The Sacrifice of Destiny: Passion for God’s Purpose

When we read the story of Jesus and His disciples, we observe personal passion in conflict with Divine purpose. Jesus calls the disciples to join in His assignment, but they continue to measure their involvement in His assignment in terms of “what’s in it for me?” This is the Judas spirit in action, a spiritual condition that positions Judas to betrayal action, selling Jesus out for “whatever I can get.” Judas never submitted to Jesus’ assignment although he was obedience to Jesus agenda.

When Jesus announces at the Last Supper that one of them would betray Him, all the disciples recognize the same spiritual condition working in them and reply, “Lord, am I the one?”

Why do they all ask this question? What whispers in their heart and shouts from their lips, what sudden awareness of their own “what’s in it for me?” When Jesus reveals what He knows, they are all concerned that He is aware of their hidden agendas for personal gain. They have had a deep ambition to make the ascendancy of Jesus as Messiah into a launching pad for their own destinies, failing to discern that only in greater submission to God’s purpose lies the only and best pathway to fulfilling what-God-wants, what He created them to be and called them to do.

Misunderstanding Judas

Looking back through the filter of Judas’ despair and death, we are prone to view Judas as the sum total of betrayal. Jesus was identifying more than the actions of Judas when He announced that one of them would betray Him. Jesus was opening the closet and pulling out the drawer in which each of the disciples stored protected treasures of betrayal.

Any sentiment of the soul that sacrifices God’s purpose for personal destiny betrays the Creator.

Too strong for the modern believer? Perhaps, but the issue remains no different from any generation beginning with Adam and Eve in terms of the issues that surround the assignment of man. In order to properly represent God in the earth, submission must be a partner of obedience. Obedience without submission is the cardinal doctrine of “what’s in it for me?” Herein lies the test of Job, Abraham, David, and Jesus – yes, Jesus was tested in this way in an ultimate sense.

“Although He was a Son, yet learned He obedience by His passion and finished His preparation as the Source of everlasting salvation to all those who obey Him.” [See Hebrews 5:8]

Where’s the submission in this message? Submission underlies the process completely because His obedience was never geared to get Him what He wanted but to get Father what Father wanted. The passionate suffering – and note well that all the definitions of suffering for kingdom leaders are a measurement of passion – revealed the perfect submission of Jesus by producing perfect obedience. In this way, He was perfected. In other words, submission produces perfect obedience through passion in ways that perfect the person with the assignment: they can only finish the assignment when they become the person who can finish. The process of perfection is one measured by passionate submission, and at some point, the process will demand everything.

We misunderstand Judas and the spiritual condition behind his actions. Every disciple had an awareness of betrayal because they recognize when Jesus announced the betrayal that their obedience wasn’t based upon tested submission. They were still wondering “what’s in it for me?”

Sacrifice Destiny to Fulfill It

At some point, God will demand the total sacrifice of your destiny to His purpose so He can put that destiny into a person perfectly prepared to fulfill it.

Until that moment, some measure of Judas lurks in the closet drawer where the secrets of the soul are stored. Certainly, God has visited that depository previous to the test that arrives, the test that will measure the priorities of our passion.

God tested Abraham. “Abraham, take your son, your only son…” God is fully aware that Isaac is destiny fulfillment for Abraham’s assignment. The test of faith is always the test of faithfulness.

When the revelation of destiny arrives, God will ask for destiny to die, a seed planted in His purpose that can never take root, grow up, branch out, produce fruit, and become mature fruit until it has died. The vision comes. The vision dies. The vision is resurrected for fulfillment. To fight the death of your vision is to withhold the only sacrifice that can prepare you and the vision for fulfillment.

Strategy Trumps Unity

To realize the highest unity, we often sacrifice the very reason why we seek it. Kingdom has purpose and strategy as a basis for unity. We need to pursue kingdom unity.  To do so, we must being with kingdom.

We see unity in the Upper Room. Unless we are careful in our thinking, we assume that the “one accord in one place” means that the mere assembly of people together was unity. However, they reason behind the unity was kingdom, purpose, and strategy that they received from Jesus.

From the first appearance of Jesus after His Resurrection, “He showed Himself to His disciples” and spent 40 days on the principle of accumulating believers, the first church growth manual was printed by this initial church growth conference…oops, wait a minute, He spent the entire 40 days talking about the kingdom of God. So much so that the disciples were excited enough about kingdom to ask if He was going to restore the kingdom now to Israel. (That perspective would limit them for another 17 years.)

