For the recent Global Code for the Kingdom Hackathon, I had the privilege of sharing “Why Code for the Kingdom?” This is a video and manuscript of the talk.
Brothers and sisters, welcome to Code for the Kingdom! My name is Chris Lim, I’m co-organizer of the Seattle hackathon and creator of Ceaseless, an app that helps you pray for three friends each day so that together we can personally pray for everyone on earth.
Having been an organizer and participant, the founder of Code for the Kingdom, Chris Armas, asked me to share my thoughts on “Why Code for the Kingdom?” What does it mean to Code for the Kingdom?
If you’re like me, you love to build, to explore, to invent. You love making awesome products and sharing them with the world. You love seeing the future and making it real for others to experience. You love tackling seemingly intractable problems with ingenious solutions. You love crafting delightful experiences that bring a smile to people’s eyes. You love seeing your ideas come to life and benefit lots and lots of people.
But for all these loves, most of all you love Jesus. You want to combine your passion for technology with your love for Christ. But there aren’t many opportunities to do that in a meaningful way with like-minded people.
That’s what Code for the Kingdom is about.
It’s an event and a movement convening bright technologists and entrepreneurs to use their gifts to advance the Gospel together. It’s a place where we take seriously the idea that God is our ultimate customer. He is the one we’re seeking to please and delight with our work. We deeply empathize with what he values, pay attention to his specifications, and apply all of our creativity, thoughtfulness and skill to deliver products, services and experiences that will make him happy and bless the world. And we do this, not alone, but in a community of people who share the same God-obsessed passion.
So as an event, Code for the Kingdom, is designed to be an inspiring foretaste of God’s Kingdom where people work together to use their gifts in technology, design, entrepreneurship, and every other discipline to deliver amazing and creative solutions that demonstrate the love of Christ for the world.
Now this happens in both large and small ways.
When you see a stranger struggling to debug his code at 3am in the morning before his pitch and step in to help him out, you’re creating a foretaste of God’s Kingdom.
When you forgo your idea in order to serve someone who needs a team and help them succeed you’re creating a foretaste of God’s Kingdom.
When you boldly stand up and share your idea for advancing the Gospel even though you feel scared or unqualified, you’re creating a foretaste of God’s Kingdom.
And of course, when you sacrifice your weekend and beyond in order to create solutions that will help release the oppressed, teach God’s Word, heal the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, support the church, build up the body of Christ, and bless the world, you’re creating foretaste of God’s kingdom.
So as a movement, Code for the Kingdom is about activating and unleashing people to do good with the grace God has given them; to use their gifts to advance the gospel. We are a community of people from around the world on mission together, serving one another, doing what we love and contributing our creativity, our skill, our inventiveness, our focus, our drive, our curiosity and all the best we have to offer for a common cause that matters: the Kingdom of God.
You see, there are many good causes in the world and we will be addressing several of them during our hackathons. But as Christians, what gives these causes significance is that they are delivering foretastes of God’s promise. We build things to help us enjoy and share with others our dream of a new creation, our hope of the day when God will make all things right in His kingdom forever. Through the things we build we invite the world experience the joy of having Jesus Christ as Lord, and to believe in Him so that they will also receive the marvelous new world he longs to give us.
Code for the Kingdom is an opportunity for you to carry on Jesus’ mission with the specific gifts, skills and passions he has given you. There are still people around the world who need to hear and experience the gospel of the Kingdom. You still have brothers and sisters who need to hear and believe the promises Jesus has made so that we can finally receive them together.
Could this be in part what your technical, entrepreneurial, artistic and other gifts are for?
When Jesus began his ministry, he quoted Isaiah saying:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-19, 21 ESV)
And Jesus has gifted us and given us His Spirit to carry out these and many other good works in his Name.
Do you love the poor as Jesus loves the poor? They are all around us–across the street and around the world. Why not use your technological privilege to serve them, to show and tell them about the kingdom Jesus wants to give them? Perhaps beginning with something as simple as feeding them and giving them access to clean water.
Do you hurt when you see people taken captive by physical or spiritual powers? Do you ache for those who are physically or spiritually blind or deaf? Why not use your gifts to help them hear and see and set them free? What can you invent to encourage people when they are down and overcome the strongholds that bind them?
Are you broken and angered when you see oppression, corruption and injustice? Why not use your gifts to help bear witness to the truth, to mitigate the abuse of power, to give a voice to the voiceless, to protect the vulnerable and strengthen the weak?
Then as we proclaim the message of God’s kingdom and invite people to trust in Jesus, they will know what we mean because they will have experienced a foretaste of it for themselves.
So why Code for the Kingdom?
First, because we love the King…
Second, because we love His people…
Third, because we love His world.
And fourth, yes, because we love to code…
Thank you for being here, to God be the glory and have fun at Code for the Kingdom!