Friday, October 5, 2012


The idea of living in, not of, requires a change of perspective. That perspective is to focus on God's Kingdom. "Thy Kingdom come". What do we mean by that?

Earlier this year I read Mims' book, The Kingdom Focused Church, in which he provides strong insights for a church to consider the larger picture. Our church had just developed a Vision Team at the time of my reading this book, and we discussed how to integrate the five functions into our overall objectives, with the ultimate idea of fulfilling God's vision for us. Though some will use nine functions, our team agreed to settle on the five functions (as described in Acts 2). The five functions are discipleship, fellowship, worship, ministry, and evangelism.

The reason the items are listed in this particular order is that we have built an acrostic out of these functions. The acrostic is JOURNEY. The area of northwest Missouri (where I serve) has had a tremendous population decline over the past few decades.* As such people in the area are on a journey, largely away from this area. Are they prepared? If not, how can we do a better job of preparing them?

*Atchison County, Mo has had 25% decline since 1990, and more than 35% drop since 1980 (source

And, of course, life is a journey, itself. This is one of the popular phrases people will use to describe it. Not to mention the Christian-lingo of "the Christian walk", "following Jesus", etc. Jesus' own words of "Come to me" and "Follow me" speak to a journey as well. Much more can be said about this, and likely will in this blog, over time, but for now, let me briefly outline the acrostic JOURNEY.

J - Jesus
O - Observe (discipleship)
U - Unite (fellowship)
R - Revere (worship)
N - Nurture (minister/ministry)
E - Evoke (evangelize)
Y - You

So the JOURNEY that links YOU to JESUS includes the five functions as described in Acts 2 and yet fit nicely into this acrostic. If these five functions are a part of our individual goals, I believe we will truly be empowered to live in, not of (fotonni).* More importantly, it will keep our focus on the true destination, the Kingdom.

*Most future references to "in, not of" will simply be stated as fotonni.

In the coming posts, I will further break down the individual components of the acrostic.

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