Jesus answers, “Not your business. Father’s business.” Begin with kingdom, Father is in charge of seasons. We learn that who and what, concerning kingdom, has a seasonal aspect that Father keeps in His own hands.

“Tarry in Jerusalem until you receive power from on high.” That’s the culmination of 40 days of kingdom discussions. Purpose: kingdom. Strategic: Tarry until you are empowered from heaven. Unity: waiting for the promise that will empower them to fulfill the purpose.

Our efforts at unity seldom begin with kingdom, lack a kingdom purpose, and usually have little or no strategy from God that answers to Father’s seasons.

Getting everybody on board is another symptom of our faulty definition of ekklesia. First, we assume Ecclesia has little to do with kingdom because kingdom is future. Second, we assume Ecclesia is “the accumulation of believers.” Third, we assume that unity means “bringing all the influential pastors together.” Fourth, we assume that “fellowship” means “have another cup of java and act like you respect me even when you think my doctrine is devilish.”

Little in this echoes Jesus’ words, deeds, patterns, intentions, or strategies. When some moment of kingdom strategy does break through, all the pastors are not on board, and the critical mass of Awakening always flows through a Remnant with a radical agenda because they have a strategy based upon a kingdom purpose.

Inevitably, the church growth definitions interpret the break through in their own terms or frame of reference, emptying the break through of kingdom, purpose, and strategy with pious words about more accumulations.

Unity doesn’t mean accumulation in Jesus’ leadership model, kingdom purpose, or implementation strategy. His blueprints do not call for high rises as much as deep foundations, strong walls, and living stones assembled without hammer or saw, shaped and finished at the quarry before assembly.

Ten thousand people praying “Lord, I lay me down to sleep” won’t change a nation! One person with kingdom purpose and strategy can stop an entire culture in its tracks, call fire from heaven, and shift the culture through confrontation. The point being, they were all in one accord one place with a promise based upon a kingdom purpose that would release them into a kingdom strategy. No one in the upper room assumed that anointing was enough.

Immediately the power produced the purpose, kingdom grew by several thousand, and “they devoted themselves to the apostle’s didache, taking a share as shareholders of a purpose and strategy, ate together, and prayed together.” The purpose remained the focus of the strategy, and the apostles set about teaching what Jesus had shared during those 40 days as a basis for understanding everything He had said and done up to His Resurrection.

This means that Ecclesia is a called together assembly of people born into the kingdom who have a shareholder stake in the purpose and strategy of the kingdom, learning to love and honor one another through consistent face to face encounters, so they can pray with shared purpose and strategy.

Strategy trumps unity because being unified about something other than the what-Father-wants in any season runs contrary to kingdom purpose.

Mini-movements: What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Maturing mini-movements offer structures for simple spiritual strategies that every member of the Body can understand, practice, and perpetuate. As mini-movements form, they plant both seeds of success and failure at their inceptions. Maintaining a strategic focus upon what produces “success,” with an equal vigilance toward minimizing “failures,” challenges all leaders, and has particular bearing upon the function of mini-movement leaders.

As with all leaders, mini-movement leaders make decisions and solve problems. What’s begun must be both maintained toward maturity and systematically and continuously improved as it expands. Without maturing leadership that matures the mini-movement, God’s originating purpose becomes a sideline or may be lost altogether.

Immediately a mini-movement forms, some aspect of its purpose will face an adversarial method designed to move it toward distraction with a greater aim to pervert it completely with substitution. That is, the enemy works to distract from accomplishing the mini-movement’s kingdom assignment. Its kingdom assignment, continuously and progressively expanding toward its completion, will contribute to a regional or national kingdom movement, so the enemy of kingdom purpose immediately employs an “anything but that” method, at the time of inception, to distract from or substitute for God’s originating purpose of the mini-movement.

As mini-movements grow, they gain attention. Growth generates interpretive efforts; good people filter the mini-movement through their personal experience or emphasis because they lack the fuller understanding of the mini-movement’s origination purpose. In this way, a valid emphasis or experience becomes an exaggerated emphasis or defining experience. The effort to make some emphasis or experience into a principle expands through discussion about and descriptions of the mini-movement. Often, the exaggeration is all that is necessary to jettison God’s originating purpose of the mini-movement, cross-pollinating the seeds with other spiritual species altering the fruit of the originating purpose.

