Yes, It’s true, the Kingdom is really coming…

Yesterday I received an email from a friend I made back in January of 2005. I traveled to India with him on a relief trip in response to the tsunami. He and I hit it off from the start. His line of work brought him to this part of the world frequently and he led our trip. One of the reasons he was also there was to explore the development of small business plans with the local indigenous pastor there.

Establishing businesses whose profits go towards financing ministry on the ground is called “Kingdom Business.” The point of the project is to develop self-generating support for a ministry in a way that characterizes economic justice. So, those who work for the business receive a decent wage and the rest of the profits go towards funding various ministry projects (food relief, infrastructure, water purification, etc.). Essentially, a revenue stream is created that both finances ministry and increases the economic health of the community it is in.

So, enter my friend; we’ll call him Mr. Anonymous. He sent me an email yesterday out of the blue with a link to a website highlighting a kingdom business he would like to start on behalf of G.O. Ministries somewhere in the DR. It’s premature to discuss too much in detail as we are now the second day into considering the how’s, what’s and if’s of what this would look like. I’m only posting it because its such an encouragement to know that there are brothers and sisters in Christ out there who are doing this kind of work.

Mr. Anonym said in his email, “I don't need the profit, I make plenty of money in my job and have already determined in my own life "how much is enough" - so I am free from having to chase money.” He has essentially capped the use of his income for his personal and family use, freeing the rest for work in the Kingdom.

So far, since our trip to India in ’05, he has helped transform the lives of 11 families through similar kinds of work and investment. He is making a global difference with his resources that will ultimately benefit hundreds if not thousands of people.

A friend of mine is a pastor at a church in Nashville. He has a blog where he has been discussing spiritual transformation and what it looks like. See the discussion here.

That quote from C.S. Lewis has stuck with me.

“Our Lord finds our desire, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Thank God for his work in the lives of people like Mr. Anonym who by God’s grace has been matured spiritually enough to forsake at least one manifestation of the American mud pie, chasing money. He has made space in his budget for what others might call “disposable income” and has found a use for it other than wasting it (disposing it) on himself. He feels called to give it in a manner that reproduces, in a similar manner to the two faithful servants with the master’s talents.

And he doesn’t do this out of guilt or religious obligation. It’s done out of a heart transformed by that Gospel. Because he knows what Christ has done on his behalf and on behalf of the entire world he is responding to the world in this manner. It is an act of gratitude and hope. Gratitude because of the redemption that has taken place and hope because working towards God’s Kingdom is a way of moving with the grain of the universe. The world is moving towards fulfillment (regardless of how it may appear one way or another) whether it likes it or not. We might as well be heading that direction ourselves.

Tim Keller, a pastor at Redeemer in NYC has said again and again that there are two Kingdoms, God’s and mine. Which one will we invest in? Why not the only one that matters and the only one that lasts? Why not the one whose King will see his feet littered by a thousand cast cast crowns from far lesser kingdoms?

So as to this recent inspiration, I do not now know how it will all work out. I know only that someone is willing to make a difference with what he has been given. One more disciple is daily becoming harder and harder to be “too easily pleased.”

Thanks to all of you who support Vicki and I and others across the world striving to see the Kingdom come. Thanks to you who seek to multiply whatever it is that God has graced you with. You are a comfort, an encouragement, and a challenge to all of us.

If you have interest in helping establish a “kingdom business” with G.O. please contact me. I will connect you to Jerry Woodcox, our Director of Kingdom Business. This is a new initiative of G.O. Ministries and we are very excited to see it get off the ground in a variety of ways.

Grace and Peace,