Sermon Notes: Domains of Society: Genesis 1:26-31


Genesis 1:26-31

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Vision: For God’s glory, disciple the nations. 

Mission: Be and produce radical followers of Jesus. 

Strategy: Radical Life – UP/IN/OUT

DNA (values): KDSC

The vision is too big for a few spiritually elite special forces Bible rangers. The only way to do this is: Every Christian. Everywhere. All the time.

It is the practice of our DNA that pulls this off. 

This reality leads to a key tactical question:

What if the whole church was the missionary?


So, here we go. God saves people to put them on mission, and he has a means for the OUT function of the Radical Life. We call that tactic, KDSOCIETYC. (domains of society)

The work of engaging our domains of Society is the “rubber meets the road” implementation in our spiritual DNA. 

Society is composed of groups of people who work and live within their own areas or domains.

These core structures are part of the created order and have been placed there by the wise Creator, Jesus. 

Examples: Ag & water / social & civil / education / art & media / science & tech / governance / medical / economics

The people who live and work inside these domains meet the basic needs of society and keep it functioning. 

Why is this so important? Because these domains of society are crucial in the transformation of a city. 

The people who assume leadership in these domains of influence have the potential to reshape their city – values, priorities, and practices. 

Humans, as co-regents who bear God’s image, function with a delegated authority from God, whether they are Christian or not. 

They have built-in gifts and ability to bring order to creation.

God sits sovereign over his creation, and his image-bearers exercise delegated power and influence over creation. 

This is why it matters who sits in authority and oversight in the world. 

Christians have, by Holy Spirit, a greater capacity to be in the domains of society as redemptive agents who not only govern creation well and influence the way created order functions, they also bring the message of salvation for the complete package.

In calling his church to the nations through every disciple everywhere all the time, God is calling us to bless the nations of the world with healing, order, and the proclamation of the gospel as means of seeing his kingdom come and his will being done on earth as it is in heaven. – This section is taken and adapted from Release, p. 30

Question: Is this true? Is this tactic of domains of Society a true biblical means of doing God’s mission?

Genesis 1:26-31

  1. The Triune God creates mankind in his own image. 
  2. God “blessed” (barak) them. V. 28
    1. Bless – to kneel. 
      1. In a very real sense, by making mankind in his image, God “kneels” in the sense that he has given to mankind the image of himself and put that blessing of himself into mankind. 
      2. God does not kneel in the sense that he bows down to man, but in the sense that he has knelt down and given some of his nature to mankind. 
    2. This “blessing” is the source of mankind’s authority over and co-regency of creation with God. 
  3. God commands them 5 commands:
    1. Be fruitful – in the labor of co-regency with God in the created order
    2. Multiply – increase the productivity of the earth 
    3. Fill the earth – multiply humans as creators and fill up the resources of earth
    4. Subdue – bring a taming to the holy and wild nature of this alive earth
    5. Rule (ESV “have dominion”) – not domination but ruling over like good kings and queens (King Frank and Queen Helen in TMN)
  4. All that God did here is very good. V. 30, 31
  5. All of this created purpose precedes sin. 

Genesis 3:14-24

Because Adam and Eve fail to obey God (they heard and did not obey), the curse of sin was injected into mankind and all creation. 

  1. We have a real and mostly unseen enemy with whom we must learn to do battle, and our relationship with the spiritual universe was made difficult and one that we mostly have trouble perceiving. V. 14-15
  2. We have relational strain in the family unit which is the basic building block of every organizational effort in the universe. V. 16
    1. There is no such thing as organizing effort without the family unit influencing it. 
      1. If that family unit is unhealthy, the members who come from that unit tend to affect organizational issues negatively. 
      2. NOTE: The basic building block of any successful organizing effort is the health, stability, and vitality of our families. 
        1. We fight like mad to keep this healthy in the Jolly house. 
  3. We have a broken relationship with created order and exponential difficulty in overseeing its fruitfulness. V. 17-19
  4. Relationship with God was broken, and access to life cut off. Therefore, all humanity was infected with the curse of sin and came under the wrath of God. V. 20-24. 

Matthew 28:18-20

Jesus comes and completes the Genesis 3:15 work of salvation that God had planned from before the foundation of the world and leaves us with his mission:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  1. The Great Commission is the final installment of the creation mandate in the garden. The great commission is given at the end of the age, to prepare for the full renewal of all things. 
    1. We do this by being fishers of people from all nations and teaching them to obey all that Jesus has commanded for them to do as revealed in his word. 
  2. The command of disciple-making is explicit. 
    1. The implied command, coming from the first covenant in Eden, is that followers of Jesus are doing his work everywhere all the time over all of God’s created world by properly overseeing the creation, and leveraging our co-regency and God-given authority over creation as the missionary people of God. 
      1. This is implied because Jesus intends us to be acquainted with his word that teaches us his means of doing his mission in the first three chapters of the Bible. 
      2. Every disciple. Everywhere. All the time. 
      3. Is domains of society a true means of doing the mission? We believe the means of engaging the world through Jesus’ created domains of society is a true and appropriate work. 


