What Does A Kingdom Community Look Like?
As Christians, our challenge is simply to learn how to establish and live as Kingdom Communities. But how do we do that? And perhaps our first question should be; what does a Kingdom Community look like? What about the following ideas?
- Living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
- Applying love and grace.
- Recognize the value of the community (that it feels like “home”).
- Heavenly values being practiced on earth.
- Serving one another.
- Supportive relationships.
- No judgements.
- Knowing and accepting each other.
- A place to be lovingly stretched (“iron sharpens iron”).
- A “safe” place.
- A Kingdom-minded group, with a goal of making disciples.
- A place where each one of us can discover and be set into God’s purpose for our life.
- A place of forgiveness and acceptance.
What Do The Macedonians Teach Us About Being A Kingdom Community?
2 Corinthians 8:1-5, NLT – (1) Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in His kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. (2) They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. (3) For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. (4) They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. (5) They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.
The Macedonians churches, out of no compulsion from anyone else, begged for the privilege of giving a gift to the Jerusalem Christians. Macedonia was over 2600 kilometres away by road, in a completely different country. But the Macedonians had such a great love, they were willing to give out of their own poverty to help the Christians in Jerusalem.
But what impressed the Apostles the most, was that before they had given any money, they first gave themselves to the Lord and to the believers (as the Lord had wanted them to do)!
What Does It Look Like, To “Give Ourselves” To Other Christians In A Kingdom Community?
- We must serve one another.
- We must commit to the group and to each person, and to their welfare, with a deep sense of loyalty.
- We must step out of our comfort zone, because we have developed a trust with one another.
- Our whole hearts must to be in it, in order to commit to each other.
- Jesus must be first in the centre of our group, because it is He who will be the bridge between us and the others.
- We must have a group perspective, and believe that being in a group can be better than being alone.
- We must be willing to accept the different insights and perspectives of each other.
- We must be willing to learn interdependence.
What “Atmosphere” Or Environment Should Be Present In a Kingdom Community?
Genesis 2:15-18, 25, NIV – (15) The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. (16) And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; (17) but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (18) The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” … (25) The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
When God created man and woman, He obviously would have put them in the very best environment where they could grow and mature. Based upon the above passage, what would that “perfect” environment have been like?
- A place of freedom, joy, security and comfort.
- A place of no darkness.
- A place of purpose, where everyone has a role (a work to do).
- A place with suitable helpers, where they partnered together for a purpose, where everyone was needed for completeness, and to do the work that God had called them to do, with a sense of responsibility to the group.
- A place where nothing was hidden.
- A place with healthy boundaries, and a respect of instructions and rules for living.
- A place of consequences if boundaries are crossed.
- A place with lots of good, nourishing food (it’s a garden, right?)
- A place with no competition or jealousy, and where everyone was emotionally healthy.
- A place where no one wore masks, they and God saw them “exposed”, and they not ashamed. So it was a place where people could be transparent, vulnerable, and safe, with full acceptance.
- A place where God is allowed to speak.
- A place of partnership, fellowship, and community.
- A place where God sets the rules, set the place, and puts the people there.
- A place with the expectation of caring for each other, and making mutual investments into other people’s lives.
- A place where God is Lord.
- A beautiful place, a garden-like environment, which becomes a fruitful place where everything can grow.
- A place for intimate relationships
- A place where there were temptations, so there was a need to create healthy boundaries.
(As a side note, the bride-groom came first, then the bride came second out of the bride-groom. This was a prophetic act pointing to Jesus and His Church).
What Should We Expect To Receive From Being In A Kingdom Community?
Genesis 1:27-28, NIV – (27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (28) God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
- Learn To Be Fruitful In Our Lives
“Fruitful” (Hebrew = “Paw-raw”) – “To bear fruit, to be fruitful, to grow”.
In our Kingdom Community, we should learn and be empowered to be fruitful in our lives.
- Learn To Be Mature
“Increase” (Hebrew = “Raw-baw”) – “To increase in any respect, in multiply in number, to grow up, to exceed, to be abundant”.
In our Kingdom Community, we should learn and be empowered to become mature and to have an abundant life.
- Learn To Accomplish God’s Purpose For Our Life
“Fill” (Hebrew = “Maw-law”) – “To fill, to accomplish, to satisfy”.
In our Kingdom Community, we should learn and be empowered to accomplish God’s purpose for our life.
- Learn To Conquer All Obstacles In Life
“Subdue” (Hebrew = “Kaw-bash”) – “To conquer, bring into subjection”.
In our Kingdom Community, we should learn and be empowered to all the obstacles in our life, so that we can advance in our assignments for the Lord.
- Learn To Use Our Authority In Christ
“Rule” (Hebrew = “Raw-daw”) =- “To have dominion, prevail over, reign over, rule over”
In our Kingdom Community, we should learn and be empowered to use our authority to advance the Kingdom of God.
Lord, help us to create Kingdom Communities wherever you would take us!