Summary: If you’re going to understand how to operate in healthy church life, you have to understand the concept of a kingdom. It’s God’s form of government, and it’s unlike how we operate in every other sphere of our lives. If you truly understand it, you’ll do whatever it takes to obtain it.
The key to understanding someone is understanding the concepts they express or communicate. Relationships 101 tells us that if there’s a breakdown in communication somewhere between the time when thoughts and ideas are conceived in a person to when the receiver interprets what’s communicated, we experience misconceptions. Misconceptions lead to inappropriate responses because you’re responding to a faulty concept.
With that as the backdrop, I want to explore a concept God has shared with us that clues us into why He created. And with a better understanding of that concept, we’ll better understand how a church should operate. It’s a concept that humans, including most Christians I know, largely have misconceptions about.
If you really, truly and fully grasp this concept, you’ll have an interesting response. It’s really the only response someone could have if they’ve truly grasped it. I’ll reveal the response you’ll have if you’ve really, truly and fully grasped the concept in just a moment.
God’s concept of government
First, let’s start with the concept. It’s the concept Jesus mentions in Scripture more than any other. It’s God’s concept of government. It’s the Kingdom of God.
You may be shocked to hear this, but God’s government is not a democracy. Jesus never talked about the “Democracy of God.” Therefore, churches should not function according to democratic principles. He talked about the Kingdom of God. That’s right, God’s form of government is a kingdom.
Unfortunately, no matter where we live, us Christians fight against 2 major factors that hinder our ability to understand this concept.
First, we’ve grown up in countries that operate by forms of government that are unlike God’s Kingdom. If you grew up in a democracy (although the USA is technically a republic) as I did, you grew up without a king and decisions were basically made by majority vote.
Second, if you grew up as a part of a church, you were likely a part of the type of church that operates more like a business corporation than a kingdom. That church likely had a board, one to a few professional Christians who did most of the work of the church, a democratic decision-making process, a minority of rich people, a majority of middle class and poor people, mostly one race attended, etc.
If you grew up in both of these situations, then you’re used to operating with concepts that are unlike the Kingdom of God. In many cases, those concepts are in fact the opposite of the Kingdom.
It’s likely that even to this day you have to get up and go to work in the systems that sprout up from these concepts, and may still attend the type of church that operates in systems derived from these concepts. Since most of our time is spent this way, it’s no wonder we have difficulty grasping and living out the Kingdom.
An appropriate response
Since we have difficulty understanding, we have difficulty responding appropriately.
What is the appropriate response for someone that truly understands the Kingdom?
Check out what Jesus communicated about it in Matthew 13:44-46…
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
When people truly understand the Kingdom concept, they do whatever it takes to obtain it. I hope by God’s grace to communicate the concepts God communicated to us about His Kingdom in the posts to come to inch us ever so closer to this appropriate response.
The rest of the posts in the Understanding God’s Government series are here.