Kingdom mini-movements, like the kingdom movement itself, require strong leaders. The leader’s responsibility is not to control the move of God but to guarantee no one else controls it. By maintaining priority upon God’s originating purpose, against all efforts to capture the mini-movement’s momentum for other distractions or substitution, kingdom leaders encounter good people with false expectations. They find themselves attacked by the enemies of the kingdom and by good people disappointed the mini-movement hasn’t met their expectations.

God will always anoint and grace His purposes. Sometimes strong leaders exert such strong responses to maintain God’s originating purposes that they develop leadership syndromes that become distractions or substitutions within themselves. Mini-movements are always susceptible to personality-centric leadership; and immediately a personality overtakes the purpose, the mini-movement becomes dysfunctional in terms of its part within the kingdom movement.

As mini-movements grow and mature, increased influence produces analysis and reaction, writing, teaching, interpretation, application, and projections about them increase, and the leaders must continuously clarify purpose as the volume of voices increases. Merely having “great meetings” or “experiencing His presence” on a regular basis does not properly define God’s originating purpose or fully reveal the blueprint for maturing the mini-movement.

Overreaction to criticism diverts or drains mini-movements of energy that would otherwise be invested in their defining purposes. Inadequate leadership turns the mini-movement slightly or significantly when it fails to solve problems or remains too weak to provide mini-movements long-range strategies that mature the mini-movements so they fulfill their assignments and blend that fulfilled purpose with the kingdom movement.

Mini-movements require increasingly maturing leadership in order to maintain the momentum. Maturing mini-movements requires a clear and firm grasp of God’s originating purpose and how mini-movements fit into a broader kingdom movement. An inherent challenge arises in this scenario because many people fail to accept the idea that mini-movements originate to do what might take decades instead of days to accomplish.

Revival movements may continue for five or ten years, but cultural reformation requires more than one spiritual generation.

1 – Everything God does requires more than one spiritual generation to accomplish, and every mini-movement’s purpose has kingdom strategies for the next generation.

Leaders often miss the difference between growth and maturity leaning toward the idea that accumulation of adherents trumps maturing leaders. The move to “feed the momentum with more people” leads to aberrations because mini-movements tend to sacrifice purpose for popularity to accumulate.

Answering the question, “How do we feed the momentum?” with strategies to increase numbers will nearly always redefine mini-movements with emphases that separate them from God’s originating purpose. The temptation to assume that any one mini-movement carries the entire or dominant burden for kingdom expansion often moves the leaders to make claims, infer, or preach some version of the “if only’s.” The “if only’s” message has various versions of “if only everyone would join our mini-movement we would finally succeed in establishing the kingdom on earth.”

Jesus established kingdom as a leadership strategy to transforms cultures. Jesus established His kingdom as a leadership strategy to bring the leadership of heaven into the earth. The kingdom has a strategy called leadership. Kingdom leadership has a strategy called discipling. Discipling has a strategy called fathering.

Therefore, to understand His originating purpose for mini-movements, leaders must understand the “highest and best” in terms of producing new kingdom leaders who can do what they do and then do it greater. Mini-movements begin with leaders. The maturity of mini-movements measures the maturity of new leaders who can produce the purposes of the mini-movements and bring those purposes into the greater kingdom movement.

2 – Mini-movements mature God’s originating purposes, not methods, manifestations, mechanisms.

Checklists or training that perpetuates or maintains methods or manifestations do not mature mini-movements and distort the purposes of mini-movements, often to the point of producing errors. Another form of the “if only’s” may be the “if only everyone would do this like we do, the kingdom would be established.”

Evangelistic mini-movements assume that “getting everybody saved” would finish the job. Worship movements assume that “getting everybody involved in 24-7 worship” will finish the job. Prayer mini-movements assume “getting everybody to pray” will finish the job. Revival mini-movements assume that “getting everybody into our revival” will finish the job. Doctrinal mini-movements assume that “getting everybody to think what we think” will finish the job. (Of course, the “everybody” in these scenarios does not always mean “everybody.”)

3 – Mini-movements often lose their originating purpose and fail to mature leaders who can bring that purpose to maturity as part of a greater kingdom movement.

