Kingdom vs Churchby DAVID GOODFELLOW on 10/10/17
Lately it seems that the articles I’ve read, and discussions I’ve had with other pastors, seem to be on “Kingdom Focus vs Church Focus” in various contexts. Just today, for example, I came across this quote in relation to kids leaving church:
“From what I've found, families who had kids who didn't rebel tended to have a kingdom focus, not just a church focus.” - Rebecca Lindenbach
We keep wondering why our children don’t go to church anymore. But not just children, everyone. Only 28% of Rhode Islanders go to church regularly (CT -25, MA -22, ME -20, NH -20, VT -17 are lower) according to a Gallup poll taken in 2014. 53% of Rhode Islanders seldom or never go to church (CT -54, MA -59, ME -65, NH -63, VT -71) in that same poll. Perhaps the good news is that it has not lowered since a poll taken in 2006.
I’m at fault here as much as anyone else, although in the last two years our adult Sunday School Class, KIDS Church, and Skype Bible Study have focused, and are focusing, on Kingdom building now (although those attending may not realize it…lol).
We tend to focus on “how do we get people to come to church” instead of looking at how we can spread the gospel to all the world. In the past many (if not most) churches have focused on attending church in various ways…which is not bad in and of itself…but have forgotten our purpose. And that is to build God’s Kingdom. The primary focus is to further God’s kingdom on earth, and take it beyond the four walls of the church.
We often tend to focus our attention on the local church that we belong to and its activities. Although it may be fun, and a great experience, it may seem irrelevant in this global age where everything is a click away. The world is more accessible now than ever before.
If you look at the polls you will see that millennials go to church less than anyone (see PEW polls). Could it be that the focus of the church today doesn’t seem to mesh with millennials’ values?
This tweet by a millennial says it all. “If we were in the middle of the zombie apocalypse I swear my generation would start a Zombie Rights campaign.” It’s why many millennials are for gay marriage but are also against abortion. To millennials, it’s a justice issue, not a moral one: everyone should have the right to love, and everyone should have the right to life (taken from Rebecca Lindenbach).
Going to church means becoming equipped for the calling that God has for us outside the church walls. Christianity has a much wider reach than church on Sunday and Wednesday night (or whatever day). We are in a position to see God really move in the lives of people around us, and that means having a Kingdom focus of spreading the Gospel outside the church walls.