The Jigsaw Network

Business man looks to finish puzzle

This morning I heard Sonny Vu, Founder of Misfit Wearables, speak at KIROS, a Christian Business Breakfast group that I regularly attend here in the Seattle area.  As I listened to him talk about the culture of their company (and about hiring people who fit the culture of a company called Misfit) I thought about how everyone really feels like a misfit, at least in some situations.  In the group that really counts for a lot of people, the so-called “inner ring” or “inner circle,” no one really feels they truly fit in.

I think this sense of not fitting in is based on our individuality.  The bright side of our creation as individuals is our uniqueness.  But our fallenness converts uniqueness into a burden.

Think of people as pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.  Each piece has its own angles and curves and indentations.  In a box of thousands of pieces, the maker has cut each one in such a way that it only fits into a few others.  But when each piece has found its mates and the whole puzzle comes together, a beautiful scene emerges.

When people focus on their uniqueness as individuals, either egotism or despair results.  The egotist considers himself special because of his particular angles and curves, while the desperate one regards herself as odd or a misfit because of her differences.  Both errors result when we regard ourselves only as individuals and not as pieces of a larger social picture.  The true meaning of our uniqueness only emerges when we find people whose uniqueness complements ours and hooks us into a coherent whole.  When my uniqueness connects to your uniqueness, something truly special occurs, and the more people we connect to, the more the meaning of it all grows.

Networking brings people together.  Great networking brings people together for the sake of a larger perspective.  The Holy Spirit’s networking enlarges the Kingdom of God and gives it meaning in the context of human relationship, love, and shared mission.

As a jigsaw puzzle works by combining thousands of odd pieces, the best workplace cultures, the most effective churches, the most functional societes result from the skilled collection and combination of willing misfits.  As a leader, you sometimes play the puzzler; sometimes you play the willing misfit.  Both roles are crucial to great networking.

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Order it in paperback or Kindle edition at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

TKN Audio: The Meaning of Success Podcast

Recently, through my connection with  a brilliant social media marketer Alejandro Reyes, I had the pleasure of meeting Zeb Welborn.  Zeb has a well-subscribed podcast and agreed to interview me about The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  The podcast doesn’t usually touch on religious topics, but Zeb was a terrific host and interviewer.  I enjoyed talking to him and his audience about the reality of God and about why Jesus was a great networker and how He continues to work the Kingdom Net today.  I hope you’ll enjoy listening to the podcast here:

http://ec.libsyn.com/p/c/f/8/cf82062d7a158e90/Defining_Success_Podcast_-_Joseph_Castleberry.mp3?d13a76d516d9dec20c3d276ce028ed5089ab1ce3dae902ea1d01c08532d1c8552c13&c_id=6308007

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

Jesus Wrote the Book on Leadership

Last weekend I spoke for an important Hispanic church conference at Life Center Spanish Church in Tacoma.  The leaders there asked me to address the topics of The Leader’s Tasks”” and “The Leader’s Team.”  In preparing for the first topic, I instantly thought of the classic book, Leaders:  The Strategies for Taking Charge by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus.

Bennis & Nanus say leaders must employ four strategies to lead effectively: (1) Attention through Vision, (2) Meaning through Communication, (3) Trust through Positioning, and (4) The Deployment of Self (by which they essentially mean putting talented people to work in ways that allow them to fulfill themselves in service).  I decided to share these principles, but since I’m a preacher, I looked for a Biblical text upon which to anchor my comments.

As I looked at the launch of Jesus’ leadership in Matthew 4, I was amazed.  He began (4:17) by gaining people’s attention through a bold vision:  “The Kingdom of God is at hand!”  He then began to create meaning through social architecture as he called his disciples (4:18-19) and began to teach them about the Kingdom and their role in it as “fishers of men,” i.e. Kingdom Networkers.  Then he established trust and credibility for his organization through positioning as he networked “about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and … disease among the people (4:23).”  Finally, after doing these things, he “gave [the twelve] power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness … and diseases (10:1)”—i.e., to do the very same works he was doing.

