Blueprint of a contemporary Kingdom expense sheet
If we define the Kingdom of God as the domain of God’s uncontested rule, then no amount of human ingenuity, creativity, entrepreneurship and connectedness can substitute the core issue: how would Jesus spend his money that is on our accounts if we would not contest it?
Kingdom principles are, in their original Hebrew, pre-secularized and pre-democratized form, ethical absolutes that Jesus the King both modeled and taught. The economic principles of the Kingdom are no exception and demonstrate that there are two radically different and opposed sets of economic systems: Kingdom economics, and the economics of Babylon.
The validity of Kingdom economic principles are, in addition to this, compounded by the historical fact that the early church as recorded in the New Testament lived by those principles without intervention or rebuke from the King-which he would have surely done if they were off the mark, setting a false example for those that follow in the course of history. Historic progress and cultural or political change does not replace eternal Kingdom values-it simply requires a wise and culturally relevant re‐application of unchangeable financial principles in today’s world. As in any Kingdom, there are values and specific issues that requireprioritization . This is why the following list follows Kingdom order:
ONE) Orphans and widows in the Kingdom.
Principle: Family first. We must demonstrate supernatural and practical love and mercy (diaconia) towards our own poor – or we dare not call ourselves a family. As long as some of our own family members need to crawl whimpering, cold and hungry into a street corner or are unprotected and lost, any lofty idea, vision or investment plan becomes cruel (see 1 John). The most vulnerable citizens of the Kingdom are widows and orphans. We are required to “do good to everyone, first and foremost to those in the family of believers” (Gal 6:10; see also John 13:2 and Gal 2:10).
Application: 25% of our billion, $250 m, goes to uncared for widows and orphans, especially family members of those killed for their faith in countries like Indonesia, India, Central-Asia or China. Simply organizing people into orphanages is neither Kingdom policy nor would it be enough: God wants his most vulnerable children adopted (clothed, fed and socially integrated).
TWO) Spiritual mothers and fathers.
Principle: Those who have become mature trainers, coaches and equippers of others are in other words, spiritual parents, and therefore “workers worth their pay” (Luke 10:7; 1 Cor. 9, Matt. 20 etc.). People who fully invest themselves in parenting and equipping others (Eph. 4:11‐13), just like Jesus from age 30 onwards, have no time to do both business and parenting-with the exception of Paul’s brief time as a tentmaker or in an apostolic start-up phase. Paul uses strong language in 1 Cor 9:14 and speaks of a not a suggestion but a command of Jesus that “those who preach the gospel shall live from the gospel.” The key group in expanding the Kingdom of God are, reflecting biblical priorities, not evangelists, but “apostles and prophets”. The church in Philippi raised a substantial and liberating sum for the needy apostle Paul who, lacking support from a church that should support him, had no other choice than to “make tents” for a limited time (Acts 18:1 ‐5; Phil4:15) which vitally limited his explosive apostolic potential.
Application: 40%, $ 400m that go towards a strategic financial First Aid and global re-instatement project, particularly for apostles and prophets. Reason: most pastors and teachers (theologians) today are salaried, while most healthy “apostles and prophets”, the research & development wing of the Kingdom, are, in most countries, unpaid at the fringes or even outside the radar of the traditional church for many centuries. This has created a backlog of thousands of unpaid (apostolic and prophetic) workers James 5 style, and if the mobilizers of others are themselves tied down, standstill is inevitable.
THREE) Apostolic projects and Kingdom initiatives.
Principle: Paul arranged a financial collection for the aging grandmother churchof Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:3); the apostolic council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) needed someone to pay for the chicken; logistical challenges required money for trips.
Application: 25% or $ 250 m. The key area of Kingdom advancement today are areas long and painfully overlooked by a non-apostolic church: the creation of models or Kingdom outposts that demonstrate the superiority of the Kingdom in areas like family, education, culture (technology, nutrition, sports, arts, media etc), business & finance as well as politics. Here we need to fund inventors, pioneers and Kingdom entrepreneurs and their initiatives, as they develop Kingdom solution for the worlds problems.
FOUR) The outside poor.
Principle: Diaconia to those outside the church. Giving to the poor who were outside the Kingdom was not compulsory, but voluntary (Mark 14:7: “…and if you want, you can help them anytime”), a very wise emphasis forgiving-priorities by Jesus himself. Otherwise the never ending and screaming need of the poverty of this world would completely sap the entire budget of the church in no time-and leave not budget for any self-preservation or advance strategies.
Application: 10% or $ 100 m. In light of many government and transnational initiatives like UNICEF, plus 10.000’s of NGOs with asocial and philanthropic funding focus-as well as initiatives like Bill Gates’ “billionaires give half their kingdom club”, the MicahChallenge or the Copenhagen Consensus, 100 or 200m of additional Christian money will not swing the pendulum much at this point. Poverty has other roots than a lack of money. This is why social charity towards the outside poor is, kin typical upside Kingdom fashion-at the end, not the beginning, of our list.
(For more on this see Wolfgang Simson: The Starfish Manifesto, downloadable at www.whileweslept.wordpress.com)