Church vs. Kingdom

As already discussed in previous posts; Jesus talks 117 times in the gospels about Kingdom and only twice about Church. Yes, he is the first to use that word and indirectly we can agree that a few times he points us in the direction talking of his body to be understood as church etc.

Despite my headline, I do not mean to put these against each other but to bring some clarity what is what. Actually they walk together as two legs needing each other, but they have different meanings and content.

One is the purpose and the other is the people that fulfills the purpose.

Church is family, and to be Salt & Light in a dying world. Church mission is to fix this world, to be worldimprovers, or as Paul put it, living temples, bringing Gods Kingdom into this world. Everything the temple was for the Jews, we are to be to the world.

See Church as a workshop, that fixes broken things, us included. But when fixed then it has done its part.

The problem is that we over the years have become Church-minded when we actually should be Kingdom-minded.

Church-minded tend to think that everything has to be under the roof or organisation of the Church. Meetings, activities, serving, praying, social-work etc. Often we say come to church. And we feel fulfilled if we are many at a certain meeting.

Kingdom-minded thinks out of the “Church box”. That the Kingdom should influence every part of society. Politics, school, business, art, music, movie, sciense, hospital, yes even peacemaker in warsituations.

Church-minded – see the gospel in terms of good news about the afterlife (it’s how you can be sure you’re going to heaven after you die).

Kingdom-minded – see the gospel in terms of good news about Kingdom life (it’s about life in God and with God, both now and forever).

Church-minded feel satisfied in activities in the church as they tend to believe only in the church you can fulfill your calling.

Kingdom-minded understands the calling is not limited within the walls of the church but everywhere people are, the Kingdom needs to influence and Jesus to be King.

Church-minded thinks, come to church.

Kingdom-minded thinks, go into the world.

It is interesting to note that already one generation after Jesus resurrection, emphasized the teaching on Church and Jesus more than Kingdom.

NT Writes states: It is clear that Jesus as Kingdom Bringer has been screened out of the church’s dogmatic tradition. Again and again, from the 3rd or 4th century onwards, the church managed to talk about Jesus while forgetting the thing that the Gospels kept on saying, the He was inaugurating God’s Kingdom.” – Wheaton Theology Conference – 2010. 

Have we missed something here? – I think we have.

Christians have far to long challenged people with the question: If you were to die tonight, were would you go. Instead we should ask us all the question, if I wake up tomorrow what will you live for?

Myles Munroe puts it like this: Religion prepares man to leave earth, Kingdom prepares man to dominate earth. Religion focus on heaven, Kingdom focus on earth.

Now its time again build a future of people that love the church and live for changing the world by advancing the Kingdom.

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