Kingdom Focused. Biblically Informed. Spirit Empowered. Christ Centered.
In March, King’s Domain hosted college students for three weeks of Spring Break. We had students from six different universities participate, including Western Michigan, Ohio State, and Cedarville. They spent the week working to clear trails for a new mud obstacle challenge course, as well as learning more about their identity in Christ. We got a little more snow than we anticipated each week, but it was a great experience for all involved!
Here’s a reflection from a student from Week 1 on what she learned by investing her Spring Break at King’s Domain:
Ok, so I just spent my Spring Break at King’s Domain. It was a lot of hard work that challenged my physically and also made me realize how much work is done to keep King’s Domain as beautiful as it is.
The teaching throughout the week was about our identity in Christ and how we live out our lives through that. The first night we had a speaker come in and talk about who God is - it was a very mentally challenging talk.
Something is still running through my head that I cannot, no matter how hard I try, even begin to comprehend how big God is. With a big God comes big grace and big forgiveness. I stand in awe knowing that God doesn’t see me as my sins - rather he sees me as his precious daughter, his beautiful bride, and all he wants is a relationship with me.
Sam Gollach, Junior, Western Michigan University, Theater Design and Technology (pictured above, far right)
We were very excited to have the opportunity to invest in the college students who came out this year and we are praying that the Lord would bring even more students for Spring Break 2014. Empowering emerging leaders is one of our five objectives here at King’s Domain and we work hard to ensure that we are equipping these college students, as well as those who attend KD Summer Project, for a lifetime of ministry!
Hello All! We wanted to say a special thank you to those who were able to attend our Pastors’ Luncheon last Thursday. It was truly a blessing to be able to meet and hear from ministry leaders from churches all over the Cincinnati area.
Here’s what some of our attendees had to say afterwards:
"We really enjoyed our time together with your staff. Ministry leaders and churches can GREATLY benefit from King’s Domain. It may well be the best kept secret for ministry leaders and laity in the Mid-West!"
- Jeff Perkins, Executive Pastor - Landmark Church Cincinnati
"Love who you are and what you do…will consider/pray regarding some of the juveniles at Warren Co. and how we might use King’s Domain to minister to them."
- Joe Stookey, Life Adventure Church, Lebanon
"Thanks for sharing your vision! No one knows what a gem of a staff and setting you have available."
- Becky Taylor, Christ’s Church at Mason
We are so excited for all of the positive feedback, but we’re even more excited to partner with these pastors and ministry leaders/workers to reclaim the culture for the Kingdom of God!
Let us know if you would be interested in hosting a King’s Domain “Tell Me More” session at your church for pastors and ministry leaders in your area. Also, keep an eye on the calendar - another KD Pastors’ Luncheon is in the works for May!
In our last post we talked about the fact that Christianity is no longer simply a cultural norm, but is beginning to face growing levels of opposition and critique from those outside of the faith.
Jesus knew that his life and his message were controversial. He caused quite a stir 2,000 years ago and his followers continue to come under persecution to this day. Jesus spoke to us through Peter saying,
"Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings. that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." - 1 Peter 4:12-13
He tells us this so that we can take it all in stride and keep our eyes fixed on Him in order to stay true to the ministry of the Gospel. He doesn’t want us to become paralyzed by fear or anger or bitterness. Jesus wants us to press on with love.
So if we know that Christianity is becoming more and more unpopular, and we know that persecution is going to come, how do we make a positive change in the culture? Jesus gives us a hint in the book of John,
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." - John 13:34-35
Love is to be the thing that makes us stand out. Some have said that in order to reclaim the culture you must reach the high places - media, government, academia, etc. And that is partially true. These things have a huge platform to speak into people’s lives, so it is important for us to be in positions where we can positively influence each one.
However, reclaiming the culture isn’t going to happen overnight in some big sweeping movement. It is going to happen slowing, gently, one relationship at a time. We can change the media, the government, and academia, but we have to be patient, persistent, and prayerful to do it.
Culture change will happen every time we open the door for the person behind us. It will happen when we sacrifice our afternoon to visit a sick friend. It will happen when we choose to stick up for a co-worker rather than joining in with the water cooler gossip. It will happen as we are listening, talking, sharing, and giving. In short, they will know is by our love. Culture change will happen because of our love.
When was the last time someone noticed the love in your life? What are some ways we can love the people around us for Christ?
So yesterday we had a staff devotional time here at KD and we spent some time digging into the word and discussing our mission statement (see title). It was a great discussion and we’d love to let you in on what we talked about, so here you go!
We figured that In order to really discuss how to reclaim the culture, we had to take some time to understand the culture and find out what actually needs to be reclaimed. How can we influence a culture we don’t understand?
Christianity in culture is received differently depending on where you live. Europe and Canada (sort of) are living in a post-Christian society. This is a society in which Christianity has been deemed irrelevant, and oftentimes Christians are viewed as stupid and intolerant. In America today, we find ourselves living in what we would like to call a “post-comfortable Christian” society. This is defined (by KD staff) as a society that is uncomfortable with Christianity. The culture is moving away from Judeo-Christian values as its core moral standard and is becoming more prickly toward Christians in general.
While it seems unlikely that a country as large and diverse as America will become completely post-Christian anytime soon, we as Christians need to recognize the changing cultural climate around us. Maybe you’ve already noticed the shift? A single person who pursues purity in their dating life is seen as naive and silly. People who stay in a committed marriage for a lifetime are becoming fewer and fewer. Christians who are pro-life or against equal marriage are seen as intolerant and hateful (we’re not going to go anywhere near that today).
We are living in a society that is moving away from organized religion - Christianity included. The most recent results from the American Religious Identification poll (sounds official, right?) has shown the number of people who do not claim any religious affiliation more than double from 1990 to 2010 (from 8% to 19%).
This is a society in which the message of the Gospel is not globally accepted as “Good News.” In Acts 2:32-37, Peter addresses the crowds regarding Christ’s death and resurrection. The Word says that the crowd was “cut to the heart” at Peter’s words because the thought of resurrection was totally in conflict with everything they had believed before that in Jewish culture.
As Christians, we have to understand that our Gospel message is an equally strange concept to non-believers as Peter’s words were to the Jews. In this “American Dream” culture where everyone works to get where they are and, “we’re all ok - so don’t ask”, it’s difficult to picture the extravagant grace of Christ. In a culture where feelings are elevated and valued above truth. absolute truth struggles to take hold. The Gospel becomes a strange concept because in this culture where everything is grey or relative or subjective, you’re suggesting that there may only be one right way and that people need to change. Popular? I don’t think so.
So what do we do? Now that we see what the cultural climate is, how do we as Christians venture forth into it to make positive change? How do we create a Kingdom culture in a cultural environment that rejects religious authority?
We’ll talk more about that in our next post. Until then, we’d LOVE to hear your thoughts and observations about our current culture!