The Rise of Kingdom Centers by Derek Kirkman
I’ve been spending some time this morning processing through this class I’m taking on the five-fold ministry or Kingdom Leadership Dynamics by Don Lynch. It’s a fantastic class that really puts into perspective what Kingdom Leaders are called to do. I highly recommend it.
In a nutshell, the current pseudo-culture of “church-anity” has little room for a full expression of Kingdom Culture. Ecclesia (church) is intended to reflect Kingdom culture, but in most cases, it does not; rather, it often reflects a people-driven consumer culture that largely operates from one grace, the shepherd. This perpetuates a pseudo-culture that largely keeps people sheeple, and hardly ever matures them to the full stature of Christ.
As an example, consider the discipleship mechanism in most churches. I have been around long enough to have had the occasion to run around the bases in the purpose driven church, and in recent days, run around a growth track. This type of discipleship can teach people the basics of the Christian faith but does nothing to help believers discover their full creative disposition and position them for their place in the kingdom; it usually only shows them their place to the nursery, kids church, or some other place to serve within the system.
Also, within this pseudo-culture, the church exists as an institution that assimilates people into a passive religious experience that mostly revolves around a Sunday service, that in and of itself, is also only a shadow of what it is supposed to be within a mature kingdom culture. The foundation that much of modern day church has been built upon is faulty because it has as its cornerstone the need to assimilate people to continue to perpetuate its existence, while never really equipping and maturing them.
Additionally, those who begin to recognize their calling as kingdom leaders (Apostle, Prophet, Teacher, Evangel, Shepherd) are generally forced outside of the church culture in order to step into the fullness of their calling because they are agents of a kingdom that has a marginal expression in the current wineskin.
The prophet is reduced to giving the occasional prophetic word to the church, lots of personal prophetic ministry, and teaching on the prophetic when in reality they are foundation layers alongside apostles. Speaking of apostles, there is almost no place for them at all, because their very existence hinges upon “initializing and originating”. This forces leadership to try and “find a place” for emerging leaders when in reality, they should be positioned within a process that helps them emerge into their calling. This simply cannot happen with the current pseudo-culture; thus, the reason why many rising leaders are being called “outside of the gates”.
Enter the Kingdom Center.
A new wineskin is emerging where the ecclesia of the new era makes a turn away from consumer culture and a return to Kingdom culture. In many respects, the Kingdom Center looks like a church, but instead of assimilating people, it positions and equips them for their place in the body. It works them through a process of discovering and celebrating their full creative disposition and it seeks to position them for their assignment and sphere(s) of influence.
The kingdom center is the answer to consumer church. It doesn’t seek to create an experience for consumers; rather, it seeks to be ecclesia that is a purveyor of full kingdom culture. That means that entertainment is shown the door and the corporate release of spiritual worship is brought back into its proper place. The full range of the gifts of the spirit are in full operation while being decently and in order; as opposed to being “that little extra something” in a church service. It also means that the word is taught in such a way that it produces full spiritual maturity in the lives of believers.
Lastly, Kingdom Centers have as their goal the advancement of the ecclesia and the displacement of the kingdom of darkness in every aspect of the world culture; in other words, it seeks to establish the “mountain of the Lord” that Daniel spoke about. It advances because believers are called out of a passive-consumer culture and empowered to live a full expression of Kingdom culture; every believer has a significant place in what God is doing.
May Kingdom Centers start rising everywhere and rescuing bored believers from the status quo religious experience and into a full expression of Kingdom culture.