Think “Kingdom” rather than “church”

Posted: June 9, 2015 by efenster in Ideas
Tags: , , , ,

Unknown-1Did you know that the word church appears only three times in the Gospels, yet the Kingdom of Heaven appears thirty-one times?  How is it then that we spend so much energy as Christians in the U.S. focusing on the church rather than the Kingdom?  That’s at the heart of a fascinating and challenging book I’m just finishing by Reggie McNeal.  It’s entitled, Kingdom Come:  Why We Must Give Up Our Obsession with Fixing the Church–and What We Should Do Instead.  

McNeal rightly says that “the purpose of the church is to further God’s Kingdom.”  We United Methodist’s are about making disciples for the transformation of the world.  That’s our marching order. It’s not filling pews, growing budgets, and maintaining buildings.  So how is it we’ve gotten so mis-focused?  After reading the book, I’m thinking my title probably should be Associate Director of Kingdom Development, rather than Church Development!

One of the projects I’m working on right now, on behalf of Church Development and with Connectional Ministry staff, is developing a network of churches whose hearts are on building the Kingdom, on each member incarnating the church 24/7 wherever God places them, on partnering with other community groups (even secular ones) in order to help bring God’s Kingdom into fullness, thus transforming our communities and world.  You’ll be hearing more about this effort.  But in the meantime, I encourage you to read McNeal’s book and be challenged too!

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church (Kingdom) Development

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s