Those who know nothing but their Bibles, as Matthew Arnold once famously said, do not even know their Bibles.  It is amazing how secular literature on leadership can call out principles that open our eyes to things in the Bible that we gloss right over in our daily reading.  It’s also wonderful to recognize that Jesus knew everything about leadership.  Though he never wrote a word that survived history,  we can find no better textbook on the topic than his open-book life.

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

The Honor and the Glory of Employers

Many people go out to network, not because of Kingdom priorities, but because they need a job!  Most workers want to have an employer, but some don’t want to serve one, so it doesn’t take long for their relationship with an employer to sour. Pop culture music continually resounds with songs about bad bosses, and Marxism has had a long run (150+ years!) of wild popularity in haute couture circles, averring that the very act of paying people money in exchange their time and work constitutes evil exploitation. Sometimes employers do treat workers unfairly, even as some workers fail to appreciate their employers.

In today’s climate of dramatic high unemployment in America (not to mention the rest of the world), I’d like to take a moment to honor employers.  In most cases, employers take significant risks with their own money to put people to work. If they win, they may win big or small.  If they lose, they can lose big.  To everyone who ever put their money at risk and gave me a job, thank you!  May you win big and retire well!

Employing people carries intrinsic dignity, but the Bible confers another essential honor on employers in Genesis 2.  Long before the Fall or the Curse, work made up an essential element of the Creation, and God honored all workers by becoming the very First Worker (Gen. 2:2).  A few verses later, Genesis reveals that God was the First Employer.  “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15, ESV). 

Employing people is a godly thing to do.  The honor of employers is to follow in God’s example as the First Employer; their glory is to treat their workers with the same love, grace, and justice God’s workers enjoy.  Hooray for employers!  May they carry their risks and responsibilities with God’s own integrity.

Networking: Reaching Out to Reach In

Recently I attended The Boeing Classic, a PGA golf tournament at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge Golf Club.  I got the tickets for free because a local business wanted to connect with my CFO and me about a business deal.  Knowing there would be lots of great people there, I brought my networking gear to see what other angling I might do.  (Golf and fishing–what a combination!)

Just after local favorite Fred Couples birdied the first hole, I ran into my friend Tim Knapp and a bunch of his friends.  (Tim shows up in The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  He models Kingdom networking as well as anyone I know!)  One of his friends, Brian Heathman, told me about a new student who had just enrolled at Northwest University (NU).  As President of AudioInk (http://audioink.com/), a cutting-edge publishing company, Brian walks the walk on networking.  “You’ve got to meet this student!  He’s a leader for the future,” he said.

Always interested in meeting future leaders, and having instant access to all NU emails, I popped out an email to the student as soon as my conversation with Brian ended.  We met for coffee, and I really appreciated Brian’s good work in bird-dogging me to a really promising young leader right under my nose.

The fruit of the work ripened quickly, as Brian received the following note a couple of weeks later:

Let me first start off by saying that I really appreciate the integrity of your word. When you mentioned that you would set me up with the president of NU I wasn’t quite sure what to think other than, “wow, okay.” 

 Well, two weeks ago, I received an email from President Castleberry of Northwest University. After a couple emails back and fourth, we set up a time to have coffee.  It was a fantastic time of sharing our stories and discussing the impact of God in our lives.  All this to say, none of it would have been possible without your connection with Joe and your follow through.  

I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with him. It was the beginning to a wonderful friendship. 

Bryan, I can not thank you enough. 

 Blessings,

 [Name]

 

I think this case provides an interesting example of reaching out to reach in.  Making a new connection off campus became the conduit to an important relationship with someone right under my nose.  In years to come, as this young (freshman) leader would have emerged at Northwest, I would have followed his progress from my perch as president.  The fact that we got off to a fast start through a networking-brokered relationship will mean that I will be more likely to have closer relationship to a key student leader all the way through his career at Northwest.  The benefit needs no further explanation.

