“Kingdom and church are not the same thing,” says Richard Rohr.
This is a fantastic reminder.
Ministry is difficult. Even though we try to make church about the kingdom, the harsh reality is that budgets have to be met, programs need to be effective, and our churches have to grow. And too often, the pressures of growing the church, ensuring the effectiveness of programs, and that budgets are indeed met get too much of our attention and too much of the leader’s focus.
And before we know it, what we end up being about is getting people plugged into church, getting people into programs that meet their needs, and getting people to support the budget. We know it ought to be about the kingdom but we end up making disciples of churches instead of disciples of the kingdom.
It’s a travesty when that happens. Churches can’t change people. Only God can through establishing his kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.
Our churches are only needed as churches establish God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. As soon as the church forgets this vision, the church fails her mission.
“Kingdom and churches are not the same thing.” Rohr continues and says, “The church is a means of pointing to the kingdom of God, just as John the Baptist pointed toward the Lamb of God. When the church does not point beyond itself to eternity and God, but only tries to make you loyal to the church, it’s entering into idolatry.”
Thank you, brother Rohr, for this needed and necessary reminder.