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.

~Crull


TheKingdom of God/Heaven is the central theme of Jesus’ teaching andlifestyle.  John announces it andJesus takes over.  There was afuture aspect to it (when Sin and Satan are ultimately defeated) but it is alsoever present in the person and ministry of Jesus.

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

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

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

TheKingdom we bring, then, is the ethics, morals, and lifestyle of Jesus. It is livinglife 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 wefind ourselves.

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

The Church is the assembly of those who haveaccepted the Gospel of the Kingdom, who participate in the salvation of thekingdom – which includes the forgiveness of sins, adoption by God, theindwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the possession of eternal life. We are alsothose in whose life the Kingdom takes visible form, the light of the world, thesalt 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 forthose who go forth into the world as witnesses to, and participants in, God’sKingdom.

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

Becauseof the life, death, resurrection, indwelling, and power of Jesus, the Kingdomof God is here today, right now.It is our responsibility, and unspeakable privilege (God wants to useME??) as His followers to live accordingly and organize ourselves around andinvite people into the wonder and joy of a “Jesus is King and it’s fun tofollow 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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