Kingdom Matrix (Book Review)

kingdom_matrix_largeKingdom Matrix — Jeff Christopherson

What if the sacred / secular divide was not the most accurate way of understanding the way things are and the way things should be?
With stinging clarity Jeff Christopherson points out that the kingdom of darkness is thriving in what most people would consider to be the sacred sphere. He trains his guns on what he calls “brand expanders” — the church is to be a vehicle for the expansion of the kingdom of God but instead it has become a competing pool of individual “brands” fighting for available Christian resources, power and influence. This “kingdom turf” is what Christian leaders battle for. The success of individual churches becomes the end game. Leaders, develop consumer-based strategies for filling rooms with Christian people so they can secure their portion of the Christian pie — Good preaching good music good parking. Whatever it takes. Church planting is a good idea theoretically but not if it requires resources that will drain the sending church. Protect, consolidate and above all promote the brand is what matters. The church is suffering down the street? that’s too bad. We will “pray”for them and with giddy anticipation contact all the disenfranchised Christians in order to assimilate them into the brand.
Christopherson, laments that for too long Christians have been content to view themselves as objects of grace instead of agents of grace. The life of faith corporately, is not about protecting assets and capturing market share, it’s about sacrifice and surrender to a greater kingdom than our own. As Churches come to give themselves away for the sake of God’s kingdom, the kingdom seekers of this world who have not yet met their king will be drawn in. Kingdom seekers are not fooled by the “brand expanders” of religion they are sickened by it. A churches calling is to imbed itself relationally in a neighborhood  and then ask itself the question of it’s kingdom seeking friends “how would our group of kingdom seekers most likely find their way into the kingdom of God?” — then build the outreach strategy around those answers. Ultimately because we as humans constantly feel the need to measure success how do churches do it, if it’s not “noses, and nickels”? Jeff says success should only be measured by new believers, new disciple makers, new communities of faith and a transforming effect those communities are having on their neighborhoods.
This book had the open jaw effect on me at times. I would read a paragraph, and my mouth would drop open, and I would says things like, “wow, can he say that?” or “oh my goodness, I can’t believe he just said that.” It was powerful, in my estimation, because I suspect he is saying what a lot of Christians have been thinking or have experienced. The strength of this book is his critique of the church, It’s fair, perhaps oversimplified in some spots, and a little to “spicy” in others, but it’s fair. In addition, his matrix for helping us visualize the human landscape as brand expanders, self seekers, kingdom seekers, and kingdom expanders is very helpful.


About Dennis Arve Wilkinson

Happily married, blessed with four children, thrilled to have started Meta Communities in 2011. Born in Calgary, raised in Winnipeg, undergraduate education in Wisconsin (NIU) & Seminary education in Minnesota (CBTS). During my time in the Midwest I gained about a dozen years of pastoral experience. It has been my privilege to travel to many parts of the globe and divine providence has smiled on me by allowing me to be mentored by several men of great character over the course of my life time. I am a follower of Jesus - though not without struggle. I am committed to joining God in the restoration of all things by telling, showing, and welcoming people into the good news of God's story. God's story of redemption in Jesus is the best story the human has -- I am letting the better story shape my life and helping others do the same.

Posted on March 23, 2014, in Wrestling with Books and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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