What do you feel when you look at your community? If you are like most leaders I know, you carry a burden for your community – for those who don’t have a shepherd. You see those bound by sin, walking in darkness and deceived by the enemy, and you, like Jesus, are moved with compassion. (see Matthew 9:36, 23:37 and Luke 19:41)
How can we see the life-transforming power of the Gospel flow like a river in our communities? We want this, but most of us are also maxed out (more on this in a future post). Is there a way to simultaneously see more Kingdom transformation in our communities and leverage our limited time and energy for more impact?
In the book of Genesis, you can see a template for transformation: something I call the Eden Pattern. The Bible implies that God was in the habit of walking with Adam in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8). The implication is that they spoke about Adam’s stewardship of the Garden during this daily walk. So here’s the pattern: 1) Intimacy; walk with God, 2) Instruction; listen to His voice and 3) Implementation; do what He says. That’s it – that’s God’s strategy to change the world.
So pastor, you aren’t supposed to do it all. What if next Monday morning, a multitude of believers from every walk of life were living out this Eden Pattern? In every business, organization, government office, neighborhood, school, and sphere of influence in our communities? What if your members were like the mobile temples of John 7, the salt and light of Matthew 5, and the fruitful branches of John 15? A church the gates of hell cannot withstand. It makes us ask if it’s so simple, so biblical, so powerful, why don’t we see this happening more?
It all comes down to expectations, vision, and equipping. Most believers separate their spiritual and vocational lives. The solution is to change expectations. We need to cast a vision of the Eden Pattern being what normal New Testament spirituality looks like. And to pivot so that we begin intentionally equipping our people to think this way and walk this way starting every Monday.