Kingdom First: Starting Churches that Shape Movements

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

There are few dreams more spiritually intoxicating than the dream of being used by God to start a new community of Christ that skillfully brings the restorative gospel to a lost and broken city. Something which feels like a spiritual landslide that starts with lostness and ends in an avalanche of new congregations multiplying and transforming community after community into which they unmistakably seep.

Authors Jeff Christopherson and Mac Lake call readers to imagine a movement that vividly remembers the insubstantial days of a mustard seed with a sense of awe and wonder when looking at the indescribable harvest that stands all around. Though the kingdom of God can’t be forced by superficial methods, the good news is that when you move past the threshold of your competency and comfort, you find yourself in the very spot where God can use you like no other.

What wouldn’t you sacrifice to be a part of something that only could be described as a God-honoring gospel movement?

Kingdom First is a book geared more toward a church planter or a church that is focused on multiplication. However, it is also a book that will be helpful to any church leader who wants to be serious about intentionally putting the Kingdom of God first and foremost in their ministry context. There is a lot of helpful advice in this book that helps frame perspective toward a Kingdom that is larger than the one we often settle for. If you want a fresh perspective on personal leadership, leadership development of others, character, communication, discipleship, disciple-making, and multiplication this book has it all. What I love most is the singular focus throughout all these components to form an intricately weaved system for Kingdom Multiplication. Grab a copy and allow your perceptions to be challenged. Each section ends with questions for coaching others which makes this a great book to read through with others and to mentor new church-planters through.

Here is a brief synopsis of the journey this book takes the reader on:

  1. It starts with an understanding of what Jesus might have meant for His church to be Kingdom first.
  2. From there it delves into a practical look at the character of a leader that is necessary for Kingdom advancement.
  3. Third, with an understanding that contexts radically differ, not only from region to region but also from neighborhood to neighborhood, what is a Kingdom-first approach that is respectful to the communities we will serve?
  4. Fourth, it examines communication and gaining an appreciation for what “grace” and “truth” might sound like to our varied audiences.
  5. Fifth, it investigates the kind of teamwork necessary for effective Kingdom collaboration.
  6. Sixth, it seeks perspective on how a church might make a difference in the geography it takes responsibility for.
  7. Seventh, from that responsibility it tackles building a Kingdomesque disciple-making road map for groups to journey.
  8. Finally, after we have considered the Kingdom implications of systemic multiplication, it investigates what it would mean for the church itself to become a multiplication system.

The whole process has practical application of what it might mean to plant a church that is truly Kingdom first.

For any church multiplication system to be effective, every system that supports it needs to become a multiplying system. Disciples must become disciple makers. Leaders must become leadership developers. Pastors must become indigenous staff developers. (Kindle Location 4235)
When your Kingdom assignment is not a church but a lost city and a lost world, you can never come to a place when you have enough leaders. Multiplication moves from a nicety to a strategic necessity. (Kindle Location 4235)