It’s a new year! I realize I haven’t written in this blog in about seven months, and so much has happened. I married my amazing wife, bought a house, among many other things! I finished reading a great book, but more on that later. Today, I’m starting this new season of posts with a commentary on creating Kingdom culture.
“Culture” is actually a fairly new sociological concept, but we can trace its roots all the way back to when groups of people started to move as one, for whatever reason. Personally, I love looking at different church cultures, the different ways people experience and live out the heart of God. I love seeing groups that are committed to holiness, prayer, worship, healing, discipleship, evangelism, training, the prophetic, all on different levels. But it’s all good! I love seeing people encouraging each other in the things of God, and that’s ultimately what makes culture happen.
Let’s dive in! In my research, I found two definitions of culture:
An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning
- The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization, or group
Capacity for thought and learning
Reading into the first definition, we find a dependency for creating a supernatural culture: the individual capacity for spiritual learning. This is the renewed mind of each individual. A willingness to repent, to change both the way we act and what we believe, is key. At our core, we as members of the body of Christ must receive the Holy Spirit. He teaches us to repent, “to say no to ungodliness.” He opens our eyes, and He produces virtuous fruit in our lives. (One incredible thing about spiritual learning is that we don’t need a huge intellect to comprehend the things of God. Small children can understand. People with extreme brain injuries can receive a renewed mind, because it’s ultimately a miraculous gift.)
Set of shared… everything
Looking at the second definition, we find an action point in creating culture: sharing. Under this model, those of us who have more must give to those who have less. It’s the process of creating a culture of love and generosity. For example: the Apostles laid hands on new believers, and they received the Holy Spirit(Acts 8:17). Evangelism is simply the sharing of the good news of Jesus. Reading in Acts 2:42-47, we find that the church had “everything in common,” because they were devoted to learning and sharing with each other. There’s joy in the midst of it all. It’s a beautiful thing.
Carrying His heart
A key in Kingdom Culture is faith–really believing what we believe. But faith in what? As Christians, we know that our faith is in God, His love for us, the gift of Salvation in Christ, forgiveness of our sin. We must believe in Jesus, and not only that, but shape our entire value system around Him as Lord. So, if Jesus is Lord of our group of people, and we call Him that, if God is our Father, and we call him that, we should value the things that are on God’s heart. What does He value, and what are His goals for humanity? Righteousness and holiness; freedom from sin, sickness, hopelessness and bondage. Maturity. Intimacy. Power. Humility. Love.
To spread culture, spiritual leaders must model their faith publicly. Full of the Holy Spirit and unashamed of the good news of Jesus(His death and resurrection, present lordship and coming reign as everlasting King), they act out of the value they have for Him and His Kingdom. Sharing these values produces discipleship, which produces more mature leaders, able to skillfully share as well(2 Tim. 2:2). If done well, this produces exponential growth of Jesus’ Kingdom/Family.
More to come!
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”–2 Timothy 2:2