The Attractional Lifestyle Of The Kingdom 1
If you are involved in church/ministry leadership, I am sure you are aware of the reported condition of North American Christendom and the traditional church structure. While there may be a couple of organizations that claim growth, as a whole, Christendom or the traditional organized church is on a steady decline. In fact, there are those who are labeling our culture now as post-christian. Whatever you may think, I believe most of us would say ministry is much more challenging today that just a few years ago.
We live in a culture where many individuals are spiritually hungry, especially among those under thirty. However, this hunger has not resulted in what we typically call church growth. In fact, many of these hungry people are not interested in organized religion or church: in fact, many are actually turned off by traditional church.
Depending upon whom you listen to, there are numerous ideas as to why people have lost interest in church today; one of the biggest reasons being – the actions of those who call themselves Christian. Gandhi is reported as saying; “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” This could be the statement made by many people today, especially the younger generation or those labeled the Millenniums.
Some of the common complaints about Christians are that they are:
Hypocritical, judgmental and their acts of serving or “evangelism” are agenda based. It is also noted by many researchers that there is little difference in the behavior of Christians and non-christians in areas such as divorce and charitable giving as well as minimal differences in how they define success and pursue materialism. On the other hand, my interaction with the younger generation reveals a high value placed on attributes such as transparency, authenticity, compassion, community and purpose.
While this cultural shift has created challenges for traditional ministry, I believe there is actually a silver lining to this cloud. What is exciting to me is that this time of spiritual tension is actually creating the scenario that will allow Kingdom disciples to make an impact on these hungry individuals. There is a true kingdom lifestyle, based on a transformational process of restoration and incarnational demonstration, (Incarnational refers to the belief that Christians are to function as Jesus Christ to humanity and represent the incarnated Word of God to all people) which will answer the complaints and fulfill the spiritual longing of these anti Christians. There is a lifestyle of the Kingdom that actually can be truly attractive.
According to one source, the definition of attract is:
1. to draw to oneself by conspicuous behavior or appearance
2. to exert a force that tends to cause an approach or oppose a separation:
3. to possess some property that pulls or draws (something) towards itself
4. to exert a pleasing, alluring, or fascinating influence (upon); be attractive (to)
To be attractional means that by our behavior, both in word and deed, creates a compelling force, if you will, that draws others.
There is a lifestyle of kingdom living that will be so different that it will actually draw others to become a part of it. Because this lifestyle is based on discipleship and a relationship with Jesus, the behavior is not legalistic or fake. It is a manifestation of what Jesus has done for and in us. It is a genuine incarnational demonstration, based on an intimate relationship. The results ~ a lifestyle so radically different from the world's values that it attracts the spiritually hungry!
It is my plan to start a series of Kingdom Notes, which describes the unique lifestyle of the Kingdom. Using the Sermon On The Mount, we will explore Jesus' teaching regarding a spiritual transformation of character that produces a distinctive lifestyle. It is my firm conviction that should we begin to live in a way that is an embodiment of the nature of Jesus, we will actually become attractive to others; thus the title – The Attractional Lifestyle of the Kingdom. In past teaching sessions on this topic, the Lord has ministered healing and restoration to His people. Truly living the Kingdom lifestyle is one of transformation and empowerment that makes our King and His kingdom attractional.
To begin, the next note I will lay the foundation of what the Kingdom is. Looking forward to your input.
Dr Martin lives in St Louis MO, with his wife Ava and their dog Zoe. His ministry focus is the principles of Kingdom Authority that empower believers to use their spiritual gifts, demonstrating the miraculous power of Jesus and his kingdom. The results: increased faith and the potential for greater revival and harvest. He is available to speak to your local assembly, organization or ministry. For more information, check us out here
 There are many authors who have researched and written about this. One such is ...... UnChristian