Mini-movements must mature individuals at a personal level while maturing leaders to function at the scope and level of God’s originating purpose and the mini-movement’s assignment. Every kingdom leader should function at an international level even though every kingdom leader may not have an international assignment. If the mini-movement has purpose to influence a culture, it must mature leaders who can influence culture at the level as the assignment. The mini-movement must mature leaders who can blend the mini-movement with the greater kingdom movement.

The mini-movement cannot assume that merely increasing the number of people who appear interested or involved will mature the mini-movement. With few exceptions, defining the mini-movement’s success with numbers moves it off center, leans it toward some identifying marker that distorts, diverts, or defeats the originating purpose.

Mini-movements must recognize that God’s originating purpose demands an alignment with the greater kingdom movement, that the mini-movement cannot be an end-all, all-inclusive, or “this will fix everything” assignment. The inability of the mini-movement’s leaders to blend the mini-movement into that greater kingdom purpose eventually subverts the mini-movement’s purpose to some distraction or substitution. The mini-movement begins to major on minors.

4 – Mini-movements must adapt to expressions of God’s originating purpose that allow for new leaders and greater team leadership experience and expertise.

Mini-movements make room for new leaders and the chemistry changes these emerging and existing maturing leaders bring to the maturing mini-movements. As long as the originating purpose remains pure, the expanding mini-movement’s influence and impact remains contingent upon maturing existing and emerging leaders, and these leaders bring a new chemistry and leadership dynamic to the maturing mini-movement. Mini-movement mature when there are new leaders, and both the existing and emerging leaders continue to mature as leaders. (Merely maturing personally will not mature the mini-movement.)

Because all mini-movements originate purposes for the greater kingdom movement, their maturity is measured by the fulfilling of purpose. Through the preparation and positioning of new leaders and maturing those leaders to function at the level and scope of the mini-movement’s purpose, maturing mini-movements make room for expansion and establishing of the kingdom. The maturity of new leaders will tend toward inclusion of the greater kingdom movement, bringing aspects and emphases to the mini-movements that blend their assignments into the greater movement of Christ’s kingdom. Perhaps we could assume that the more mature the mini-movement, the more it blends into the greater kingdom movement.

No one mini-movement can properly expect to “finish the job” (of fulfilling its originating purpose) except as it functions within the greater kingdom blueprint Jesus has for the region, nation, or nations. No cookie-cutter mold punches out the kind of leaders that feed the momentum of mini-movements. The maturity of the mini-movements leaders and new leaders introducing new chemistry means that mini-movement change as they mature. The changes maturing mini-movements experience reveal how their originating purposes serve the greater kingdom purpose.

5 – Mini-movements do not prepare and produce traditions or insider lingo and clichés, turn into subcultures that limit their participation in the establishing and expansion of kingdom culture.

While there may be legitimate identifiers for mini-movements because of particular spiritual manifestations or demonstrations that mark them in process and performance, none of these markers become traditions without negating the originating purposes at some level or even eclipsing them altogether. Particular care should be taken to avoid producing an insider communication collection composed of unique defined terms. Some mini-movements require indoctrination as a basis for participation; many erroneously identify this indoctrination process with discipling. Merely saying a word – “confession,” “fire,” “more,” “drink,” “sovereign,” “manifested,” “dimensions,” or “enthusiasms” – produces the need for an insider vocabulary lesson. This moves the mini-movement away from the greater kingdom agenda by creating a subculture more than producing kingdom culture. When mini-movements properly mature, they become more and more closely aligned with the greater kingdom movement.

Mini-movements that turn campaigns into end games activate turn signals that divert them into detours or dead ends. Maturing the original leaders does not mature the mini-movement, and maturing a campaign, no matter how mature that campaign may be, does not mature the mini-movement or help fulfill God’s originating purpose. Only maturing kingdom leaders can do that.

Traditions often mean that the present leaders “reap the rewards” of the mini-movements instead of sowing those spiritual resources into future generations. Mini-movements that become like private foundations collecting kingdom resources to support their favorite issues or initiatives become historical markers and attract people with spiritual nostalgia instead of kingdom leadership.

A mini-movement may produce a university to perpetuate a personality, practice a methodology, further explain a viewpoint, or attempt to bring a systematic to a doctrinal distinctive in order to establish a tradition; in doing so, it stores the harvest in bigger barns instead of investing the harvest in an expanded farm.