Is there an important connection within easy reach that you remain unaware of?  The key to making that close connection may lie in someone who stands at a distance.

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

Suffering Fools Gladly

One of the key tasks of networking involves helping people tie into a new trend, concept, product, or service.  I sometimes hear the phrase “suffer fools gladly” as a compliment given to people who are patient with others who “don’t get it.”  Undoubtedly, networkers should value the virtue of patience highly.  An even better approach would illustrate the virtue of humility.  They fact that people don’t get some concept doesn’t make them fools, and humbly walking through things with people to help them understand marks a person as humble, good, helpful and wise. Honoring someone who “suffers fools gladly” really misses the point.

In my doctoral studies in the field of International Development at Columbia University, I learned a crucial concept that has served me well:  everyone is smart.  Human beings are intelligent beings, and they do what they do for reasons.  In many cases, they may be reasoning correctly on the basis of false premises.  Doing that will almost always lead to the wrong conclusions and to actions that may seem foolish.  But that doesn’t mean people aren’t smart.  Helping people we might regard as “fools” to see the truth and reality and to establish valid starting places for their thinking does a world of good.

The phrase “suffer fools gladly” comes from the Bible, but it has a different meaning there than it sometimes carries in popular parlance. In 2 Corinthians 11:19, Paul uses that phrase to lash out at people who were gladly tolerating and even accepting false teaching from false apostles who were undermining the Gospel.  Paul certainly didn’t see it as a compliment!

Under no circumstances should we see “suffering fools gladly” as a virtue.  First of all, people deserve that we treat them as smart and capable of understanding the truth.  We should patiently work with people to connect them to reality or even to the latest fashion, cultural, or technological trends.  Second, we should never “go along” with people who peddle real foolishness.  We don’t have to get as passionate as Paul in most circumstances, and we need to reserve the word “fool” or “idiot” for extreme cases.  People deserve respect, and they NEED truth.  Teaching the truth with love and respect displays true virtue.

 

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

Networking to Wake Up a Spiritually Sleepy Nation

 The moral and spiritual situation of America seems to have hit an all-time low, especially if you haven’t lived for all time (i.e., for all of us).  Marriage disappears as births out of wedlock predominate.  Divorce puts an end to half of marriages.  Pornography and foul language proliferate, even among our national leaders.  Corruption in our society runs rampant.  Church attendance continues to slide.  Historic denominations not only lose members, but drive them away by taking unbiblical, unorthodox doctrinal and moral stands.  The church unquestionably needs a revival and the society needs an awakening.

Nevertheless, the idea that we face an all-time low in faith bears further consideration.  Recently a friend of mine facebooked the following quote from J. Edwin Orr, a greatest historian of revival:

Not many people realize that in the wake of the American Revolution there was a moral slump. Drunkenness became epidemic … Profanity was of the most shocking kind. … Women were afraid to go out at night for fear of assault. Bank robberies were a daily occurrence.

 What about the churches? The Methodists were losing more members than they were gaining. The Baptists said that they had their most wintry season. The Presbyterians in general assembly deplored the nation’s ungodliness … The Lutherans were so languishing that they discussed uniting with Episcopalians who were even worse off. The … Episcopal Bishop of New York … quit functioning… The Chief Justice of the United States, John Marshall, wrote …  that the Church “was too far gone ever to be redeemed.” Voltaire averred, and Tom Paine echoed, “Christianity will be forgotten in thirty years.” 

Take the liberal arts colleges at that time. A poll taken at Harvard had discovered not one believer in the whole of the student body. They took a poll at Princeton, a much more evangelical place: they discovered only two believers in the student body, and only five that did not belong to the filthy speech movement of that day. Students rioted. They held a mock communion at Williams College; and they put on anti-Christian plays at Dartmouth … They took a Bible out of a local Presbyterian church in New Jersey, and burned it in a public bonfire. Christians were so few on campus in the 1790s that they met in secret … and kept their minutes in code so that no one would know.

