EDLD – Essential Practices of Kingdom People
The Lord began to challenge me about the idea that there is always something new, exciting, and entertaining to be experienced as we follow Christ. Perhaps we desire that because we’ve become bored with what we’ve been doing to date, and are looking for the next shiny object in the Kingdom experience to keep us occupied? What will keep us on track?
Extending the Kingdom of God through church planting and missional living.
I want to share with you, from my heart, about an important idea that I believe is for the Vineyard movement at this time in our history. This entire booklet is about that one, simple idea, and explores what it means for us to engage in “main and plain” Kingdom living. The idea explored in these pages won’t wear out, and I believe we won’t regret giving ourselves to it 10, 20, or even 30 years from now.
What is that idea? It is captured in the phrase, EDLD – Do It Again, and I’d like to explain both where that phrase comes from, and what it means for us as Kingdom people.
A Word From The Lord
The concept of EDLD – Do It Again started when I was doing some reflecting toward the end of the year, as many leaders do. “How did the year go?” I asked myself. I was looking backward, in order to look forward, to discover what my next big priorities for the coming months should be.
As I waited on the Lord, the following came to mind.
I can’t count how many times through the years a variety of folks – church planters, pastors, and men and women of all ages – have asked me, “Phil, what do you think the Lord is doing? What does God want? How can we participate in the mission of God?” In other words, they were asking the very same question I was: “What should our next big priorities be?”
There is nothing inherently wrong with that question, but the fact that we ask it may expose something in our hearts that should cause us to pause and reconsider our motivations.
Is God Bored, Or Are We?
You see, when it comes down to it, we’re often looking for God to be doing something “new,” as if we believe that God must be up to something new all the time! The question, “What’s God up to right now?” strikes me as if we think God might be fickle – or even bored with His cosmic assignment! We may feel as though He has to think up new tricks every year to keep His children interested and integrated with what He is doing!
The questions are not the problem. The problem is that we may have a motivation for asking them that is culturally-driven rather than Kingdom- driven. I believe our constant asking of these kinds of questions could expose a blind spot in the way we understand how God is at work in the world through His Church.
The Lord began to challenge me about the idea that there is always something new, exciting, and entertaining to be experienced as we follow Christ.
Perhaps we desire that because we’ve become bored with what we’ve been doing to date, and are looking for the next shiny object in the Kingdom experience to keep us occupied?
EDLD – Our Way Forward
As this epiphany settled in me, a thought began to form in my mind: I don’t think God is up to anything different than what He has been doing throughout the millennia – than what He has always been doing in His relentless pursuit of people.
As I began to write, God began to speak to me: “Just keep doing what you’ve been doing. Continue to share your faith. Step heavy on the pedal of evangelism. This is Good News. I want people to hear the Good News – that I’m for them, I’m pursuing them, I love them – and I have this thing under control.”
That’s it! God has been doing what He has always been doing – pursuing human beings with His powerful love. He invites us to join Him in that pursuit, and to call people to respond to His great love for them. We call this evangelism; the sharing of the Good News of God’s great love for the world (John 3:16).
A Repeating Cycle
Then, a repeating cycle of essential practices begins that ends in many maturing in faith and hope in Jesus across the world and across generations.
As people respond to our evangelism (E), we disciple (D) them to become like Christ. As we disciple them, some emerge to be leaders (L) and we train and multiply them. As we engage in each of these practices, all along the way we continually and intentionally diversify (D) who we are reaching toward in order to minister to men, women, and children from different age groups, cultures, and ethnic backgrounds.
There are the essential practices we must maintain:
These people we touch then start the cycle all over again, reaching out with God’s love to those within their reach. The Kingdom impacts worlds both large and small, and the Church grows in health, strength, and numbers.
EDLD – Do It Again!
This cycle, EDLD, is one we can and must repeat again, and again, and again – over a lifetime. There it is. EDLD – Do It Again. That is the old thing, that is the new thing, that God is doing – and it’s what I’m giving my life to.
I’d love for you to join me on that journey. This booklet is a fresh step toward rediscovering God’s highest priorities for us as a movement, and living out these essential practices of Kingdom people.
To the greater Glory of God, and the well-being of people,
National Director, Vineyard USA
Use the hashtag, #EDLDDoItAgain to highlight anything you tweet or post to make it searchable in the EDLD theme.
To find out more about EDLD, click the link below to the EDLD Booklet at Vineyard Resources.