Our generation has re-acquainted itself with kingdom thinking. Not that the idea ever vanished from the church’s consciousness, but a profound shift has taken place, as well as a greater focus on the meaning of kingdom. Simply put, many believers are now less concerned about creating a single place where people come to find Christ, and more intentional about expanding the kingdom everywhere they go. This doesn’t mean people have stopped constructing church buildings or inviting the community to attend special events on their campuses. Rather, it suggests the place a church gathers for worship is seem more and more as a home base for the mission and not necessarily a destination.
You may be familiar with the terms “attractional” and “missional” that help define these two ministry philosophies; that of drawing people to a place or taking the place to the community. We must be careful with labels because they can mischaracterize ministries that have discovered their own unique blend of these two approaches within their particular environments. It is also possible to misrepresent ourselves in our effort to be perceived as a part of a trend.
Yet, the conversations created by considering the models we use for sharing Christ have a way of purifying our kingdom definitions and aspirations. In the same way we hope people see a true picture of Jesus in our individual lives, we also want them to view the church body as His possession and not the creation of any man. Whether we choose to be attractional or missional in our methodology, or some combination of the two, we must be thoroughly convinced the process belongs to Jesus. Twice in His Beatitudes Jesus promises “the kingdom of heaven” to those who follow His teaching. It is both a reality and a blessing when we surrender the throne of our hearts to the King of Kings. But maybe it would be helpful to spend a little more time examining the biblical concept of kingdom, especially since our involvement in it impacts our spiritual formation as citizens.