politics." Some people lead, others strive to obey; still others seek to destroy. This is a result of our fallen nature and criminal element. Nevertheless, we need good, godly leadership and direction for success in building a healthy church and influencing our society. This means we are to yield to the exercise and implementation of our God's "Lordship," that He is our King, hence the name, "Kingdom of God." He is sovereign; He is the absolute monarch of the universe. His rule is absolute. Thus, it is our responsibility to obey God and those whom He has given responsibility over us (Eph. 2:18).

Consider what it would mean if we really took seriously the fact that God is Supreme, Sovereign, and Lord over our churches. Would it infer that we are led by His purpose, for His mission, and with His character and distinction? Also, consider that God reaches out to us; we, as citizens of His Kingdom, are to reach out to others. God does not shut us out; thus, we are not to shut Him out from His right to lead. This affects all we do in our decisions and relationships-from building and grounds, to curriculum, to worship, preaching, and visiting. All aspects of our church management must be to fulfill the role of glorying our Lord and doing as He has called. Specifics are not as important as our Fruit, character, and commitment to His truth with passion, clarity, and conviction. When we stand in the pulpit to preach, shake a visitors hand, meet with someone, or go door to door, we are to refer to God's rule and sovereignty. We are the ones who are to exemplify Christ and point others to both the church today and our eternal future hope. Now you can start to see why this is a discipline, because we must work at it, and work at it hard! This is the reason why the Disciplines of the Faith are important as they help fuel healthy pastors and leaders that fuel a healthy church. (2 Peter 3:13-14).

Having a Kingdom Mentality will greatly help your church live worthy for His glory. We must give up the controls of our church so He can steer our church His way, lest we crash, resulting in a consequence to all those around us. He is our Pilot, not our copilot, navigator, or traffic controller. How does one do this? By keeping our eyes and will upon Him!

Do you know Him, so that your direction and source of inspiration comes only from Christ? Most of us will look to our creeds and confessions for that answer and for good reason. But, I want to challenge you to go deeper in your faith and personal responsibility. Ask yourself, how can I take my faith so seriously that it becomes so personal, so real, that all my thoughts, ideas, directions, goals, and inspirations are in the direction of serving my Lord? To take your faith to a deeper level is about abiding, so it is yours and personal; it is not just because this is what your family is and does, or not just because you are part of a good church, school, or job. That your faith is only because of what Christ has done for you and nothing else is solely the work of the Holy Spirit! This is the encouraging, motivating fuel for making a healthy leader who is leading a healthy church! We have a responsibility to respond, to grow, and to build on what we are given! It takes trust, faith, and surrender of your will, surrender of your dreams, and surrender of your ideas to the LORDSHIP of Christ. You must acknowledge that He is Lord over you and your church because of His love for you and for others in your church. Then, perhaps we can all see that His ways are better than ours. Christ is our King, so let us live our lives and run our church in response to what He did for us!

If what we believe does not reflect the truth of what is in the Word of God, how we behave will fall way short of the character we are to emulate. Then, we will fail at practicing the Discipline of Kingdom Mentality. Thus, we will fail our churches, leaving us with gossip, strife, dysfunction, broken homes, and a broken neighborhood! How sad when Christ had the solution within you from His Word all along! If what we believe does not reflect His truth, then what we feel and do will not reflect the reality of Christ's love for us. If we do not have a healthy self-worth from the realization of who we are in Christ, it will adversely affect our ability to communicate and build a healthy, triumphant church!

More Passages on the Kingdom of God: Psalm 10:16-18; Daniel 2:44; 4:34; Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 3:1-12; 4:23; 5:6, 17-20; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 9:1-12; 11:14-20; 16:1-12, 16; 17:21; 22:16-30; John 18:36; Acts 20:25; 28:23-31; Romans 14: 17-19; Colossians 1:13; 28-29; Galatians 3:16; 26-29; Ephesians 2:11-18; 3:6-15; Hebrews 1:8-14; 2 Peter 3:13-14; Revelation 5:9-10; 7:9; 17:14; 19:16; chaps. 21-22

Passages on how to lead and manage the church: Luke 10:25-29; John 4:24; 10:25-30; 17:21-23; Acts, chapters 2 and 4; Romans 1:16-17; 12:1-3; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 1:10; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 1; James 4:8-11

Passages on Servant Leadership: Mark 10:35-45; Luke 22:26; John 13:2-17; 1 Corinthians 3- 4; Ephesians 4

Please see our Church Leadership channel for resources: Church Leadership at our sister ministry...

© 2006 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D., Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org   www.discipleshiptools.org

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