Whose Kingdom Are You Building? (Learn and Return)

I try to live by the axiom “Learn and Return,” which says: If you LEARN a lesson or principle that helps your church, you must RETURN that to others so they can benefit too. Sometimes this means that the ideas or lessons you are using are not your own and that you can’t take credit for them! It might also mean letting go of your desire to put your name one some of the proliferated ideas that are yours. In one of his recent blog posts, Scott Hodges reminds us that building God’s Kingdom is “not about us” at all. Here’s his post:

Whose Kingdom Are You Building?

“All I want is to expand the Kingdom of God.” Really? Not me. I want people to know who I am. I want my peers to acknowledge me. I want to do something big for God and at the same time leave a trail that leads to my web site. I am self-serving. I wish that weren’t the case. Am I normal?

I used to wonder how the Pharisees drifted so far off course. Now, being a Christ follower and a spiritual leader for a number of years, I see how it happens. We begin with pure, godly intentions. God blesses our efforts, and some rewards come with it. (Let’s call them “perks.”) After time, we feel entitled to those “perks.” After more time, we get competitive and begin to compare ourselves with others. When that happens, our efforts are more about being first than making a contribution. Then jealousy and bitterness take over. All of a sudden, we get caught up in building our own kingdom.

Here’s how I wrestle with this tension. First, I admit that it’s real. Stop denying it. We’re human. We’re flawed. We’re prideful. Second, compensate for our selfishness and pride with generosity and sacrifice:

  • Pass along the great idea even when you know it won’t be traced back to you.
  • Give credit to others without mentioning your level of involvement.
  • Stop worrying about your position on the org chart. Instead, focus on adding value.
  • Allow anonymity to be an act of worship.

Have you been down this path? How do you wrestle through it?

Read the complete post here. Thanks Scott for a great challenge. I’m gong to be working on the four sacrifices you’ve outlined!

Nelson

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyLeadership

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