I am always interested in how people talk about their church. I am fascinated with how we talk about the kind of community that we say we have…
It gets me thinking about the concept of Kingdom (which is what Jesus would say we are supposed to be about)… or I suppose we could say influence instead. This is not as meaningful of a term for us Christians, but for those who aren’t, I suppose it does come down to influence. So I’ll use “kingdom” interchangeably with “influence.” So I ask myself, and I would love to ask those I talk to, but to avoid unnecessary offense, I refrain. What kind of kingdom are we trying to create?
There is the kingdom of our own church… done often in the name of community. Some pour money into weekly services, high tech media, and fancy buildings. We have the most interactive websites, the flashy publications, and streamlined programs. Everyone feels so good about being “there” and in the midst of the action. But if they aren’t bodies showing up at the program, are they really a part of it? We have great community because we share in this great church life, but is our church the kingdom we are trying to create? I have had this mentality and I still wrestle with it today…
Then there is national, or global kingdom… done in the name of politics and “peace.” We will have peace if everyone is Christian, or if we have Christians in power. Christianity must be defended and I must do my part by voting or supporting or whatever… To not vote is worse than anything else because it means I am not doing my part to promote a government with Christian values. See my previous post on this one! But why do we really believe that going to war or voting or being political is important? I don’t want to say that they are not important or should be ignored. More so, what is at the root of our need to push things? Are we seeking again to establish a “kingdom?”
What I really want to ask people is, “What kind of kingdom are you seeking to grow?” How is it getting out and into your city? How is it becoming more decentralized than centralized? (Not that many would really get what this means… I barely do..) These are the questions I ask myself. These are the things that I struggle with. For me, it is probably the individual kingdom that I am trying to grow… probably the worst kind. My own house, my own dog, a savings account, and on and on…
4 thoughts on “Creating our Own Kingdoms…”
This is an issue I have been giving a lot of thought to lately and have written about on my blog http://www.seekingtheface.wordpress.com.
A reader on mine suggested a book which I am now reading. It is called “The Myth of a Christian Nation” by Gregory Boyd. It makes some very interesting distinctions between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world. You should check it out. Keep looking to further the Kingdom of God and learning what this means. I am one the same journey!
Andres, thanks for the comment and the recommendation for your site. I have found much of Greg’s thoughts to be very important over the last 5 or 6 years. I used to be in MN so have been to his church a number of times. I am pretty familiar with his ideas on the kingdom and they probably inform my own ideas more than I let on.
cool article… I agree. I wrote a song about this in fact. If you get a second, check it: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11574335 – be cool, be blessed.