God's Kingdom Strategy
Make a friend. Be a friend. Bring a friend to meet your friend, Jesus!
It should come as no surprise that God has already provided the strategy for advancing His kingdom, and it is found in both the Old and New Testaments. If we are to execute this strategy, we must identify and understand the answers to a few basic questions. Who is supposed to do this thing? Where and when is it happening? How does it work?
Most people assume that this strategy is the responsibility of "the church", and they would be correct. Unfortunately, most people also assume that "organized religion" and "the church" are one in the same. They are not. We must understand that "the church" is not an organization ... it's an organism comprised of living, breathing, individual believers that we refer to as the Body of Christ. Even though God's strategy is laid out in scripture for us to follow, it simply isn't effective in organized religion because ... well, it's already been organized under a different structure! So who is supposed to do this thing? You and me ... and all the other living, breathing, individual believers that comprise the Body of Christ.
Just as the human body has a variety of differing parts and members that work in harmony to perform specific functions, so it is with the Body of Christ. And while no one part is exactly like the other, each individual member of the Body has both the ability and responsibility to perform one basic function: simply to pray and obey. When He walked this earth, Jesus gave us instructions for this task in what we now call "The Lord's Prayer". We are instructed to pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10)
As for the "where and when" of God's plan, the answer is pretty simple: every "where" and every "when"! There is no compromising God's strategy with the "way of the world" (or the dictates of organized religion). There must be a distinction between the sacred and the secular. We are either in God’s kingdom or we are not. Clearly, it is God's desire for all of mankind to be in His kingdom -- but it is still our choice. We either accept what Jesus has done for us, or we don't. If we don't, we're stuck with the restrictions and limitations of this "temporal" existence, this temporary life we have here and now. But when we accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, we escape these temporary limitations and the death associated with them, and look forward to a glorious eternity in the presence of our loving Heavenly Father. The best part is, we can enjoy that now! When we pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done", the power and glory of Heaven itself is unleashed in our lives on this earth -- right here, right now! Once you fully understand that precept, then working out God's strategy every where and every when seems much less daunting! It also points out the need to live out the principles of God's Kingdom on a daily basis, making certain to apply them in our business dealings, our educational endeavors, our order of government, the social needs in our community, and our families.
Now for the hard part -- how is this going to work? Again, God has already laid out the strategy and given us examples to follow. Exodus 18:13-27 shows how God gave Moses a plan to organize and train the children of Israel in small groups. Acts 2:42-47 shows the early church not building structures, but building disciples by meeting as small groups in homes and temple courts. God's strategy for the Tapestry Vision is to build small group networks of disciples, to learn, implement, and support one another in their specific areas of influence or culture. Why? Simply put, we were never intended to serve, work, or minister in isolation, but in community. We are intended to be a fellowship of believers, the family of God, empowering, teaching, training, and encouraging others to hear God's voice and walk in fellowship with Him.
So in a nutshell, the strategy is a simple one: make a friend, be a friend, and bring a friend to meet your friend Jesus. Then help disciple, teach, train, and support your friend in their Christian journey in this life, as you look to the future eternal life you both will share.