You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything (John Mellencamp)
The next critical part of Kingdom D.N.A. is vision you are prepared to commit your life to.
At the heart of every great movement of God in the Christian church has been a small group of people who are absolutely committed to changing the current “normal”.
Where Kingdom D.N.A. is present there are a core of people who are driven by three things:
- Their love for Christ
- The needs they see (the deficits of Justice, Mercy and Compassion)
- The vision of a future that is greater than the needs
Whether it was the time of the apostle Paul, Basil of Cappadocia, John Wesley, or any other moment of explosive growth for the church, there were small groups of people who were committed to living their faith through changing the world God had them in.
Paul had a vision of the body of Christ, Basil had a vision of trinitarian community, Wesley had a vision of a transformed England. They each knew faith wasn’t just a personal thing.
As I have already discussed, the Glory of God provides a framework to look at the world and see a vision of hope rather than despair. As we have already seen though, the vision must be a response to Christ. Paul says in 2 Cor 5:14 :
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
Action that doesn’t come as a response to Jesus leads to drivenness and dryness, but action that comes as a direct result of our relationship with Jesus can and does change the world.
What is clear as I look at church history, there are themes to the work that God calls people to. Without fail it is the acceptance of the burden of responsibility to bring the Kingdom of God to wherever God had people in time and space.
The other theme, as we have already explored, is that the Kingdom is where the Glory of God is present, where issues of Justice, Mercy and Compassion are being addressed. Wherever the church is exploding, they eventually move beyond simply the message of reconciliation with God to the ministry of reconciliation (See 2 Corinthians 5:17-21). They move to transforming education systems, political systems and economic systems so that Kingdom values prevail over self interest and greed.
While I wouldn’t compare the work of Fusion to these periods of church history, I saw this dynamic at work with my Father, Mal Garvin.
As a teenager he felt God was calling him to reach young Australians with the Gospel. He had grown up on the streets of Sydney and saw lots of young people like him who were in desperate need of hope.
He went through a period where he imagined his life was a cheque and each day he prayed that God would write out the amount that he wanted him to pay and he imagined himself signing his name at the bottom of the cheque. This transaction happened every day for a week, and each day he felt more of him was praying the prayer. At the end of the week he felt a special sense of confirmation and dedicated his life to the task. As a result thousands of young Australians have discovered faith and the movement he founded became global.
One time I had a chat with him about what he would be remembered for and he said, “I don’t think I was particularly gifted, particularly lucky or particularly well connected. I think if people look at my life objectively they will see that I was committed to a vision God gave me as a teenager and that never changed”.
The first question of Kingdom D.N.A. is: Do you love Jesus?
The second question of Kingdom D.N.A. is: What is your vision?
And the questions that come from that:
- What are the real needs of the real people in your community?
- What is your plan?
- When are you going to start?