The kingdom pattern as a rhythm of life

January 9, 2020

As disciples and churches, it is a great privilege to be on mission with God in building His kingdom to the ends of the earth. Every day we should want to be a part of kingdom advances in some way. According to the Great Commission, a large part of living for the kingdom is to help other disciples also live for the kingdom, and in doing so, to teach them to keep the movement going. We’ve heard this before: make disciples that make disciples. This sounds like the right goal, but how do we get there? Are there any helpful rhythms that we should implement? Since Jesus gave us the Great Commission, is there anything we can learn from Him about the discipleship process?

Looking at the life of Jesus, there seem to be six key factors to advancing the kingdom: abiding in Christ, entering new fields of peoples and places, sowing the seed of the gospel, cultivating the growth of the fruit from seed-sowing, gathering the fruit together, and developing leaders throughout the process to do the same. We see these factors over and over throughout the Gospels, and then later in the life of Paul — particularly during his three missionary journeys. This process is not always strictly linear, but it generally flows in the direction of entry, gospel, grow, and gather, with abiding in Christ as the foundation, and leadership development happening throughout.

If this is the pattern of kingdom growth we see in Scripture, then this is the pattern that we need to reproduce in disciple-making. But how? We tell our people often to go and make disciples. While many of them are not necessarily opposed to the idea, they just haven’t seen what it looks like so they are not sure what to reproduce. What if instead of simply telling people to try to reproduce these six factors, we refined and developed rhythms in our churches that acted as pathways for reproducing the kingdom pattern?

One way to think about this is through the entry field. When we encourage someone to make disciples, we usually have in mind that they will start with people they already know like family and friends. However, the entry field is made up of people we know, as well as people we don’t know. An effective strategy churches can implement is to focus on a group of people that is foreign to them. This not only allows them to reach the unreached, but it also models for church members what it means to make disciples for the kingdom, allowing other church members to reproduce the same process with people they do know.

Choose a place (like an apartment complex or a neighborhood), enter that place, build relationships and sow seeds of the gospel, disciple the fruit, and gather the new disciples. This takes time, so create as many opportunities as possible to enable people to be involved in every part of the process. Be patient and watch God work. Then, release people to carry out the same process with others. This is not the only way, but it is a way to push back darkness and advance God’s kingdom wherever God has us.


by Andrew Ivester 
/  Pastor  / Faith Baptist Durham

15 vital things you can give your pastor

October is pastor appreciation month. As a pastor for 25 years, here are some ideas for things your church can give your pastor:Give him a place.Give him a place where he is free to preach the gospel.Give him a place where he is accepted for who he is, not compared to who he...

Why I’m excited about this year’s Pastors’ Conference

The past year has been difficult. The world we live in today looks quite different than it did just 18 months ago. Many things we were accustomed to doing have either disappeared, been restricted, or have changed, for better or worse. One of the biggest changes was the separation...

The local school: A great place for church ministry

For the most part I really enjoyed school. However, there were some aspects of the time that I enjoyed more than others. I enjoyed the learning, the socialization, and of course, the sports. I found most of the assignments manageable with the exception of writing papers. Sitting...

Ready or not, here they come! Evaluating your church with fresh eyes

Is your church ready for guests who may visit your church after first watching online? Are you ready for members who may return after an extended COVID-19 break? What steps can you take to make a great first impression and reintegrate those who want to reengage with your...

Why personal evangelism is a key ingredient for turnaround churches

Many pastors and churches today are struggling. Pastors are discouraged, and some are leaving the ministry altogether. It’s been estimated that more than 80% of churches are plateaued or declining. Yet, some churches are seeing a turnaround. A fresh wind is blowing. These churches...

Looking forward to being on mission together

In late August, a series of organizational changes were unanimously approved by our state convention’s executive committee aimed at advancing all of us forward as a movement of churches on mission together. We’ve been working toward implementing these changes, and I hope that our...

Fostering and adoption: Why forever matters

“Which one is my mommy now?” I never imagined a child asking someone to point out who their mother was. However, the little blonde-haired girl named Ally, who I was holding that day, had already lived with three different families in the span of 15 months since she and her sister...

10 principles for leading in church revitalization

Many churches in our world today are in deep need of revitalization. In order to lead your church in revitalization, there are some basic principles you must follow. Here are 10 principles for a revitalizer: Be humble. You must swallow your pride, humble yourself and love even...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!