The Surprising Kingdom of God: A Reflection on Pastoring

Just a few days ago I had a fascinating day demographically. That’s an awkward sentence, so here is what happened. I had the privilege of doing the early morning devotional for a men’s residential rehab program. It is a ministry attached to a local organization that works with the homeless community, but this group of men comes from every walk of life. That makes the physical compound interesting, and it makes the group of men I got to spend time with fascinating.


God is at work among them. They are committed to a program that lasts at least a year. They all brought their Bibles and were engaged in the study. And very few of them fell asleep before I was done. All of them are on the path to recovery, and all of them are part of the working of the Kingdom of God in a corner of town you might not expect.


Then I went to an invitation-only lunch where another Christian para-church organization was promoting their initiative to get every child in the Colorado foster care system into a home. The room was full of pastors, ministry leaders, and members of the community who had some financial means.


God was at work there. Hundreds of kids are being placed into Christian homes, and the ministry continues to ramp-up. It was an effort to raise awareness and get more churches involved in the ministry to fill a glaring need in our communities.


I was at both ends of the social and economic spectrum that day and walked away with a renewed sense of how grand and surprising the Kingdom of God really is. It is easy to get locked into my social situation, our congregation, the “typical” group of people, and so forth, and lose sight of how God is at work in every corner of our culture.


In Jesus’ Parable of the Sower, none of the soil is about social class. The soil is all about the receptivity of an individual life and the work of God there. The sowers scatter the seed wherever they are given the opportunity to do so, and then God takes over. If a man needs a controlled environment for a year in order to break the addiction tearing his life apart, God can be at work there. If a room of people with influence and money can be part of a ministry to an entire class of kids in need, God can be at work there.


Pastor, be encouraged that the Kingdom is bigger than what you will see this week. Be humbled that it is bigger than you are. Be amazed at the sometimes silent and hidden work of God. Be faithful in your corner of the Kingdom, so that someday, the rest of us will be surprised by what God has been doing all along through your faithfulness.


Springs Rescue Mission


Wait No More, Focus on the Family

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