To avoid the immaturity or regression of a mini-movement, leaders must mature new leaders and allow their leadership maturity to expand the assignment, align that assignment with the greater kingdom movement, and develop a level of expertise and experience within the mini-movement that serves to mature its place in the international kingdom movement.

Blueprint Leaders, Take Your Places!

We need some blueprint leaders in America! We need foundational leaders in our nation! We need someone who can step up to another level and bring a kingdom schematic to the mini-movements that will produce something we can build on. While it is certain that we have blueprints leaders, the blueprints they possess for mini-movements are incomplete. We need master builders with a “whole culture” approach.

When mini-movements lack a connection to a cultural blueprint, they exaggerate the importance and completeness the blueprints they possess, some even to the point of producing a finished product and calling it “the whole thing” when it is one room of the house. Mini-movements are subcontractors, so to speak, who build systems that support the whole thing, but they are simply a kitchen or a bathroom or a living room that needs to be fitted into the broader kingdom movement.

Where are the blueprint leaders with a fuller set of plans? We need them to expand their leadership priorities beyond the development of a legacy or finishing their life’s work independent of the greater architecture of the kingdom. We need them to think beyond a “if I do my part” mentality. We need them to reconsider the concept that” God will make it happen if we are all faithful individually to our assignments.” God has a strategy to fit those assignments together, but if God were going to do it, it would already be done!

Jesus has a blueprint for the entire universe, including this planet. However, His strategy for the kingdom movement has been given to men. Jesus had the keys but He gave them to men. Jesus is the Leader but He ascended and gave leaders to men. Jesus has power and authority but He gives power and authority to men. Jesus has blueprints for every culture but He gives those blueprints to men.

Blueprint leaders, fill the empty places and roll out a fuller set of blueprints that prepares and positions the mini-movement into a kingdom movement.

Shake the Dust Off

Today, some of my dear Brasilian friends prophesied to me. The prophetic action was to wash the dust of the past off my feet. God has been speaking to me about residue, and I’ve been seeking a deeper insight into Jesus’ instructions to His sent kingdom representatives. “Shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”

Jesus gave them assignment. If the assignment was rejected, they should understand that the assignment responsibility was relieved. They were not responsible for the city if rejection of the Message was obvious and obstinate. They should walk away and take nothing with them, give themselves to remaining priorities, and expend no more emotional energy on the city.

This doesn’t mean Jesus wouldn’t continue to reach out to them with a different strategy. It did mean the sent ones were relieved of their responsibility.

Dust residue can bring foot sores when you proceed to future assignments.

When Israel came out of Egypt they wandered. The dust of the desert, shifting sands of temporary preparation, were not the place to put down roots.

So, I shouldn’t leave any root system in desert places awaiting a rain that was never coming. I should plant deeply in the soil of my inheritance. I shouldn’t carry the dust of forgotten places when God’s assignments move me on to fertile soils.

I’m not a quitter. I never give up on people even when they give up on themselves and blame me for quitting. However, some residues interfere with healthy leadership and kingdom assignments. John, the apostle of love, says, “They went out from us but they did not really belong with us. For if they had belonged with us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”

God never gives up on people but God certainly releases us responsibility for people with obvious obstinance. God releases us from cities who refuse to respond to the Message. At some point the grieving must end.

We must move with the movers. We must invest in true sons and daughters. Our hearts remain open for the return of prodigals. Our hearts remain fully committed to aiding our neighbors. But the example and model of Jesus reveals that we all function by assignment. We are not responsible for everyone and assignments can change.

I am certain that some of God’s great generals should have walked away and shaken dust from their feet but died in grief. Perhaps we could understand Moses’ failure at the end by his refusal or inability to shake the wilderness sand from his feet, his emotional emptiness at the continued obstinance of Israel.

Kingdom Leadership: Wisdom as Strategy

Strategy is the leader’s wisdom, the strategic blueprinting of revelation and assignment. Strategic wisdom becomes available for every leader at whatever level of leadership that leader functions. The term “wisdom” has many definitions and applications in terms of its use as a word, but the spiritual wisdom that comes from above comes to and through leaders because God invests His strategies in leaders so His strategies can be carried out or fulfilled by them.

