I’m at the Ecclesia Network Gathering in Chevy Chase MD (Washington DC). I sit on the board here and I highly recommend the Network as a place to land for those seeking a network of support, guidance and energy around all things missional. I’ve been blessed to be around a great gathering of missional church pastors/churchplanters.Dallas Willard is one of the main speakers and his wisdom is permeating the atmosphere. Willard quotes have been flying into the tweetosphere. There’s a live blog here.
Yesterday, at the Q&A, Dallas talked about leading someone into the Kingdom:i.e. missional evangelism. If salvation is essentially being invited into the Kingdom of God inaugurated in Christ’s name (something preached again and again in Jesus name in book of Acts), how do we invite someone in? how do we start? Dallas advised ” we get to know someone well enough to know where the KINGDOM IS AT in their lives.” In other words where is God present in this person to bring redemption, healing, renewal, transformation through him/her submitting to His reign. Is there a brokenness, unreconciliation, an injustice etc. a relationship God’s reign needs to be submited to, opened to? “Get them in motion,” he said, “as quickly as possible. You have to put people in motion. You will notice whenever Jesus encountered someone – he gave them something to do! (Think for instance of the woman at the well, or the cleansed leper…). That’s how we grow – by stepping into the Kingdom of God. Ask people to do something they can’t, or wouldn’t do apart from God’s Kingdom in Christ. He said “Jesus didn’t say I will give you the Holy Spirit and then keep my commandments. He said, keep my commandments and I will send you the Holy Spirit (John 14).” Dallas said, “step into the Kingdom, and the Holy Spirit will be there.” Dallas repeatedly emphasized the theme of Jesus’ promise “I will be with you.”
This notion of “getting people in motion” is a great metaphor. Of course this takes mentoring, coming alongside and living alongisde those not yet walking in the Kingdom. Way back here (at the end of the post) I suggested 5 starting points for getting people into motion into the kingdom. I didn’t put it that way of course. But I probably will now.