In Greg McKeown’s book, ‘Essentialism’, he asks a very pointed question that every Christian who is interested in cultural reconstruction must ask. Quoting from Chinese philosopher Lin Yutang he writes, “The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”
In contemplation of this question the Christian should ask, “What is essential to the establishment of the Kingdom of God and what is not?” To be more specific the question really should be, “What is essential for me to focus upon and accomplish in the establishment of the Kingdom of God?” All too often, in the pursuit of reconstructing the culture, the Christian focuses on a myriad of general non-essentials rather than his or her individual specific essentials for Kingdom building.
So, what then are the essentials to Kingdom building beside the obvious establishment of individual righteousness and ethical conformity to the Law of God? How does one decide what is essential and what is not?
It must be first understood that each Christian is called to challenge a specificarea of the cultural for its reconstruction. I have been quoted as saying that “If your vision is anything less than changing the world for Christ, then your vision is too small.” What that quote fails to reveal is that the world is changed by many individuals focusing on individualized areas of the culture specific to their skill set which when networked together bring about world change. No one single handedly changes every area of the culture. Successful comprehensive reconstruction takes the entire Body of Christ, working together according to each individual calling. Deciding what area to focus upon holds the key to determining what is essential and what is not.
One way to begin is to focus on one area of the culture which you are most passionate about. The next step is to determine whether or not you possess the necessary wherewithal to begin confronting that area so it can eventually conform to the Word of God. Focus upon the single most important area that you believe you are proficient in understanding, analyzing and reorienting God-ward. Make a concrete decision to “fix” that area and then do not depart from that quest. To be sure these first steps are the most important. If you cannot decide which specific areas of the culture you wish to challenge you will remain confused, indecisive and thus ineffective.
Think In Concrete Terms
Abstract deliberation never solved anything. In order to actually reconstruct anyarea of the social order concrete, strategic and tactical thinking must lead the way. Solution based applications must be tried and tested in the marketplace and not simply around the debate table.
The time for writing more books lamenting over what is wrong with the culture is as ineffective as any theoretical abstract plan for its remedy. Theory is good in so far as it becomes actionable. Whenever it fails to be applied it becomes ineffective. Once it is ineffective it simply becomes just another ivory tower of words without any teeth.
What we need are problem solvers. Instead of writing more books or pontificating via the lecture circuit or the bog-o-sphere, what is needed is a movement; a series of well-planned movements for Christian Reconstruction which will impact various targeted areas of the culture.
What do these individual cultural warriors look like? They are problem-solving Christians who are not interested in fame or fortune by becoming financially independent through donations. Their passion is only satisfied with results.
What is needed is a network of Christians that know how to get things done and are actually ready to execute those plans in the real world. It is that group of problem solvers that are essential to the success of Christian Reconstruction.