Friday, May 22, 2015

which came first the kingdom or the church

Ever wonder what you could or should do to fix your church? Or even the Church?  According to Reggie McNeal, in his recent book Kingdom Come: Why We Must Give up Our Obsession with Fixing the Church - and What We Should Do Instead (Tyndale Momentum, 2015), that's the wrong question.
If I'm reading McNeal correctly, and not just reading into McNeal some of the things I wonder about,  we might just have some things backward.  We focus on growing our local congregation instead of joining God on His mission to grow the Kingdom.  We say 'church' as if it were some magical mystical thing when in reality we're talking about our denomination, or the building where a group of us meet on Sunday morning, or our local congregation, whether it's comprised of 50 people or 5,000.
McNeal points out the church was created as part of God's kingdom, (and he points out that 'church' is only mentioned a few times in the New Testament, while "Kingdom" is mentioned again and again: the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven). But modern day Christians seem to want to fit the kingdom into the church. Much like people want to put God in a box, a box with dimensions of their own design.
Kingdom work is being done by people who often don't even realize that they're engaged in it. And wrapped up as we often are in our small c church worlds, we don't recognize it as such either. Funny how that works, if my church is doing it, it's kingdom work, if you, your church, or your non-church group is engaged in the same activity, you're just showing off, copying, or engaged in wanna-be activity.
Some great discussion starters  and questions are found at the back of the book.
A great book for church leaders, all of us who can stand to be reminded from time to time how God intends for things to work.

I was provided a copy of this book from Tyndale Momentum in exchange for an unbiased review.

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