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10 essentials for kingdom expanders

December 25, 2016

We desperately want to see the gospel go forth on North American university campuses and into all the world. This desire is rooted in our King’s commission and is powered by His authority.

At this stage in redemptive history the church is privileged to see this happening.

The amount of amazing newsletters telling of gospel progress can fill up your inbox.

The amount of educational resources for teaching, mentoring, discipling disciples who disciple discipling disciples is awesome.

People have access to seminaries from a gas station coffee shop in Khon Kaen, Thailand—right in the middle of an unreached people group.

It is quite a privilege to be alive in 2016.

We are rightly obsessed with getting the gospel right. We must be equally passionate about getting that right gospel to the lost and dying world who are starving for a crumb of it.

While my past with Campus Outreach Thailand and church planting does not make me an expert on Kingdom expansion, it has given me wisdom that is relevant and refreshing.

Here is a list of 10 essentials for kingdom expanders.

1. Power

Kingdom expanders rest confidently in the power of the gospel and God’s Word, and reach for the nations with zealous vigor.

If we miss this truth, we will not be under the Lord’s gracious commission and power. Rather, we’ll be under our own tower-of-Babel ambitions and weak abilities.

This excitement and longing is fostered, enabled, and sustained by a confident rest in Jesus, God’s Word, and His gospel. Rest and hard work are not at odds, at least not in the economy of the gospel. (Romans 1:16, Psalm 23, The Great Work of the Gospel by John Ensor)

2. Presence

Kingdom expanders are enabled by God’s present power.

The Holy Trinity is with us. This is comforting in so many ways, but is specifically in gospel proclamation, reaching the lost, planting churches, and going into the dark hard places of the world. (Matthew 28:20, John 10:16, Galatians 5:22-23)

3. Prayer and Praise

Kingdom expanders begin and end with God’s glory.

Kingdom expansion rises with prayer.

Multiplying movements can happen with dedicated, strong, and able leaders. However, multiplying gospel movements will go into all the world through dependent followers of Jesus who live for God’s glory and depend on His power.

We begin with the end in mind….God’s glory.

The fantastic truth is that God’s glory is not just an end thing, but a past, present, and future reality for all those who will be satisfied by our King of Living Water.

We want the world to worship God. We love that He is worthy. (Genesis 11:1-9, The End For Which God Created the World by Jonathan Edwards)

4. Partakers

Kingdom expansion includes all of God’s people in gospel proclamation.

All believers have a testimony of gospel change.

We are the church. Regardless of age, gender, race, or occupation, we are all called to take part in expanding the reach of the good news.

“Not only do you impute your righteousness in us, but you allow us the privilege to labor with you.”  – Ben Dooley, Campus Outreach Knoxville (1 Peter 2:9, Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung)

5. Pain

Kingdom expanders acknowledge suffering as painful but not as a deterrent.

Kingdom expanding movements should question their gospel authenticity if everything is neat, tidy, and pain free.

Suffering comes through the fingertips of God to push us deeper into His heart and into dark living rooms, rank dorms, heartbreaking hospitals, and unreached nations. (Luke 9:51, 2 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 12:10, The Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett)

6. Pleasure

Kingdom expanders have a long history of surprising joy in the midst of suffering, despair and depression.

Joy is impossible to manufacture. Only in Christ can tears of pain fall into the soil of our experiences, belief, theology, and faith and produce a blade of joy.

The Lord’s Kingdom expanders are not immune to dark caves of despair that lead to burnout, depression, and extreme mental and emotional fatigue, but grow accustomed to the Lord’s sustaining grace and comforting voice. (Hebrews 11:36-38, Hebrews 12:1-3)

7. Patience

Kingdom expanders are marked by kindness and patience.

To say kindness and patience are only for certain personality types is to openly declare a desire to not become more like Jesus, belittle the work of the Spirit, and to forget how we were saved.

Some modern day campus ministries and church plants crumble due to a lack of kindness and patience which are sacrificed on the altar of efficiency, strategy, and good goals that become bad idols.

Opportunities for patience arise when our plans and desires are not working out.

Kingdom expansion is full of setbacks, roadblocks, detours, and even temporary retreats. (Romans 2:4, You can Change by Tim Chester)

8. Partners

Kingdom expansion flourishes through loving unity in the church. (John 17:20,26)

9. Personal

Kingdom expanders love helping others embrace their unique calling and vision. (1 Corinthians 7:17, Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper)

10. Planned

Kingdom expanders invest strategically and generously into faithful, available, and teachable people who love King Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1-7, The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman)