The Kingdom of Heaven is like… Part Two

Matthew 13:31-32 (ESV)
31  He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.
32  It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

God’s kingdom may not appear to be a big thing.  On one level it does not appear as large as nation states or corporations.  But look again!  The kingdom is growing, it is becomes THE tree — the infrastructure of all of these other structures.  Travel around the world and you will find Christ followers living out kingdom values in Microsoft, Apple, New Zealand, and Egypt.

Leaders — do not just look at a map or advertising — look, rejoice, pray, lead with seeing what the Kingdom IS and what it will be becoming.


The Kingdom of Heaven is like… Part One

Jesus often spoke of his kingdom.  Over the coming week I will be posting one of his reflections from Matthew 13 each week and applying them to leaders being effective and vibrant.

Jesus saw himself as the King.  His rule was present when he lived in the flesh on earth.  His rule was extended through those who invited the king to rule over them.  He taught his followers to pray — “May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

The church is not the kingdom but it is the gathering of the Kings’s followers living in anticipation of His return.  (see I Thess 1:8-10)

For our leadership to align with God’s leadership we must have Kingdom vision.  We embrace, model and invite others to live with supreme allegiance to King Jesus and to practice the values of his kingdom.

In the weeks ahead we will look at five visuals Jesus used to remind his leaders of important truths about the kingdom.


Leadership, Questions Coaches Hear

Keep Revisiting What is Most Important to God In Your Leadership

As you read the Bible keep asking, “What is important to God?”  What is HE doing?  How is HE doing it?  What keeps coming up over and over as people make their journey through life with God?

*** Here is what is on my list

1.  Invest in people — God loves them. Christ died for them.  The Holy Spirit resides in every Christ follower.  Let a lot of other stuff go and focus on people.

2.  Pray.  Pray about everything.  Pray all the time.  Pray with thanksgiving.  God works in and around praying people.  The primary way to build ownership by people is by praying with them.  What we pray about moves to the top of our planning, spending and obeying.  Prayer drills into the heart.  Prayer takes me into a throne room partnership with the triune God.

3.  Measure my life by — making Christ followers who make other Christ followers.

4.  Settle for nothing else than the church in loving unity and celebrating diversity.  Tear down any walls and build bridges across racial and ethical divides of a sinful and broken world.  The Gospel is powerful enough to take enemies and bring them into one family… live that out!

RoyAllBlacksTMay2010-e1295093522512What is on your list?



DSCN2276Every person requires a reason to exist larger than him/her self.

This is also true for families, churches, small groups.  You have probably joined a new small group that started with everyone telling their favorite stories and sharing their favorite recipes.  But after a few meetings attendance begins to decline and engagement drops off.  One big reason that occurs is the group failed to focus on a clear reason for existing that was bigger than just the group.

Do not neglect the principle of “impact” of “bearing fruit” of “making a difference” to help you go to bed satisfied you are investing what God has entrusted to you.

Clarify — maybe write it down in a covenant with the group — What is our reason to exist that is larger than our group?

Healthy Leaders, Leadership, Questions Coaches Hear

How Do Leaders Experience the Life God Wants to Give?

2011-11-14 04.43.07God wants people to be ALIVE

Joyfully alive

Abundantly alive

Grace-filled alive

Personally connected via the Holy Spirit resurrection life

So what is essential to experiencing the LIFE God wants to give?

Read Psalm 131:1-3 (ESV) 

1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. 2  But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. 3  O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.

Implied in this Psalm is a subtle truth.  The stuff essential to being alive must come from outside of me.

It is true physically.  No food, no water, no air = no life

It is true emotionally.  No love, no hope, no goals = no life

It is true mentally.  No words, no images, no sounds = no life

We are infants trusting God to give our souls what they need to live.

Leaders enjoy and help others enjoy God’s menu for spiritual life.

What are you discovering to be the water, food and air for the soul that God provides for his children?

Leadership, Questions Coaches Hear

How Does God Encourage Younger Leaders?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy son just turned 28.  I learn more from Mark than anyone else in the circle of my life.  He is a young biblical leader with wisdom well beyond his years.  Recently I wrote him a letter as a gift of encouragement.  WHAT COULD I OFFER AS A BLESSING TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS IN THE CHURCH?

This chapter is to be part of a book  to honor Robertson McQuilkin; a friend and mentor.

Are you a leader under 30?  Please let me know what you think?

Do you know a young leader?  Share this article with them and let me know what it stirs up in your conversation.

God is a life giving leader.  I want to invest the rest of my life in the next generation of leaders —- seeing them receiving and giving the life of Christ.


Leadership, Questions Coaches Hear

How Should I Lead in Such Uncertain Times?

Biblical leaders live as ones who know the future.

We are on the leading edge of the most dramatic change in human history.

IF,,, Jesus came the first time born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross to demonstrate God’s love, raised from the dead, and ascended to the Father — what is next?

God is not finished.

Christ is returning.  That is the vision for every Christian.  We all shout with the apostle John, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”

The kingdom is real, it is coming and we have tastes of it now in every redeemed heart indwelt by the Spirit.

The kingdom is coming and the clusters of Christ followers all around the world we call the church are to be led to be an appetizer for the coming banquet.

Pray for the kingdom to come.  Lead today toward the kingdom.

What are the King’s values?

What are the King’s priorities?

What does the King love?

How does the King view his followers?

Align your leadership with the heart of the King and let nothing or no one stop you from influencing others to join you.

Leadership, Questions Coaches Hear

What is the best soil for fruitful ministry?


Ministry flows along lines of relationship.

Frequently God works in and through mining your network of relationships to provide you with open hearts.  Into these hearts we sow the grace and truth we have received from God.  The fruit we long to see is a heart expressing itself in faith, hope and love.

Looking for your next assignment?  God may use your relational network.

Looking for a safe person to process your journey?  God may use someone you know or may introduce you to someone who can be a good active listener.

Looking for opportunities to help a person move closer to Christ?  Start with praying through your known and then take steps into sowing into new relationships.


Tell me what you are learning?

Healthy Leaders, Leadership, Questions Coaches Hear

How Do We SEE the People We Lead?

Ministry leaders cease to be LIFE GIVING when they see people as problems rather than as God sees them.
Complaining and THANK FILLED, PRAISE SATURATED, FAITH SEEN PRAYERS do not mix together well.
Notice how these leaders describe and pray for the people entrusted to them.
Romans 16:19 ESV For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.

2 Corinthians 7:4 ESV I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

Philippians 1:3-7 ESV I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 ESV For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.

Philemon 1:7 ESV For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.

REFLECT: Would it help for you to paraphrase these biblical words into your expressions of encouragement and prayer this week?