First, let me be clear: I am not an expert in making Kingdom Impact. Far from it. Instead, I am a learner and a student of the one who is - Jesus of Nazareth. This is His Kingdom and he envisioned its impact in the world. I have looked to a specific group of parables in Matthew 13, called the Kingdom parables, for a better understanding of what Jesus wants His churches to do. We have made church about many things that often suit our own cultures and kingdoms: a place to be spiritually fed, a place to be inspired, a place for support when life is hard, a place for fellowship with like-minded people.
All that is good, but it can produce a church experience that is "all about me" in the end. This is one of the ways that churches have become cruise liners instead of the fishing boats that Jesus designed them to be. We have taken fishing boats and retrofitted them to include comfortable auditoriums, entertaining experiences, and lots of amenities arranged and managed by a paid staff catering to many needs. All this can create a culture of "spiritual consumerism" that keep churches out of fishing waters and closer to a comfortable harbor.
Kingdom Impact Churches are looking to be retrofitted back into fishing vessels, looking to the words of Jesus to understand what he wants congregations to do today. His six Kingdom parables in Matthew 13 each begin with the phrase: "The kingdom of heaven is like..." So often we imagine that these parables describe what will be the reality one day when Jesus returns. But a simple reading of them tell us they are about the world today and how congregations are called to make impact - Kingdom Impact. These parables are six lenses revealing six approaches we can take to join Jesus on his mission by:
Planting in the Good Soil
Confronting Evil on the Ground
Investing in the Small for Outsized Impact
Growing Cultural Impact
Uncovering the Hidden Treasure in People
Casting a Broad Net
If we are listening, Jesus has been clear about what Kingdom Impact means!