The Greatest Evidence and Challenge of Being a Kingdom Builder
“We bring God’s Kingdom here on earth when we commit to honor Him in our relationships!”
-By Philip K. Hardin, M.A., M. Div., LMFT, LPC
By Philip K. Hardin, M.A., M. Div., LMFT, LPC
I want to be known as a Kingdom Builder.
My passion is to see men and women own their brokenness and embrace the healing grace of Jesus and to be committed to building His Kingdom. As a counselor, teacher, and life coach, I have many opportunities to influence others. Karla and I have been married 37 years and our love for each other is anchored in our mutual commitment to influence couples and individuals in building the Kingdom of God together.
Recently, two good friends got “tangled up” over their understanding of one another’s commitment to the church. I love both of my friends and to see them involved in conflict over a topic that I value was disruptive to me personally. Before sitting with them to facilitate resolving the conflict, I had to speak at our weekly Men’s RoundTable group. That morning, I was so distracted and preoccupied during my presentation that I felt what I delivered was unclear and scattered (some might say that sounds pretty typical!).
As it turned out, my friends resolved the conflict without my help, as I was confident, they would. They are both mature, gifted men who actually believe much the same about the topic, but just needed to sit face-to-face and LISTEN to one another to resolve the conflict. I believe they left that breakfast meeting realizing that they were more in agreement over their love for the church and they both grew through the hearing of one another’s thoughts.
Watching them resolve the conflict and get “untangled” was impressive and encouraging. The Enemy lost that battle. Peace was restored, friendship deepened, and I believe the kingdom of God was strengthened.
My two friends modeled kingdom building to me. They faced one another, listened to the other, spoke their thoughts skillfully and respectfully and it resulted in resolution and restoration.
Life can be messy and certainly, that “messiness” touches Christian brothers. Too many times, I have seen men not be committed to the work of restoration and it result in division, hardness, and separation.
I was honored to sit at a table where two brothers showed courage, vulnerability, ownership and maturity in such a godly way. They shattered the ‘gates of hell’ during that breakfast and built the walls of the kingdom of God even higher. I was proud to call them fellow-believers as, too often, we don’t see that maturity in the Body of Christ when it comes to repairing relationships.
Watching their interaction stirred up lots of thoughts about my own life. I realized I want to call all men to a serious engagement with the gospel and building disciples. No onlookers. No mere watchers. But men and women who ENGAGE!
Just like my friends, I want to see men resolve conflict, stop complaining about what others do or don’t do, and get involved in the process of bringing healing to relationships.
I want to see men who care enough to confront hurt and value relationship enough to speak the truth in love.
That is REAL KINGDOM BUILDING.
Why is restoring relationships Kingdom-Building?
Because it stands out!
The norm in our society is to simply justify walking away, complain behind their back, and move to a “tolerating” posture when we run into them. John 13:35 states, ”By this everyone will know you are my disciples –that you love one another.”
We bring God’s Kingdom here on earth when we commit to honor Him in our relationships!
So, what are other qualities of a Kingdom Builder?
I borrow words from Pastor Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church.
A Kingdom Builder is someone who has:
A great purpose to live for. I have the greatest purpose of all—to rescue men and women that God brings my way for eternity through Jesus. I want to see holiness and wholeness in everyone with whom I get to sit.
Great principles to live by. As a Kingdom Builder, I have a source from which to draw wisdom—God’s eternal truth revealed in the Bible. I value the mentors and coaches that have pointed me to the wisdom in God’s word that allows me to have a deep reservoir of wisdom to offer others.
Great power to live on. As a Kingdom Builder, I have the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit who offers guidance every step of my journey. I am empowered by more than technique or some counseling intervention. By faith, I know God’s power in working in and through me.
Great people to live with. As a Kingdom Builder, I have a community of men from whom I personally gather encouragement and support and who I see caring for one another every day. It is the church at work. Men who are involved in encouraging to continue their journey toward wholeness and who call one another to be holy. That is the church.
What keeps us from becoming Kingdom Builders?
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 and Hebrews 5:12 along with many other verses basically say if you are not maturing in your faith – you are just running in circles – and basically ineffective as a Kingdom builder.
Maturity is not talking about all the truths you know, the bible verses you have memorized, or the number of days you are at the church. No. It is like my two friends who swallowed their pride, owned their shortcomings and looked each other in the eye and lived out in “real” time.
We build kingdoms when we commit to maturing.
So think of where you can grow and mature in your relationships—because our ministry is seen through “our love for each other” (John 13:35).