The Paradox of Our Times
It is said that the error that one generation tolerates in moderation, the next will practice in excess. In Mark 16:15, Jesus commands the church to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations but for too long, the church has acted as though the instruction was to go into all the church and make preachers of all men. Today, the paradox of our times is that though the church continues to grow numerically (we have the largest congregation sizes and mega-churches), its influence in society has waned to the lowest point of all times. Though Christianity has continued to experience significant growth across the globe, there has been a marked lack of corresponding growth in Christ-likeness. We are experiencing the greatest boom of revelatory preaching and expositional teaching of all times but as the light of truth has shone brighter in the church, the world has seemed to grow that much darker. The result is that the relevancy of the church is increasingly being questioned by the society in which we live. In a recent, nationwide survey called “The Barna Report”, a cross-section of the American population was asked if the Christian churches in their areas were relevant to the way they lived to which only 28 percent responded that they strongly agreed that the church was relevant. As further evidence, even though Nigeria has the highest rate of Christian conversions and church growth of all African nations, it has consistently ranked as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. Transformed lives are not translating into Kingdom lifestyles and while there seems to be an abundance of “light”, there is a shortage of “salt.” Our communities have suffered as a result.
Ironically, it is a fact of history that the vast majority of educational institutions, hospitals and social service organizations established in Africa, the Americas and much of the Western world, some of which survive today, were established by missionaries and churches that were actively engaged in service to God through service to man. Until the turn of the century, the church was held in high esteem and had a significant voice in community. Our forebears were able to do so much more with so much less.
So How Did We Get Here From There?
At the turn of the century, an error crept into the church which held that believers were to be in this world but not of this world. Building on II Corinthians 6:17, believers were encouraged to “come out from amongst them and to be separate.” The upshot of this error was that believers began to disengage from what they termed “secular” pursuits and to focus on spiritual or “eternal” things. In droves, Christians turned from “secular” vocations, occupations and life pursuits to focus on “spiritual” disciplines. As the monasteries, convents and churches exploded with new recruits, the “market-places” thinned out, and as the church became increasingly less visible in the market-place, it became increasingly inaudible and ultimately irrelevant. As an illustration, in the world’s premier movie industry, Hollywood, virtually no movie was released without script approval from offices established by the Catholic Church and the National Council of Churches. As Christians disengaged from Hollywood, the effect was immediately evident in the questionable content and poor moral quality of its movies and the impact on American culture and values persists till today, several generations after. The church has struggled to find its once powerful voice since then and has increasing become an object of ridicule in Hollywood.
To fulfill its mandate, the church must reverse this decline, recover its voice, and re-establish its relevance in the market-place.
How Do We Accomplish This?
Jesus said in John 9:5 that that while He remained in the world, He was the light of the world. The understanding conveyed is that for Him to have been effective as light in the world, He had to “remain” in the world. That privilege and duty has passed on to the church upon His physical departure from the world and by extension therefore, for the church to effect or impact its world, it must learn how to “remain” and be engaged in it without becoming like it. The global church must be restored to a full understanding of the Kingdom mandate and of its role in it; and the mandate is simple: to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth until Christ returns. It is the goal of the Global Mandate Institute (GMI) to lead the restoration of this understanding and thus return the church to its full and rightful place in the earth.
GMI is an organization raised by God to correct these errors and paradoxes of our times. Our desire is to see God’s desire that the kingdoms of this world “become the kingdoms of our Lord…” come to pass in our generation. We want to be an instrument by which Jesus’ model prayer that “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven” be answered in our generation. But what are these kingdoms of this world and what does it mean for God’s will to be done on earth as in heaven?
The Seven Mountains of Influence
At GMI, we believe that everyone is uniquely created in the image of God and gifted with diverse talents in diverse areas of vocation, occupation and life pursuits. These diverse areas of vocation, metaphorically called “kingdoms” or “mountains” in the scriptures, represent the domains or spheres of human influence and endeavor over which God has given man reign on the earth. Deploying their gifts and talents in these “kingdoms” or “mountains” is the means by which men exercise divine dominion and influence on the earth and fulfill his command in Genesis 1:28.
We believe that there are predominantly seven “mountains” or “kingdoms” in the earth today namely:
1. The Religion Mountain which defines God and how He is worshipped
2. The Family Mountain where values and faith are taught and passed on to future generations
3. The Government Mountain where public policy is set, laws are made, interpreted, enforced and administered. It regulates how we live as a society
4. The Education Mountain where knowledge is acquired, skills obtained, and young minds molded.
5. The Media and Mass Communication Mountain where information is disseminated and public opinion is shaped and molded.
6. The Mountain of Arts & Entertainment shapes and/or reflects popular culture and its values.
7. The Mountain of Business governs commerce, science and technology and innovation. Wealth and financial wherewithal are created and controlled here. Whoever holds this mountain has power and influence and their resources fund their values and priorities.
There is an ongoing battle for influence and control of these mountains and the question is whose influence will prevail on these mountains: God’s or Satan’s? Statistics tell us that it takes less than 3-5% of those operating at the top of any mountain to shift the values and systems of that mountain.
We believe that this is what the Bible alludes to when it says that the Devil took Jesus to a “high mountain” to show Him the “kingdoms of this world and their glory” and to affirm that they had been delivered to him. It is without question that the realms of our human endeavor and the principles under which they operate are not Kingdom values and principles because the leaders, who influence, dominate and exercise authority over them, are not subject to God. As a result of Adam’s fall, they were delivered to Satan and the glory which God intended to receive from His creation has been usurped by the Devil (Luke 4:6). The church has been called to restore to God all of the glory and honor due Him!
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ, has regained for the church, the keys (or rights) to these kingdoms and is now looking to raise for Himself a generation of priestly kings, in the mold and spirit of King David, servants of God deployed in service to man, to whom He will deliver the keys of David so that they may “occupy” or reign on these “mountains” in His stead until He returns as the King of kings. It is no coincidence that Jesus uses many parables about rulers, servants, gift and talents to illustrate the Kingdom of God and the role and place of the church in it. While an argument can be made for more or fewer “mountains” than listed above, what is inarguable is God’s purpose and desire that His people settle and occupy them all for His Glory.
The Global Mandate Institute (GMI)
At GMI, our vision is to see a generation of kings and priests raised that will seat at the pinnacles of these mountains of influence and power and bring Kingdom values to bear in the earth. We desire to see blessed men and women who will “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, subdue it and exercise dominion over it” so that the earth will be filled with “the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the seas.” Our mission is to lead the body of Christ from its present focus on the “ministry to the saints” into the age of the “ministry of the saints” by teaching, discipling and equipping the saints to become agents of positive, Kingdom-oriented change and societal transformation in whatever mountain of spiritual, vocational and occupational giftings, talents and callings they occupy. We believe that when the kings and priests of God arise to occupy their rightful places under God, then not only will the Kingdom of God indeed come and His will done upon the earth but the kingdoms of this world shall truly then become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and we shall reign with Him forever and ever. Amen!
The Global Mandate Institute training curriculum consists of:
1. Eight (8) class sessions with Seven Mountain certification
2. Missions Training and Preparation Classes
3. Community-Based Practical Application Projects
4. Seven Mountain Vocational and Occupational Track Specialization
5. Seven Mountain Communities of Practice (Membership-Based Affinity and Support Groups)
For more information, please contact us at:
Global Mandate Institute
1294 Braselton Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
Tel: (770) 934-1347