Calling Open Minds: The Kingdom of God Needs You (by Dr. Bradley Duncan)
The kingdom of God needs open minds. The kingdom of God, also called the kingdom of heaven or the church in the broadest sense of the word, is God’s work on this planet. Jesus calls believers to a great mission to spread his message and deliver freedom to all people. To do this he’s enlisting those with open minds to help with the cause.
Calling Truth-Lovers: The kingdom of God needs people who love the truth. The message that God has for today. The point. What the speakers recorded in the Bible would say to us today if they were standing here on the stage. People who can hear the challenge in the words. People who grapple with less-than-obvious meanings. People who care about the harmful effects and missed opportunities, when we believe “easy” interpretations passed down by tradition instead of grappling with the hard concepts ourselves. God is calling open minds!
Calling Good Listeners: The kingdom of God needs people who can listen. To teach others we have to engage them in discussion. Hear their opinions, thoughts, beliefs and questions. Have an open mind about what we will hear. Guide them to the water but don’t make them drink! We need to care and relate. We need to share ourselves with people — using our ears more than our mouths! The kingdom of God needs people that can deliver God’s good news through listening! What’s more, to hear God calling we need to be good listeners. We need to be open to what he will say. If we want to know truth we need to open our ears!
Calling Thinkers: The kingdom of God needs people with diverse ideas and from diverse backgrounds. We need to understand how different people view the world. We need to hear ideas we don’t agree with! We need to hear solutions, plans, visions and dreams of people willing to think out loud. The kingdom of God will not prosper through inward focus of like-minded people, but through expansions across all boundaries. Calling Scientists! Tell us how you see the world, in its vastly intimate detail. Calling Philosophers! Can you help us understand the complexity of being human? Calling Literary Geniuses! Can you teach us the swelling power of human language to both bind us and liberate us? God is calling thinkers to join his cause!
Calling People with Differences: The kingdom of God needs to meet you. It needs to understand you. It needs to learn from you. Will you please come and tell us what we have been too blind to see? Will you please tell us your story, your concerns, and the ways you have been misunderstood? We’ve never invited you in, so we really don’t know you at all! God is calling you, and we need you as partners. Armed with diversity we can avoid isolating ourselves, avoid the blinders, avoid the narrow, controlling, suffocating pressure to conform. All we need is some people with diverse backgrounds and ideas! Please join us, and please help us to open our minds.
Calling Justice-Lovers: The kingdom of God needs you! Jesus came to liberate the captives, and sent his Holy Spirit to continue the work through people. He needs people who will open their arms to humanity in all its diversity of backgrounds and mindsets, to be ready to accept them into the kingdom as God pours out his love and extends his call to all. The kingdom of God needs people who are ready to accept the unexpected! Because here they come! God needs people who will open their hearts to the oppressed and abandon their own comfort in order to speak up for them! Still slaves? Still exploited? Still without advocates and without options? People are in desperate need of liberation. The kingdom of God is coming to find those people! God is calling justice-lovers to partner with his mission.
Calling Compassionate Hearts: The kingdom of God needs people who can be open to people with needs. Who else will God send if we don’t go? Calling Humanitarian Innovators! We need massive global organization of people who care, to fight hunger, sickness and poor living conditions. Can you help us!? The kingdom of God needs to reach the world and bring God’s love. We need open hearts. We need talent and innovative thinking! Calling Financial Wizards! We need to invest our resources in things that matter, things with lasting return! We need organic, compounding growth of every dollar we invest, by wisely investing in change and in people who can bring change! We need no-nonsense guidance on how to do this! God is calling the workers into the fields, to carry compassion to the world and gather the harvest of the rescued masses of hungry, naked, homeless, sick and poor. Who will respond to this call?
Calling Women: The kingdom of God needs you! You are now free and unlimited. Please don’t hold back in providing your wisdom and leadership. We all the know that the men have typically held the roles of leadership and responsibility, while women worked along-side. But we need the diversity of opinions, talents, and emotions to find a way to reach others. We want the women to step up (and some of the men to step down to make room), because we need the balance and the differences that you bring. We need your talents that we have swept under the rug for too long! We need the “other half” of the church! How can we accomplish anything if we’re only 50% utilized, and lop-sided at that! We don’t need only “hunter-gatherers” to build the kingdom. That will leave us out in the woods! God is calling women. God is calling men to make way.
Calling the Defenders of the Future: The kingdom of God needs people who care about the Earth, sustainability, global sciences, and global clean-up. We live in our garbage and exhaust! We burn the Earth’s limited resources to fill the sky with soot. We have focused so long on spiritual things that we’ve made a mess of our house. We need a wake-up call! God’s kingdom on Earth is not just in the present, or for our children or grand-children. Though the future is unknowable and God’s timing is likely to be surprising, we need to prepare for the long haul! What if the kingdom of God on Earth is to continue for hundreds or thousands of generations!?!? How many zeros can we put on God’s plans for this planet? Future generations will be affected by the decisions we make today. Defenders of the future, please speak up. Please guide us to find better solutions for a sustainable planet.
Calling Global Business Experts: The kingdom of God needs you, because the global economy is supported on the backs of slaves, exploited children, and unappreciated laborers. Please help us leverage economic influence to end modern-day slavery! We don’t need the chocolate, coffee, or cell-phone chips so badly that its worth using humans as battery-powered machines to feed our consumption. Help us bring massive change to the businesses that provide our goods, help us apply pressure and generate public awareness. Help us use our dollars (or Euros or whatever) as votes to end exploitation! We don’t want it any more. The kingdom of God needs visionary leaders who can help us free the slaves through a massive grass-roots movement and the will of consumers to reject slave-made goods.
Calling the Spiritually Sensitive: The kingdom of God needs people who can sense God, hear him calling, and lead us in responding. Where is God going? What is he up to? What will change when we listen and follow his new direction? Can we keep up with God? We have lots of questions and we need those connected people, those relational types, those spiritually aware and open-minded people, to offer their guidance, to help answer our questions. We need a Vision! A Vision of a better world and a Vision of what God is calling us to create in his kingdom. We pray “May your kingdom come, may your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”. So what is God’s will on Earth? Please help us see it. God is calling visionary leaders to show us his thoughts and movements for today. God is calling us all to step up, with open minds and hearts, with open spirits, to hear him calling and to bring change. We just need to respond.