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Here’s to Your Health: The Church or the Kingdom? A Reflection for Emergent Church Leaders


A pressing question for many pastors is what will help grow their church. But perhaps this question is based on faulty assumptions flowing from faulty theology. In his book, The Present Future, Reggie McNeal discusses the shift from church growth to Kingdom growth. To him the wrong question to ask is, “How do we grow this church?” That is, how do we get them to come to us?” This question, with its set of assumptions, is based on church thinking rather than kingdom thinking. Rather, the tough question is, “How do we transform our community?” He argues that we need a missional theology where “hitting the streets with the gospel means adopting a new way of thinking on several levels. Kingdom thinking challenges church thinking. Kingdom thinking does not force people into the church to hear about Jesus or maintain that church membership is the same thing as kingdom citizenship.” However, many pastors are still thinking church growth or church health leading to church growth.

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