Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Tangible Kingdom

This is a short video that graphically illustrates the contrast between going to church and being the church out in the community. It promotes the "Tangible Kingdom" the book by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay. See

The Tangible Kingdom came out in 2008, and it has quickly taken hold in missional and church planting circles. One of the reasons it is pretty powerful is because it tells the real life story of the authors, who church planted in Denver (and elsewhere). They tell their challenges and blessings of being in established churches, and then in church plants.

Some interesting points that they make include:

  • Telling Christians who want to join their community that they are on mission, and that in order to be a part of this group, they will need to commit to certain missional practices such blessing others, hospitality, etc.
  • Letting "Sojourners" (those who have not yet fully committed to Christ, but who are searching) participate in their community, including having leadership roles in certain parts of worship.
  • That starting a church with Christian is not really easier than starting it with non-Christians, since most Christians bring with them a consumer attitude that says, "Feed me," rather than seeking to feed and serve others.
  • That mission is an essential part of spiritual formation, and that spiritual formation is a process.

They also have four major missional practices:

  • Leaving - Replacing personal or Christian activities with time spent building relationships with people in the surrounding culture.
  • Listening - Listening is watching and sensitively responding to the unspoken and spoken needs of Sojourners in ways that demonstrate sincere interest.
  • Living Among - Participating in the natural activites of the culture around you, with whimsical holiness. This would include eating and drinking whatever was put in front of you (including moderate consumption of alcohol), a la 1 Cor. 10:23-31 and Jesus' example (who was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton).
  • Loving Without Strings - Pretty self-explanatory!

The Tangible Kingdom is an interesting, thought provoking book with real life application.

Have you read this book? What do you think of the video and above summary?


Evangelism Coach said...

I've read the book through 2x, and on my way through it a 3rd, in about a one month time span.

The chapter on Posture speaks the loudest to me. I've read widely in the field and I think their summary of the distiction between what to say and how to say it is one of the better ones I've read in a while.

I also appreciate how they do not cut down or denegrate larger consumer churches while describing the fruits of those efforts.

My own summary will appear sometime in August at

Chris Walker