Having information or knowledge cannot be equated with wisdom any more than having an army can be equated with victory in a battle. The term “strategy” has a historic reference to “a general” and to the concept of “spread out into placements.” Just as a general has an army he is responsible to prepare and position, kingdom leaders have revelation of God’s purpose for people and prepare and position them for function in the Body of Christ. The metaphor of war and the metaphor of the Body carry this common sense or meaning through the use of terms that describe how leaders prepare and position people to fulfill Divine strategies.

Awareness of people is not more defining of purpose than having an army provides that army a battle plan or having body parts describes a functioning physical frame. Speaking of the metaphors gives us a strong impression that God knows exactly how each warrior can be best prepared and positioned for victory, how each part of the Body can be best prepared and positioned for function, and how leaders can receive both revelation and strategies for individuals and the assembled living stones that will build the proper building.

The Bible uses metaphors to discuss these spiritual realities. Sheep. Building. Body. Army. Family. However, kingdom is not a metaphor. Ecclesia is not a metaphor. To understand the metaphors, we begin with the spiritual reality of the kingdom. Not the opposite. Obviously, believers don’t grow wool, bleat, and fatten up with mutton. The metaphor describes how shepherds function in the aspects of leadership that fit the behaviors of believers that resemble sheep. The metaphor of army doesn’t mean that believers literally arm themselves and function in ranks. The metaphor describes how generals and soldiers interact and how leadership functions in those aspects of spiritual life in which believers must fight, war, and win. The believers are not literally ears, kidneys, toes, or thyroid glands. The metaphors describe how the fivefold ministry leaders prepare and position believers to function within the spiritual systems of the Body to produce a working whole. Believers do not literally become brothers and sisters in terms of natural birth but spiritual birth that gives them the authority to be God’s children. Spiritual birthing brings them into the kingdom, according to Jesus’ words, so they can grow up in that spiritual reality. The metaphor of family allows us to understand how leadership relate to believers in terms of fathering them through relationships we can understand by natural relationships.

However, kingdom isn’t a metaphor. Kingdom is real and kingdom is actual. There is a King and He has a domain. He rules in that domain and expands and establishes that dominion through believers who are part of His kingdom. In the same sense, Ecclesia isn’t a metaphor. Believers actually assemble together when called together for kingdom purpose and assignment. They function as citizens of the kingdom in this assembled conditions and kingdom leaders function within these assemblies to prepare and position, to protect and provide, to train and set battle plans, to produce healthy relationships that produce a Body that matures and functions in wholeness and health.

So we speak of wisdom. Knowing about something isn’t wisdom. Knowing what to do with something, possessing the skill to utilize something, setting strategies that position working parts and prepared warriors, and relating to believers how revelation tells them what to do today in order to reach God’s goals tomorrow, that is wisdom.

Mini-movements Maturity

Maturing mini-movements offer structures for simple spiritual strategies that every member of the Body can understand, practice, and perpetuate. As mini-movements form, they plant both seeds of success and failure at their inceptions. Maintaining a strategic focus upon what produces “success,” with an equal vigilance toward minimizing “failures,” challenges all leaders, and has particular bearing upon the function of mini-movement leaders.

As with all leaders, mini-movement leaders make decisions and solve problems. What’s begun must be both maintained toward maturity and systematically and continuously improved as it expands. Without maturing leadership that matures the mini-movement, God’s originating purpose becomes a sideline or may be lost altogether.

Immediately a mini-movement forms, some aspect of its purpose will face an adversarial method designed to move it toward distraction with a greater aim to pervert it completely with substitution. That is, the enemy works to distract from accomplishing the mini-movement’s kingdom assignment. Its kingdom assignment, continuously and progressively expanding toward its completion, will contribute to a regional or national kingdom movement, so the enemy of kingdom purpose immediately employs an “anything but that” method, at the time of inception, to distract from or substitute for God’s originating purpose of the mini-movement.

As mini-movements grow, they gain attention. Growth generates interpretive efforts; good people filter the mini-movement through their personal experience or emphasis because they lack the fuller understanding of the mini-movement’s origination purpose. In this way, a valid emphasis or experience becomes an exaggerated emphasis or defining experience. The effort to make some emphasis or experience into a principle expands through discussion about and descriptions of the mini-movement. Often, the exaggeration is all that is necessary to jettison God’s originating purpose of the mini-movement, cross-pollinating the seeds with other spiritual species altering the fruit of the originating purpose.