If the whole church is the missionary, then in order to see the whole church operate as the missionary, we have to make and maintain and strive to keep 4 key shifts in our practice as the church. 

We can’t take this for granted. This is constructed into our organizational structure, our budget, and our narrow scope. 

4 Key Shifts

1. We must shift from needs to assets.

  1. This shift is a shift to a biblical understanding of who we are.
  2. In the garden, Adam and Eve had all they needed in the created order, within themselves, and relationally with God to be his co-regents on earth. 
  3. They had abundance and an endless stream to replenish themselves and creation from God. 
  4. So much of church culture dwells in the opposite sin of the prosperity gospel, and that is the poverty gospel. 
  5. The poverty gospel is as poisonous as the prosperity gospel, just something easier to stomach and camouflage. It says we lack what we need spiritually and in gifts and the apex of spiritual growth is getting more spiritual goods and we are attracted to where we can fill this unreal void, therefore we start from a belief of lack rather than the reality of abundant supply. 
  6. With all authority given to Jesus, and him sending us in that blessing, we have an endless supply of all we need to get his work done. 
  7. 2 Peter 1:3 (CSB) 3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
  8. Jesus told us we would do greater ministry than him because he was going to the Father to send us the Holy Spirit to counsel us, empower us, and animate all his sovereign gifts in us. 
  9. We have received the Holy Spirit. We lack nothing. 
  10. The newest disciple has everything they need to help the next disciple. And their future growth is not dependent on getting more, but exercising the riches they have been given. 
  11. This is a shift in how we see each other as members of the church. 
  12. Every single member has the missional DNA of the kingdom of God coursing through their spiritual veins and is empowered for the work. 
    1. Ephesians 4:11-16
      1. The question is, what has stymied the power of God’s missional DNA if it is not at work in us?
      2. The answer is that it’s easy to rely on a few to do the work of the whole rather than all doing their part which is not overwhelming. 

2. We must shift from programs to domain engagement.

  1. This changes how we organize for work and what work is done. 
  1. This shift keeps TRC narrow and focused rather than jumping on every opportunity.. 
  2. This shift keeps the church focused on releasing equipped saints together on mission and releasing the whole church to care for each other rather than depending on one or two or a few.
  3. This shift is Spirit-led as members of the church take ownership and responsibility for action at home, on the job, and in the community in disciple-making and church multiplication and serving each other. 
  4. This shift releases elders to the work of the word and prayer and oversight rather than doing all the ministry. 

3. We must shift from working for the city to working with the city.

  1. This shift is about relationships in our city and what we do with our city not simply for our city. 
  2. This changes how we interact with the community and how we do evangelism. 
    1. Luke 10:1-12
  3. Here the church becomes more of a partner to help create solutions rather than simply a provider of finances or events.
    1. Rather than bring ideas of service projects to the city and ask permission to do our thing, we come to the city, find its great need, match our resources to that need, and partner with our city to do that work in Jesus’ name. 
    2. Example: Global Impact / Restoration Rome!
  4. We begin to interact with city and county leaders, citizens, and even other religions in the engagement of our society’s domains and get to share the gospel of the kingdom as we heal what is broken.
  5. Evangelism and great commission work begin to become the natural function and culture of the church as it engages with the city at this deep level. 
    1. This is a long-term work, not a short-term hit-and-run evangelism opportunity. 
      1. Jesus taught us in Luke 10 to stay in one place, heal, and proclaim. 
        1. It is a long-term investment of healing and proclaiming and thus sowing gospel seed into the soil, watering and waiting for fruit. 

4. We must shift from managing ministries to leading members.

  1. The shift is not about what ministries the elders are going to create for folks, find people to run them, and then oversee them. 
  2. This shift is about releasing the body to supply its part so that everyone grows up into Christ. 


  1. Missional DNA is not contained in a few talented people, rather it is the apostolic genius contained in every follower of Jesus walking in step with the Spirit bringing the rule of Jesus to their domain. 
  2. Finally, domain engagement recenters our focus from doing more for God to being OK with who God created us to be and being with him on mission with each other in daily life not in addition to daily life. 
    1. This is felt most deeply by mothers with children from birth to life launch. 
    2. Folks don’t need more ministry to do or oversee. 
    3. Folks need to walk in their domains as Christians toghether on the mission of healing, ruling over, and proclaiming that the kingdom of Jesus has come, repent and believe. 

That is worth responding to the Lord in worship. 

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