God’s Plan for Leaders – Building His Kingdom by Increasing Our Territory
Pastor Stephen Hayes
Sunday February 19, 2017
Theme – Each of us should be aware of the importance of our responsibility to be influential in a certain region. God operates in physical territories. Geographical locations are important. He has anointed each of us for a particular territory.
The prophetic significance of territory
- Revelation 21: 1-5 reveals the end time event where Jesus will rule in the physical location of Jerusalem. God has always involved Himself in certain cities and locations.
- In the meantime, before Jesus returns, what is our job? Do we have any responsibility to influence certain geographic locations?
- There is influence that comes along with ministry work.
- Part of the Church’s responsibility is to take advantage of influence and increase territory.
- Covenant Church’s mission is to add converts, make disciples, train leaders, and plant churches.
The first will be last, and the last will be first
- Matthew 19: 30 – 20:16 tells the story of the different vineyard workers being paid the same regardless of when they began their labors.
- As part of God’s family we have already received our reward. We operate in life from a place of security. Our work should be to sow seeds for the next generation’s reward.
- It has been famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Our areas of influence
- Being able to lead others begins with leading one’s self.
- Before we ask “Am I doing this right?” we should ask “Am I doing the right things?”
- Our peers
- When Jesus turned the water into wine in John 2, He did so to build his team. He was strategically empowering his followers for greater future works by enabling them to believe in Him. John 2:11 – “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.”
- Our physical territory. God has always dealt in geographic regions:
- Sodom & Gomorrah (Genesis 19)
- Jericho (Joshua 6)
- Ninevah (Jonah 1:2 – “Arise, go to Ninevah, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.”)
- Similarly, God has anointed each of us to operate in a particular city or region.
- This type of anointing for a particular location will lead up to Jesus’ return described in Revelation 21.
Jesus oriented Himself geographically
- John 1: 43-51 recounts how Jesus, Philip, and Nathanael related to each other according to their home towns.
- Philip was from Bethsaida, a fishing village.
- Nathanael expressed a sarcastic opinion of Jesus’ home town (v. 46). Nazareth had the reputation of being a poor town of the region.
- Jesus replied to Nathanael with his own, good natured sarcasm about Nathanael’s biases (v. 47).
Jesus reveals a much larger geographic awareness
- However, after this friendly interchange, Jesus quickly prophesied a much greater geographic awareness in verses 50-51.
- In verse 51 Jesus referenced Jacob’s vision of a dream (Genesis 28: 10-17) where God’s people would have influence across the globe.
- Each of us is part of the expanding territory of God’s Kingdom.
- Jesus is in each of us. Wherever we are is where God’s territory is meant to be.
- There are people everywhere who need what you have.
- A simple invitation to another person may be all that is needed to increase God’s territory.
- God never lets us down.
Reflective Questions for God’s Plan for Leaders: Building His Kingdom by Increasing Our Territory
- Pastor Stephen indicated before one is likely to have influence over a geographic region, one first has to effectively manage one’s own self – as well as a peer group. Does this give you confidence in your potential to eventually be influential in a geographic region? Why or why not?
- How does our work of sowing for future generations inform our thinking in terms of geographic locations?
- Do you feel a calling to be influential in a particular geographic region? If so, how did this feeling emerge and develop within you?