The Kingdom is attractive
When a small group of people are committed to Christ, committed to each other and committed to their communities something happens.
The normal approach to ministry or social work is to look for people with a problem that you can help them solve. Inherently you come from a point of view that says “I’m ok but you’re not ok”.
Kingdom D.N.A. is different.Instead of seeing people as clients, outsiders are invited inside.
One of my favourite verses about the early church is really just a throwaway line in Acts 2:46-47
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Did you see that? The ordinary people liked them!!!
Sure the political and religious elite weren’t so keen because they threatened the normal order of things, but the ordinary people liked them.
I have written before about the fact that sometimes our faith means people don’t like us.
Often though, in my experience, what Christians percieve as persecution is actually the result of social dysfunction. People sometimes distance themselves from Christians because we look and sound different, and worse, they experience us as judgemental and not loving.
Where Kingdom D.N.A. is present, ordinary people are attracted and people with an investment in the status quo are repelled.
What this means is that we cant be operating a holy huddle… we need to be ready to both welcome people as they move from being “they” to being “us”. This means that “us” will be continually changing and developing.
This dynamic is why I indicated that I think Hirsch is missing some things in “Forgotten Ways”. The life of the Kingdom grows naturally, and if it isn’t growing naturally then one or more of the three elements we spoke about in the previous posts is probably missing.
The first question of Kingdom D.N.A. is: Do you love Jesus?
The second question of Kingdom D.N.A. is: What is your vision?
The third question of Kingdom D.N.A. is: Who are your friends?
The fourth question of Kingdom D.N.A. is: Are you open?
And the questions that come from it:
- Will we welcome the stranger? Even when they are not like us?
- Will we really love everybody?
- Do we expect people to want to join?
- Are we ready to change who we are as the makeup of who we are changes?