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This is the final class of the Kingdom of God series. We've spent 13 weeks dicussing the issues and ideas related to the Kingdom and for this final one, I asked Otter Creek's Director of Ministries, Doug Sanders, to come in and talk to the class about opportunities available at Otter Creek for service and furthering the Kingdom.

He talks about his journey from Vice President of Ice Cream at a dairy to becoming the Director of Ministries and the heart that he's developed for the poverty stricken. I close the class out with some final thoughts on the Kingdom before closing it out.

Thanks to those of you who have listened online to the class. If you don't mind, drop me a line in the comments and let me know who you are and any thoughts or critiques you might have had. May we all live everyday for the Kingdom of God.

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In Sunday's class, we had a guest speaker. Linda Benthall spent several years in China, teaching English and leading Bible studies and starting a house church. I asked her to come into the class and give a discussion of what a mission mindset looks like in attitude and action. She gave a great talk and I'm very grateful for her insights.

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The class discusses the differences between an attractional approach to church and a missional one. We talk about idols that followers of Jesus and the church face in trying to live out the mission that God has given us for the world. The diagram above is the one taken from Brian McLaren's Generous Orthodoxy.

At the end of the class, I read a parable written by David Carden called The King's Stew.

This class concerns the Resurrection, not just Jesus', but how his acts as the first fruits of ours. The conversation then goes into how we as should live as Resurrection people and as ministers of reconciliation.

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Last summer, Randy Harris spoke at our Wednesday night service on Simple Faith. It's not what you expect at all. In fact, it's one of the best things I've heard in a long time and a great talk on Luke 15.

Consider this an addendum to the Party Parables class, and thanks to Randy for allowing me to post this here.

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The class this week discusses power. How the world seeks to achieve power and how the crucifixion was an attempt by the existing authorities to preserve power for themselves. The crucifixion exists as a salvation moment in history, but also as a Kingdom moment and one for us to emulate in our walks as Christians. It is a powerful call to service and humility.

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In this class, we talk about the parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14, the parable of the Wedding Banquet in Matthew 22, and the parable of the Two Sons in Luke 15.

We talk about the Kingdom of God as a party, as a celebration, but we also talk about who Jesus talks about being excluded and how they are excluded.

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This week, we leave the Sermon on the Mount and move to the Parables of Jesus in Matthew 13. Honestly, I didn't get through about 1/3 of the material I had, but the discussion was absolutely superb. We talk about Jesus' use of parables, why he did that, and how narrative is so resonant and evocative to us.

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Well, I'm back in town this week, but unfortunately, something went wrong with the recorder and I didn't get today's class at all. Sorry. Hopefully, we'll be back next week, as we look at the parables and how Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God in them.

In this class, I get into Matthew and the Sermon on the Mount. I put out the idea that Matthew has an agenda for writing his gospel and that the Sermon on the Mount is just not some pie-in-the-sky ideas about how to get to heaven, but how life should really be lived. There's some good discussion and I thought it was a good jumping into Jesus' message of the Kingdom.

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