What is the work of the kingdom? If it is the work of the church, what concrete and measurable activities belong?
McKnight, Scot. Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church. Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Brazos Press, 2014. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 7, “Kingdom Mission as Church Mission.” pp. 98-122
McKnight asserts that “the Bible speaks of the kingdom as the people who are governed by King Jesus” (McKnight 2014, 99). Therefore, the work of the kingdom is what Jesus’ people do under his authority. McKnight now gives a specific definition. “The kingdom is the people who are redeemed and ruled by King Jesus in such a way that they live as a fellowship under King Jesus” (McKnight 2014). He makes nine observations drawn from the idea that “kingdom mission is about creating and sustaining that kingdom community, the church” (McKnight 2014).
1. A Dwelling Place for God (McKnight 2014, 100). The local church is a place where God’s presence is mediated to the community.
2. Church as Kingdom Politic (McKnight 2014) The term “politic” here means an orderly assembly which tells of the order of the coming king.
3. Living under King Jesus (McKnight 2014, 102). Jesus’ lordship extends to what we do in every realm of our life.
4. A Local Church Fellowship (McKnight 2014, 104). McKnight here attempts to summarize “one holy, catholic and apostolic” from the Nicene Creed. He has a distinctively Calvinist view of Word and Sacrament ministry as our work. He pairs that with the exercise of church discipline, then cites a Mennonite view of what the church does to live before the world.
5. A Free People (McKnight 2014, 107). Christians are “free from the dominating stories of their culture and free to do what God calls them to do” (McKnight 2014).
6. An Ordered Life (McKnight 2014, 108). Our life is ordered by Jesus as king with certain subordinate structures.
7. Doing Good Deeds in the Public Sector for the Common Good (McKnight 2014, 111). These good deeds are not the work of the kingdom and are not done to solicit praise but are the natural outcome of being in Christ’s kingdom (McKnight 2014, 114).
8. Missional in Vocation (McKnight 2014, 115). McKnight sees our vocation as loving our neighbors. That becomes “missional” when that love clearly points to Christ’s kingdom. He comments briefly on Luther’s doctrine of vocation and discards it out of hand, not grasping the differences between vocation and job.
9. Social Justice, Social Gospel, and Liberation Theology (McKnight 2014, 118). These are ways of doing good but McKnight does not consider them to be kingdom mission. The kingdom mission is to Jesus’ people, but “spills over into the world” (McKnight 2014, 121).