A Glimpse of Harvest 2.0

One of Pastor Vern's quotes in the Harvest 2.0 video is that he's "been thinking about the next 10 years for the last few years." As we began a more formal process to clarify how we will talk about the future vision and mission for Harvest Church, the concept of "bringing the kingdom" was firmly rooted in our discussions and prayers. "Bringing the kingdom" however can be a pretty heady concept. As such, I asked Vern to provide a "brain dump" of what that phrase means in layman's terms. The following is what became of that request of Vern.


The Kingdom of God/Heaven is the central theme of Jesus’ teaching and lifestyle.  John announces it and Jesus takes over.  There was a future aspect to it (when Sin and Satan are ultimately defeated) but it is also ever present in the person and ministry of Jesus.

My kingdom is the range of my effective will.  Whatever I genuinely have the say over is in my kingdom.  God created me to rule, reign, and have dominion over a limited sphere.  

God’s Kingdom is the range of His effective will (not a limited sphere).  The secret of belonging to God’s Kingdom lies in belonging to him (Mt. 7:23; 25:41).  We have been invited to co-labor with Him in His rule.  We are the bearers now of His rule.  Our kingdom interests are swallowed up in His Kingdom interests.  

Jesus came and said the Kingdom of God/Heaven has come, is at hand, and is here, is near, is within you, and is all around you.  Eternal life (the highest quality of life which includes, of course, immortality) is now available to us within the always present leadership and authority of God. Jesus came to show us the kind of life for which we were made.  He did that by meeting our needs and working through our deeds. 

The Kingdom we bring, then, is the ethics, morals, and lifestyle of Jesus. It is living life as though Jesus were living through you. It is the gracious rule and reign of God in our hearts (“boss”) and therefore the gracious rule and reign of God in every sphere in which we find ourselves.   

Life got better, or at least the opportunity for living a higher quality of life was available, for everybody when Jesus was around.  He is still around, but now He works out His will through the Church – so wherever the Church is, life should be more joyful, peaceful, productive, just, and miraculous.  (Or to put it colloquially, it should be more fun, funny, sensual, successful, and magical.)  He blesses us so we would be a blessing to the people He loves.  Every room you walk into brightens because the King just walked in with you (and everybody who would know the King would love the King).  

The Church is the assembly of those who have accepted the Gospel of the Kingdom, who participate in the salvation of the kingdom – which includes the forgiveness of sins, adoption by God, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the possession of eternal life. We are also those in whose life the Kingdom takes visible form, the light of the world, the salt of the earth; those who have taken on themselves the yoke of the kingdom, who live by their King’s commandments and learn from him (Mt. 11:28–30). Nothing is impossible for those who go forth into the world as witnesses to, and participants in, God’s Kingdom.  

The Kingdom of God, then, is marked by service.  We follow the one who said and modeled, “I did not come into the world to be served but to serve and give my life a ransom for many.”  So serving people as a life ethic is not an option (or don’t call yourself a follower of Jesus) so the Church must serve people, even those who will reject Him/us, and give our lives away.  It is costly to follow Jesus and bring the Kingdom.  

Because of the life, death, resurrection, indwelling, and power of Jesus, the Kingdom of God is here today, right now.  It is our responsibility, and unspeakable privilege (God wants to use ME??) as His followers to live accordingly and organize ourselves around and invite people into the wonder and joy of a “Jesus is King and it’s fun to follow Him” kind of lifestyle.     

I hope this you enjoy the vision this "brain dump" articulates and are looking as forward to Vision Weekend as I am.

~ Crull, for Vern who's somewhere on a lake. ; )


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