  In case this is thought to be the hysteria of the moment, Kenneth Scott Latourette, the great church historian, wrote: “It seemed as if Christianity were about to be ushered out of the affairs of men.”–J. Edwin Orr (see http://www.jedwinorr.com)

One of the most powerful functions of the Kingdom Net (what I call the global network of people who submit to Christ’s Kingly Rule) involves our ability to call each other to prayer.  God has seen America descend into spiritual chaos and sinful squalor at several times over our history.  (Remember the Wild West, the Gay ‘90s, the Roaring ‘20s, etc.)  Things have been as bad as they are now, and we can indeed see a new revival of the Church and another Great Awakening in America.

And it can only happen as we use our personal networks to let God’s call to repentence and faith spread.  It does not start with railing accusations of the sin of others.  It starts with personal prayer and repentence.  It starts with our own testimony of renewal.  May it start soon, before the damage goes any further.

As Kingdom networkers, would you join me in repentence, sorrow, and earnest prayer for the awakening of our nation?

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

Kingdom Networking and the Experience Economy

In 1971, Alvin Toffler predicted in Future Shock that an “experiential industry” was coming in which people would spend a large percentage of their income on achieving amazing experiences.  Just as he predicted, the experience economy has emerged, in which people want more for their money than just a product or a service.  They want memorable, even transformational experiences! (See Pine & Gilmore, The Experience Economy).

In my industry, higher education, we understand that students want more than just a job credential.  They want a whole life-changing experience, complete with the formation of life-long networks of friends and mentors to “do life together” with them.  What pleasure we get from providing it!

Kingdom networkers also strive to create a powerful, life-changing experience through the services they offer to people, ultimately bringing them into a saving relationship with God.  At times, we may get the privilege of leading someone directly to Jesus, in whom they will find an Eternal Life that starts now.  No one will ever forget the moment Jesus saved them and they were born again.  But often, leading people to Jesus involves a lot of experiences on the way to an eventual decision to follow Christ (or even a realization that such a decision has gradually ocurred.)

“Get Saved Quick Schemes” that expect people to listen to a rational message and make an immediate decision to follow Christ represents the old, pre-Future Shock, modernistic economy of rational choice about scarce goods and services.  That approach may or may not have worked in the past. (It is commonly said that only 1 in 10 people who make such decisions to follow Christ actually become disciples).   But in today’s experience-oriented world, it often takes a rich, sustained experience of friendship or community and a series of exposures to the presence of God to bring people to a truly transforming encounter with Christ.

Today’s Kingdom networkers recognize that a deep, qualitative dimension of personal engagement should characterize their interactions with people.  Their networking involves more than just an exchange of contact data and a rational process of weighing the benefits of interaction.  They do their work best when they walk in the Spirit, empowered by Jesus not only to do singularly miraculous, occasional deeds, but also to express miraculous love continually in multiple small ways that pave a path to Jesus for the people they meet.

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

 

Social Petworking: Playful Dos and Don’ts

image

Like social networking, which increases connections among people by using existing relationships, social petworking connects people through the leveraging of pet power.  Even the British Royal Family engages in social petworking!  Despite the fact that Prince Andrew and the Duchess Kate have the world’s most popular baby, they recently chose to augment their public appeal by releasing a photo that included their dog.[1]

Recently, before the royal petography came out, I visited the Oregon coast with my friends Chris and Jeannie Edwardson.   Chris insisted on including his dog in a picture of my lovely family.  He guaranteed me that if I posted it on Facebook, the first comment would mention the dog.  Sure enough, it did.  See: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=548265668555732&set=a.405469526168681.85294.404161972966103&type=1&relevant_count=1.  (Take time to like my page.)

People love pets!  Everyone has seen people walking their dogs and connecting with other pet owners.   (Dogs seem to be the most effective petworkers.)  Young men in search of dates will borrow a cute dog to walk it through the park, because cute dogs are “chick magnets.”