Kingdom mini-movements, like the kingdom movement itself, require strong leaders. The leader’s responsibility is not to control the move of God but to guarantee no one else controls it. By maintaining priority upon God’s originating purpose, against all efforts to capture the mini-movement’s momentum for other distractions or substitution, kingdom leaders encounter good people with false expectations. They find themselves attacked by the enemies of the kingdom and by good people disappointed the mini-movement hasn’t met their expectations.

God will always anoint and grace His purposes. Sometimes strong leaders exert such strong responses to maintain God’s originating purposes that they develop leadership syndromes that become distractions or substitutions within themselves. Mini-movements are always susceptible to personality-centric leadership; and immediately a personality overtakes the purpose, the mini-movement becomes dysfunctional in terms of its part within the kingdom movement.

As mini-movements grow and mature, increased influence produces analysis and reaction, writing, teaching, interpretation, application, and projections about them increase, and the leaders must continuously clarify purpose as the volume of voices increases. Merely having “great meetings” or “experiencing His presence” on a regular basis does not properly define God’s originating purpose or fully reveal the blueprint for maturing the mini-movement.

Overreaction to criticism diverts or drains mini-movements of energy that would otherwise be invested in their defining purposes. Inadequate leadership turns the mini-movement slightly or significantly when it fails to solve problems or remains too weak to provide mini-movements long-range strategies that mature the mini-movements so they fulfill their assignments and blend that fulfilled purpose with the kingdom movement.

Mini-movements require increasingly maturing leadership in order to maintain the momentum. Maturing mini-movements requires a clear and firm grasp of God’s originating purpose and how mini-movements fit into a broader kingdom movement. An inherent challenge arises in this scenario because many people fail to accept the idea that mini-movements originate to do what might take decades instead of days to accomplish.

Revival movements may continue for five or ten years, but cultural reformation requires more than one spiritual generation.

1 – Everything God does requires more than one spiritual generation to accomplish, and every mini-movement’s purpose has kingdom strategies for the next generation.

Leaders often miss the difference between growth and maturity leaning toward the idea that accumulation of adherents trumps maturing leaders. The move to “feed the momentum with more people” leads to aberrations because mini-movements tend to sacrifice purpose for popularity to accumulate.

Answering the question, “How do we feed the momentum?” with strategies to increase numbers will nearly always redefine mini-movements with emphases that separate them from God’s originating purpose. The temptation to assume that any one mini-movement carries the entire or dominant burden for kingdom expansion often moves the leaders to make claims, infer, or preach some version of the “if only’s.” The “if only’s” message has various versions of “if only everyone would join our mini-movement we would finally succeed in establishing the kingdom on earth.”

Jesus established kingdom as a leadership strategy to transforms cultures. Jesus established His kingdom as a leadership strategy to bring the leadership of heaven into the earth. The kingdom has a strategy called leadership. Kingdom leadership has a strategy called discipling. Discipling has a strategy called fathering.

Therefore, to understand His originating purpose for mini-movements, leaders must understand the “highest and best” in terms of producing new kingdom leaders who can do what they do and then do it greater. Mini-movements begin with leaders. The maturity of mini-movements measures the maturity of new leaders who can produce the purposes of the mini-movements and bring those purposes into the greater kingdom movement.

2 - Mini-movements mature God’s originating purposes, not methods, manifestations, mechanisms.

Checklists or training that perpetuates or maintains methods or manifestations do not mature mini-movements and distort the purposes of mini-movements, often to the point of producing errors. Another form of the “if only’s” may be the “if only everyone would do this like we do, the kingdom would be established.”

Evangelistic mini-movements assume that “getting everybody saved” would finish the job. Worship movements assume that “getting everybody involved in 24-7 worship” will finish the job. Prayer mini-movements assume “getting everybody to pray” will finish the job. Revival mini-movements assume that “getting everybody into our revival” will finish the job. Doctrinal mini-movements assume that “getting everybody to think what we think” will finish the job. (Of course, the “everybody” in these scenarios does not always mean “everybody.”)

3 – Mini-movements often lose their originating purpose and fail to mature leaders who can bring that purpose to maturity as part of a greater kingdom movement.

Mini-movements must mature individuals at a personal level while maturing leaders to function at the scope and level of God’s originating purpose and the mini-movement’s assignment. Every kingdom leader should function at an international level even though every kingdom leader may not have an international assignment. If the mini-movement has purpose to influence a culture, it must mature leaders who can influence culture at the level as the assignment. The mini-movement must mature leaders who can blend the mini-movement with the greater kingdom movement.

