The Kingdom Grows

By Peter Meier   |   July 15, 2018

July 15, 2018 marks the one-year anniversary of my dad’s funeral celebration. It also marks the 28th anniversary of my father-in-law’s death and entry into Jesus’ eternal presence.

I had these events on my mind this morning as Kathy and I went to church.

The Gospel reading today was Mark 4:30-34, Jesus’ parable of the Mustard Seed. A tiny seed, when planted, grows to become the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade. The parable speaks of the growth of the Kingdom of God. It may appear small, but as it grows, the Kingdom offers a resting place for countless souls.

That made me think of my dad, and this Facebook picture and post by my daughter in law, Jessica: Celebrating the life of Grandpa Meier. What a beautiful life you led. Thank you for modeling Christ, serving your God through the ministry of your music, loving us selflessly, and leaving a legacy of faith for these little feet to follow.

My dad was a Lutheran school teacher and a church musician. At his funeral celebration, I was overwhelmed by all those who shared how his life impacted theirs. One life… connecting with and impacting countless souls with the love of Jesus. This is true for his four children and our spouses, for his 12 grandchildren and their spouses and their children. The picture Jessica posted was poignant. Jackson Frederick’s little feet will carry on that legacy, as will so many others. The Kingdom grows.

I think of the opportunities God gives me to impact the lives of others, often in small ways, and sometimes in significant ways. How do I participate in Jesus’ parable of growth and multiplication? How does God use my ministry, and my life as a husband, father, and grandfather to grow His Kingdom? What can I do to be even more intentional in my Kingdom impact?

My dad and mom made sure that my brothers, sister and I took part in daily family devotions. By their example, they showed us and told us what is important for our lives as Jesus-followers. We weren’t always willing participants – we’d rather be playing ball with our friends, or watching TV, or riding bikes or reading a book. But they persisted. And we benefitted. My brothers and sister and I did the same for our children, often facing those same challenges. And now, our children are discipling their children. The Kingdom grows.

What intentional Kingdom impact are you seeking and providing? Who are the ones in your life who are influenced by your Gospel-directed words and actions? You may not think the impact is huge, but remember the mustard seed. The Kingdom grows.

I think of a time when I planned the first Mission Summit in the District where I was the Mission Exec. It disappointed me when only a dozen or so people showed up for that first event. I never forgot the words of my Mentor, Dr. Eugene Bunkowske, “What don’t start small, don’t get big.” How well he knew that truth.

What Kingdom Impact does your congregation seek in your community? Sometimes smaller congregations think they can’t be involved in church multiplication, or hope that when they grow larger or have more funds available, they will be able to start thinking about multiplication. The fact is that God has programmed multiplication into every congregation, regardless of size – it’s His Kingdom way! Share this with your church leaders or small group members. Read and share my previous post entitled You Don’t Have to Be BIG to Multiply. Talk about what Kingdom-multiplying impact God has in store for you.

I want to challenge you to think about Kingdom-multiplying impact on a personal level (who are you influencing and discipling?) and also on a congregation level (how can God use us to multiply His Kingdom here and beyond?). On both levels, the Center for US Missions is here to help. We would love to help you plan for church multiplication – church planting or starting a new ministry in your community. We would love to help you plan to reach your community through outreach and discipling. We would love to coach you in taking your next steps to Kingdom impact. Let me know how we can help!

You don’t have to be big. You simply need to believe Jesus’ Kingdom lessons.

 

 

Mission Moments is the e-newsletter sent by the Center for U.S. Missions to bring information and encouragement to all who desire to share God's great love in Jesus Christ with others. Permission is given to copy this article for distribution within your congregation or organization. Please credit the author and the Center for United States Missions. For more information contact the Center at (952)-221-0362, or visit our website: www.c4usm.org

Center for U.S. Missions – Contact Information

Email us at: | Rev. Dr. Peter Meier, Executive Director; peter.meier@cui.edu  | Rev. Eric Wenger, Director of Mission Coaching; ewenger@livingraized.com| Kathy Meier, Coordinator; kathy.meier@cui.edu  | Mil Behnken, Office Manager; mildred.behnken@cui.edu