Pets can be powerful networking tools, and Kingdom Networkers should take note of the power of social petworking.  Remember:  our purpose drives us to connect with people so we may serve them, advancing God’s mission through the meeting of human need.  The more contacts we have, the more we are able to connect people with each other for mutual benefit, and the more we can serve as conduits for God’s Power to reach them.  Pets can be a part of effective Kingdom Networking—remember the man who lent his donkey for Jesus’ use in Matthew 21?

I’m no master of social petworking, but here are some dos and don’ts I have collected by observation:

Do

Don’t

Do greet people who are on a leisurely walk with their dog. Don’t try to connect with people who are running with their dog.
Do compliment the other person’s dog on its grooming, breed, or friendliness. Don’t offer advice the pet-owner has not asked for on pet maintenance.
Do ask what breed the dog is if it is not obvious. Don’t show ignorance by asking about the breed of a dog when it is obviously a poodle, dachshund, beagle, or other highly recognizable breed.
Do let small children pet your dog if the dog likes children and the children seem to want to pet it. Don’t invite children who look frightened to pet your dog.  Move on down the park.
Do follow up on invitations to breed your pet. Don’t offer your own dog for breeding.  If the person admires your animal, they’ll mention it.
Do move from conversation about the dog to questions about the dog’s owner. Don’t assume you know about the owner because you’ve observed the dog.
Do offer your business card to a person you’ve made a good connection with. Don’t withhold your insurance data from someone your pet has bitten.
Do follow up the petworking encounter with an email and invitation to coffee, if you think you may have something to offer the person you’ve petworked. Don’t continue talking about your dog if someone says they don’t have a dog and don’t want a dog.  It insults dogs and irritates anti-caninites.

I hope you enjoyed this playful, almost dog-like chuckle piece.  It is written with tail wagging, but with tongue in cheek.

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry is President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington.  He is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

 


[1]Photo of television screen credited to Chris Edwardson, M.D. and used with permission.

How to Enter the Kingdom Net

In order for a kingdom to exist in reality, it needs three things: (1) a monarch—whether king or queen, (2) the will or rule of the monarch, and (3) people who accept and submit to the monarch’s rule.  A kingdom can exist in exile (without territory) as long as people will serve the king or queen.

 

The “Kingdom of France” presents an interesting modern example.  According to some observers, France has a “rightful” king, namely Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoléon, a.k.a. Jean Christophe Louis Ferdinand Albéric Napoléon (born 1986).  The great-great-great-grandnephew of Emperor Napoleon I of France, he also has Bourbon blood (think Louis XV) on the distaff side of his genealogy.

 

Prince Johnny-Chris has it all.  He’s got royal blood, a considerable personal fortune, and a killer career as an investment banker.  A smart, good-looking fellow, he undoubtedly has many admirers.  His kingdom has a king, to wit, himself.  He has a will and could no doubt summon up element two, namely, rule.  Nonetheless, he lacks a kingdom, as there are not enough people submitted to his rule to activate his kingdom.  He might turn out to be the worthiest, wisest, and best man ever to stand in the line of succession.  Who knows.  Whatever.  But he remains le roi de rien, the king of nothing.  For want of willing subjects, the “Kingdom of France” in fact does not exist.  It reminds one of the old adage,

 

For Want of a Nail
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

 

The Kingdom of God requires the same three essentials as any other kingdom.  It has a King, none other than Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, Immanuel.  Jesus in fact has a will and rules over the universe in majesty and splendor.  The Kingdom of God becomes living and active when people submit to the rule of Jesus.  As Jesus began his active ministry, he came declaring that the Kingdom of God was advancing forcefully, and people—even tax collectors and sinners–were entering it vigorously.  And so it continues to this day.

 

To enter the Kingdom—and become part of the Kingdom Net—we need do nothing more (and nothing less) than submit ourselves to the Rule of God in Christ.  When we do submit to the Rule–making God’s Will our own, obeying Jesus in everything–we activate and realize the Kingdom in our lives.  We become part of the worldwide web of people who follow Christ—what I call the Kingdom Net.  We make up the very net that God casts into the world to fish for men and women.  For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

 

 

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry is President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington.  He is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.