Chapter 1 : Introduction
Is the term ‘Kingdom’ relevant anymore?
In 1994, I became part of a cell-church plant. It was a grand experiment to seek out new ways of connecting to people and of building authentic community. Attention was given to developing a relevant message that could reach the people of our city. The leadership was a group of university connected, highly educated men and women with a passion for helping the church increase in viability and effectiveness. The church grew rather quickly and I was excited to be a part of a fresh, passionate group of believers. It was while attending this church, that I began to receive teaching and revelation concerning the Kingdom of God.
I remember conversations with those educated, passionate church entrepreneurs in 1996. Specifically, I remember talking about using the word ‘Kingdom’ in the context of trying to increase the relevance of our terminology.
We questioned whether contemporary society could properly connect with the connotations associated with the word ‘kingdom’. We pondered how a society built on democracy could identify with and fully understand what was meant by the word ‘kingdom’. We explored other possible terms that might help better communicate the meaning. I don’t remember ever coming up with a satisfactory replacement but I remember trying.
How wrong we were! The last 20 years has seen an explosion of revelation concerning the Kingdom of God and the terminology has actually increased in relevance, not diminished. Since the late 90’s, I’ve heard the ‘relevance’ conversation surface every few years. However, those contemplations have proved to be only intellectual exercises because the relevance of the term coined by Jesus himself continues to communicate, to capture and overtake believers the world over.
It is true that ‘Kingdom’ has become a buzzword as of late and it has sparked, once again, the discussion concerning the relevance of the word. When a word becomes overused, it begins to lose its meaning and there is concern being expressed from many quarters that the term ‘Kingdom of God’, is perhaps losing its meaning from watered-down overuse. I can understand this analysis, but I cannot relate to it.
I strongly suspect that a diminishing lack of relevance is directly connected to lack of revelation. If you use the terminology without experiencing the revelation of its reality, it will be reduced to a buzzword. My life was radically altered by a revelation of the Kingdom of God. For me, it represents a profound shift from impotent Christianity to supernatural life and productivity. It was the pathway for me to transform from a life of doing things for God to living IN God and operating FROM God. I cannot imagine ‘Kingdom’ ever becoming trivial or meaningless. Therefore, this book unapologetically uses the terms ‘Kingdom of God’ and ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ as if they are as fresh and relevant as the day they were first uttered.
I do not mean to suggest that I have a full understanding of what the Kingdom of God is and how it operates. In fact, the more I seek to fully enter, live in, and express the Kingdom in my life, the deeper is my respect for the vast mystery that encompasses the Kingdom. The fraction of revelation that I carry has transformed my life and it has caused me to seek just how much more there is to discover.