The mini-movement cannot assume that merely increasing the number of people who appear interested or involved will mature the mini-movement. With few exceptions, defining the mini-movement’s success with numbers moves it off center, leans it toward some identifying marker that distorts, diverts, or defeats the originating purpose.

Mini-movements must recognize that God’s originating purpose demands an alignment with the greater kingdom movement, that the mini-movement cannot be an end-all, all-inclusive, or “this will fix everything” assignment. The inability of the mini-movement’s leaders to blend the mini-movement into that greater kingdom purpose eventually subverts the mini-movement’s purpose to some distraction or substitution. The mini-movement begins to major on minors.

4 – Mini-movements must adapt to expressions of God’s originating purpose that allow for new leaders and greater team leadership experience and expertise.

Mini-movements make room for new leaders and the chemistry changes these emerging and existing maturing leaders bring to the maturing mini-movements. As long as the originating purpose remains pure, the expanding mini-movement’s influence and impact remains contingent upon maturing existing and emerging leaders, and these leaders bring a new chemistry and leadership dynamic to the maturing mini-movement. Mini-movement mature when there are new leaders, and both the existing and emerging leaders continue to mature as leaders. (Merely maturing personally will not mature the mini-movement.)

Because all mini-movements originate purposes for the greater kingdom movement, their maturity is measured by the fulfilling of purpose. Through the preparation and positioning of new leaders and maturing those leaders to function at the level and scope of the mini-movement’s purpose, maturing mini-movements make room for expansion and establishing of the kingdom. The maturity of new leaders will tend toward inclusion of the greater kingdom movement, bringing aspects and emphases to the mini-movements that blend their assignments into the greater movement of Christ’s kingdom. Perhaps we could assume that the more mature the mini-movement, the more it blends into the greater kingdom movement.

No one mini-movement can properly expect to “finish the job” (of fulfilling its originating purpose) except as it functions within the greater kingdom blueprint Jesus has for the region, nation, or nations. No cookie-cutter mold punches out the kind of leaders that feed the momentum of mini-movements. The maturity of the mini-movements leaders and new leaders introducing new chemistry means that mini-movement change as they mature. The changes maturing mini-movements experience reveal how their originating purposes serve the greater kingdom purpose.

5 – Mini-movements do not prepare and produce traditions or insider lingo and clichés, turn into subcultures that limit their participation in the establishing and expansion of kingdom culture.

While there may be legitimate identifiers for mini-movements because of particular spiritual manifestations or demonstrations that mark them in process and performance, none of these markers become traditions without negating the originating purposes at some level or even eclipsing them altogether. Particular care should be taken to avoid producing an insider communication collection composed of unique defined terms. Some mini-movements require indoctrination as a basis for participation; many erroneously identify this indoctrination process with discipling. Merely saying a word – “confession,” “fire,” “more,” “drink,” “sovereign,” “manifested,” “dimensions,” or “enthusiasms” – produces the need for an insider vocabulary lesson. This moves the mini-movement away from the greater kingdom agenda by creating a subculture more than producing kingdom culture. When mini-movements properly mature, they become more and more closely aligned with the greater kingdom movement.

Mini-movements that turn campaigns into end games activate turn signals that divert them into detours or dead ends. Maturing the original leaders does not mature the mini-movement, and maturing a campaign, no matter how mature that campaign may be, does not mature the mini-movement or help fulfill God’s originating purpose. Only maturing kingdom leaders can do that.

Traditions often mean that the present leaders “reap the rewards” of the mini-movements instead of sowing those spiritual resources into future generations. Mini-movements that become like private foundations collecting kingdom resources to support their favorite issues or initiatives become historical markers and attract people with spiritual nostalgia instead of kingdom leadership.

A mini-movement may produce a university to perpetuate a personality, practice a methodology, further explain a viewpoint, or attempt to bring a systematic to a doctrinal distinctive in order to establish a tradition; in doing so, it stores the harvest in bigger barns instead of investing the harvest in an expanded farm.

To avoid the immaturity or regression of a mini-movement, leaders must mature new leaders and allow their leadership maturity to expand the assignment, align that assignment with the greater kingdom movement, and develop a level of expertise and experience within the mini-movement that serves to mature its place in the international kingdom movement.