The fourth topic in our summer study of core values for a new church is Kingdom Priority. A church must recognize the priority the Kingdom of God has in the Scriptures. Jesus was clear about the importance of His Kingdom and its importance in our lives. His rightful place as Lord and King of all means the Christian life is reoriented with new priorities so that we live as those who have a Father in heaven who protects and provides for our every need.
God’s purpose for this world is to manifest His glory among all nations. The problem is that Sin has corrupted all nations and left all aspects of humanity in need of reconciliation to God (Colossians 1:20). Left to ourselves, therefore, none of us glorify God (nor can we). In order for the world to manifest His glory, God is raising up worshipers from every tribe and language through the renewing work of Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:5).
God has purposed to bring glory to Himself by advancing His Kingdom, not just over all human hearts, but all realities of human life. In other words, God plans on fulfilling His purpose for the world by making His invisible Kingdom visible. He has chosen to advance His Kingdom through His Church. Ultimately, God has chosen to advance His Kingdom by His Church with His Gospel (Romans 1:16).
God has given the Gospel of Christ to be proclaimed through His Church in order to advance His Kingdom to make known His Glory. Therefore, having a Kingdom of God mindset is essential for any church that seeks to be in line with God’s purposes. Any church that seeks to glorify God must have a high view of Kingdom priorities, if they are going to have a high view of the Gospel, the Church, and the Glory of God.
God has (and will continue) to glorify Himself by making the invisible Kingdom visible through the Church (multiple local churches) with the Gospel. No local church alone will fulfill the advancement of the Kingdom. Local churches must recognize this, and be willing to plant new churches and work with other local gospel-centered churches.
Churches that do not recognize the need to plant churches and cooperate with other local churches will not contribute to the advancement of the Kingdom of God in the manner God intends. Sometimes this defect happens in churches that are shortsighted, and only see the growth of their church’s kingdom as most important. This must grieve God.
Another side-affect of this tendency is that church members begin seeing other churches in the community through the lens of their church, and not Kingdom lenses. Instead of seeing other gospel-centered churches in their community as partners and necessary to advance the Kingdom, they begin treating them as competitors.
Members of churches who are not Kingdom-minded risk seeing other churches only in comparison of the church they attend, and they will fail to understand the need for planting new churches. They might think, “Why do we need another church here when we have MY church?” As if God only needs that one church to advance the Kingdom in their city.
With this as a core value, a major aspect of keeping the Kingdom priority means partnering with gospel-centered churches to see God’s invisible Kingdom made visible for His Glory here and beyond. From the very outset, this new church will be committed to partnering with like-minded churches to project the Gospel to all people. This will ultimately require starting new churches, beginning in our own community and continuing across the globe.