Misty and I recently spent a few days up in Branson, Mo. with several couples from across the U.S. We all decided to meet in Branson because it was a somewhat central location. Some still had to drive further than others in order to be there but the time we spent together was well worth any expense of time and resource to get there. It was a precious – and I do mean precious – time in the Kingdom!
I would love to take the time to tell you some of the things that transpired while we were there but, honestly, it would take too long and it is too intimate to broadcast in such a manner. Suffice it to say, Christ was the center of our time together, despite what we were doing and He was transacted in such a way that lives were encouraged, strengthened and blessed in tremendous ways. And, while I do love to share things like that, the topic of this post is headed in another direction.
Misty and I had the privilege of taking a dear couple from Texas with us on the 7 hour drive up to Branson. This couple is a jewel in the Kingdom and very dear to us. On the course of the journey and while we were there with the others, we had great opportunity to draw on this couple’s years of wisdom and experience in the ways of the Lord. Priceless!
One of the topics we discussed in depth was the idea of “networks” as they relate to Church, Kingdom, etc. Due to their far reaching impact in the lives of people across the nations of the world, this couple is often approached via their website, email and personal contact about “covering” others through their “network”. We laughed together as they explained that they’ve never had a network, nor would they ever have a network. They just know, love and equip hundreds of people across the planet…..no strings attached.
We often experience the same type of request from other brothers/sisters both foreign and domestic. As we discussed the issue among ourselves, we determined that such types of requests stem from well-intentioned people who have a right heart but have been taught wrong things. The ominous “network” question is a direct result of The Umbrella Man, tied to The False Burden of the Vision Caster and akin to the “Why Haven’t You Started a Church?” question. Different nuances on the same question but they all stem from a misunderstanding of the Kingdom.
Just the other day, I received an email from a sweet brother who undoubtedly had good intentions and his heart in the right place. He explained that he has tried other denominations and networks over his tenure in ministry but always came to the ultimate realization that they were not as advertised. He was hoping that our “network” would be different and he was interested in pursuing membership. (I’m sitting here giggling and shaking my head)
First of all, I am not sure where he read anything on this blog or heard anything on our website that would cause him to think we have a “network”. There is mention of relationships with different groups here in North Texas and across the U.S. but there is nothing alluding to a formal, organized “network”.
Beyond that, I thought to myself (and asked the brother in my email response) if you have “tried” all these other things in your past and discovered they were not what you were looking for, why in the world would you want to continue to do the same thing and expect different results?
My point here is that the default “network” mentality has to be broken in the minds and hearts of Father’s People so that the Kingdom can be seen, understood and entered. Father has been extremely good to us in that He took great pains in breaking that mentality in us several years ago. It was a liberating day when I discovered that Father is not interested in my organized “network” which tries to encapsulate “what He is REALLY doing in the earth”.
He has a Kingdom – He doesn’t need my “network”. The basis of relationship/membership in the Body of Christ is not based upon monthly dues paid to some hierarchical system where the anointing flows top-down and the money flows bottom-up! The basis of relationship/membership in the Body of Christ is the finished work of Christ and the Kingdom is the both the dynamic and framework in which the Church functions.
I carefully selected the word ‘ominous’ to be included in title of this post. If something is ‘ominous’ it has a threatening aspect which accompanies it. While many have abandoned “denominations”, they have diverted to “networks”. While millions have left institutional churches, they have converted to “organic/house” churches. You say, “to may to”; I say, “to mah to”. It’s all the same thing.
The threatening aspect with such a “organizational-based” mentality regarding Father’s work in the earth is that you run the risk of missing the revelation, function and blessing of the Kingdom.
As I always do, I encouraged the brother that emailed me recently, and all the others like him, to seek the Kingdom; not a “network”.
Keep your peace!