Closing out Colossians and The Domino Effect


Colossians 3:1-3

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.


Please forgive me, but I realized I never properly shared with you the back story of the Domino Effect idea and approach to Colossians. Because it is never too late, and without further adieu, here it is:

Have you ever played with dominoes? No, I didn’t ask if you have ever played dominoes. I want to know if you have ever stacked dominoes end over end and arranged them into some kind of circle or design in order to tip the first one and, hopefully, begin the chain reaction of the next one falling and the next and the next.

I decided to google the practice. As of this writing, the Guinness world record for domino tipping is 15,524 dominoes. But I kept googling, only to find another Guinness record-setting feat of the largest number of dominoes to tip in a spiral arrangement. It came to 250,000. It took days to set the whole thing up and only minutes for them to tip and fall. It is quite an effect to see such a spectacle, but honestly, in no time it gets rather boring. It’s predictable and leaves one ready to move on to googling Tannerite explosions and other online time sucks.

For too many of us and for too long, the Bible has been like a boneyard of flat dominoes. We have done our best to play around with them, but they have never come into alignment with the powerful effects of the Holy Spirit. Nor have our lives come into the alignment Jesus intends for the supernatural entity he referred to as “my church” (Matt. 16:18). I fear that the present-day church, which is a reflection of present-day Christians, has become something of an exercise in domino tipping. Enormous amounts of time are spent arranging our programs, classes, and events—just as we did them last year—and the dominoes tip and fall predictably and in order, like clockwork. We expect them to impress us and others, and they do for a little while, but if we are honest, we must admit to being a little bored with it all. Surely this is not what Jesus envisioned when he spoke of building his church on the rock and the gates of hell not prevailing against it (Matt. 16:18).

There are domino-tipping exercises that exhibit what is commonly referred to as “the domino effect,” and then there’s something altogether different that I consider to be the real domino effect. I’m talking about the way a two-inch-tall domino can tip into and topple over a four-and-a-half-inch-tall domino and the way a four-and-a-half-inch-tall domino can topple a domino just over a foot tall, and that one can fell a domino two-and-a-half-feet tall. Here’s the power of the domino effect: when you get to the twenty-third domino in this progression, you’ve just toppled the Eiffel Tower. When you come to the thirty-first domino, you’ve just knocked over something three thousand feet higher than Mount Everest. Sit down for this next one. At domino number fifty-seven, you are approaching the moon! (I am indebted to Gary Keller, who first pointed me to the domino effect in his book The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results.)

Some years ago, I became fixated on Colossians 2:2–3:

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

It’s not every day that we see one of the authors of Scripture make reference to “my goal.” It caused me to lean forward and take note. Paul knew that if he could band people together in communities of love and encouragement, the gospel message would tip from information to transforma-tion. He knew it would tip from being a message to revealing a mystery to becoming a movement.

The epiphany hit me like a box of dominoes. For me, Colossians 2:2 would henceforth and forever be known as Domino #2|2, and I was off to the store to purchase a box set. I actually bought a lot of sets, and from each one I carefully searched for and removed the 2|2 domino. I wanted one for each member of our team.

As I worked my way through Paul’s letter to the Colossians, the subject of this book, the domino epiphany hit me again. I began to see dominoes all over the place. There’s Domino #1|2, the “In Christ,” “in Colossae” Domino (1:2). Then there’s Domino #1|9, which says, “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives” (1:9). Then there’s Domino #1|13, The 9-1-1 Domino. After that comes Domino #1|27, The Secret. Those three little words Paul referred to as “the secret” (1:27 NLT), which are “Christ in you” (1:27 ESV), just may be the most powerful tipping point of them all.

Each of these dominoes holds enormous capacity to topple things far exceeding their size, and when arranged together, they hold the ever-present potential to tip fresh movements of awakening. We all know and remember when the domi-noes started tipping in our own lives and faith. Imagine that unleashed in the world. That’s exactly what happened from the moment Jesus began calling disciples to follow him. One life tipped into another life, which tipped into a family, which tipped into a village and a town and a countryside and a region.

Didn’t Jesus describe to a tee the domino effect when he said to his disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8)?
The dominoes tipped from the Upper Room with 120 people to the day of Pentecost with 3,000 and all the way to the present day and some 2 billion Christians around the world. In domino-effect terms we’ve been to the moon and back a thousand times and the dominoes are still falling. Impossible things keep happening and great awakenings are still on the horizon.

What if we thought of these ancient verses as so many dominoes we could stand up end over end in our own lives, and what if we could so order and arrange our lives together that we might become a kind of domino effect in our church and our town and away to the ends of the earth? What if we learned to shoot for the moon?
That’s the point of this journey through Colossians. We won’t force anything; rather, we will playfully stand these texts end over end and invite them to tip our faith to the next level.

That’s where we are headed—The Domino Effect: Finding the Tipping Points of Faith “In Christ.” Who wants to tip first?


Father, thank you that you have raised us with Christ and seated us with him in Heavenly places. Thank you for the Holy Spirit who empowers us to set our hearts and our minds on your Son, at your right hand. Would you grant us to experience this domino effect we have been talking about through this ancient letter. Would you grant us to experience the beyond imagination blessing of faith that moves mountains. We love you Jesus and pray in your name. Amen. 


Is there a particular passage or verse from Colossians that has engraved itself on your heart and continues to embolden itself on your mind? Would you share it and how? Consider jumping into the rich Facebook page conversation. 


Though you have seen the banners on these emails now for some time, I wanted to personally invite and encourage you to invest in a copy of The Domino Effect book. We have an ample supply of these seeds, and they don’t grow in the Seed House. They are in search of soil. So here’s what I’m going to do. We will give you the buy one sow one deal. In other words, two copies for the price of one. Come on Sowers! 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. J D, domino #3:9-10 comes to mind as the tipping point for me. Here we are reminded that our old self has been taken off and our new self is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Before we can be effective as change agents for the kingdom of God, we must first experience this change within our selves and our faith communities. I perceive two possible problems. The first one is that many are trying in the flesh to accomplish what can only be done supernaturally by the power of the Spirit. We can witness this with the high profile Christian celebrities who’ve publicly disavowed their faith. The second problem is the inherent disbelief that causes some of us to doubt the promises that God’s word contains concerning the renewal of our new self. It’s hard for some folks to accept that Christ’s work on the cross accomplished all that was needed for us to receive full salvation. It’s precisely at this point that the participation within a band/class becomes the means of grace needed for support and encouragement.

  2. Domino 2:28–“He (Christ) is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”

    When we focus on and proclaim the living Jesus Christ, exhorting and instructing people with God’s wisdom (Christ’s supernatural revelation and resurrection power), we can tip a small domino in people’s heart that begins the “glory to glory” process of spiritual growth and maturity. Christ wants to powerfully work in people so that they can be inspired to daily strive to release and use His inner energy to tip over the rebellion and darkness that is hindering maturity in themselves and other people.

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