Why do you think Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Our Father in heaven…Your kingdom come?” What do you think we are saying whenever we pray this prayer? And what is the relationship between our prayer and our practice?
It’s all about God’s kingdom
I’ve counted the word “kingdom” 62 times in the New Testament. I read them all. Every verse is about God and his kingdom. In these verses, the kingdom is expressed in many ways: the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, His kingdom, Your kingdom, the kingdom, My kingdom, the Father’s kingdom, the kingdom of the Son, eternal kingdom, and heavenly kingdom.
Isn’t it all about God? But in our specific assignments and organizational roles, we are sometimes tempted to say my denomination, my church, my mission agency or my country.
By praying “Your kingdom come,” we declare that we belong to, long for, and live for God’s kingdom. As we work together through GACX, the kingdom of God is our greatest motivation. We see beyond our individual organizations and temporary places to work for the kingdom.
It’s an amazing kingdom
As I read through those biblical references, I was indeed overwhelmed by the characteristics of the kingdom. To this kingdom, people will come from every corner of the world – from every tribe, tongue, people and nation. The only requirement is for people to sign up for it by putting their faith in Jesus Christ, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who repent of their sins.
Kingdoms of this world come and go, but the kingdom of God is everlasting. Earthly kingdoms may experience conflicts, oppression, and destructive wars but the kingdom of heaven is of power, righteousness, peace, joy, and glory. The kingdom of God is expensive and precious than anything, but the price has already been paid for when Jesus was nailed on the cross of Calvary. However, it demands total commitment, consistent faithfulness, holy attitude, and righteous actions. What a great privilege for us to be a part of this amazing kingdom!
Using the temporary for the everlasting
As Christians, the positions we hold, the resources we manage, the relationships we build, and the actions we take while on earth are all temporary but have eternal significance. It takes wisdom and spiritual maturity to use every possible resource under our care as opportunities to contribute to the kingdom.
This means I must love and accept as my church every church that proclaims Jesus. I must lift-up every mission agency committed to the Great Commission. I must do whatever I can to help any kingdom worker succeed — whether or not they belong to my organization.
Such an attitude can take many forms. My team in Cru’s Global Church Movements believes that God’s kingdom is bigger than our organization. Over the past few years, God has led our team to give over $500,000 to partner organizations. We didn’t do this because we had excess funds. Rather, we wanted to see the kingdom resources entrusted to care used for maximum fruitfulness. But there’s more to it than money. Kingdom partnerships are built on an understanding that everything — finances, people, materials, and more — belongs to the King.
This is why GACX is important: Creating Kingdom-focused partnerships which will establish one healthy, multiplying church for every 1,000 people. Wherever people are, that’s where God’s kingdom needs to come.
Please join us and build partnerships towards “kingdom come” at the GACX Global Forum
this October 10-13 in Minneapolis! It’s a unique opportunity to learn from and collaborate with one another, to love and live for the kingdom, and to collectively pray “Your kingdom come!”
Bekele Shanko is the global vice presiden for Global Church Moments at Campus Crusade for Christ International (Cru), working in over 150 countries to build movements of multiplying churches and faith communities. A native of Ethiopia, he has served as Cru’s National Director of Ethiopia and Regional Director of Southern and Eastern Africa. Bekele is the President of GACX and leads the church planting focus for Finishing the Task.