It is so easy for people in the church—especially those “doing church work,” including both staff and volunteers—to become “church-centric” rather than “Jesus-centric” or “Kingdom-centric.” We can become so fixated on the programs of the church that we lose sight of the real reason, or purpose, behind our activities. In a book called Liberating the Church, author Howard Snyder sums up this tendency in this way:
The church gets in trouble whenever it thinks it is in the church business rather than the Kingdom business. In the church business, people are concerned with church activities, religious behavior and spiritual things. In the Kingdom business, people are concerned with Kingdom activities, all human behavior and everything God has made, visible and invisible. Kingdom people see human affairs as saturated with spiritual meaning and Kingdom significance. Kingdom people seek first the Kingdom of God and its justice; church people often put church work above concerns of justice, mercy and truth. Church people think about how to get people into the church; Kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world. Church people worry that the world might change the church; Kingdom people work to see the church change the world. . . . If the church has one great need, it is this: To be set free for the Kingdom of God, to be liberated from itself as it has become in order to be itself as God intends. The church must be freed to participate fully in the economy of God.
Are you a church person or a Kingdom person? Does your church need to be “liberated” to participate more fully in God’s economy or mission?
— Brad Brisco