This is number thirteen in a series of fourteen. In the past fifty years our imagination about what it means to be God’s people has been shaped by imported models and by a variety of traditions, but those traditions themselves have been conditioned by the preachers, leaders, books and churches that have dominated the media. The most prominent of these are American “success” mega-churches.

We are now in the intriguing place of recognizing the limits of an imported imagination of ecclesial life, creating a significant vacuum and much anxiety. There are also hopeful signs that the work of theology, and of mission, in place — in THIS place — and the interaction of these two, is being taken with new seriousness by Canadian believers. Thus this series of posts on the work of Canadian authors.

My last post considered “An Emerging Dictionary for the Gospel and Culture, written by myself. This time we’ll look at Kingdom Culture: Growing the Missional Church, by Phil Wagler.

Phil is one of the founders of Kingsfield, a movement of missional churches that sprang from the life of Zurich Mennonite Church in southwestern Ontario. Kingdom Culture seeks to bring “missional” frameworks to practitioners in Canada.

The book is organized into four chapters around four declarations, “No one gets left behind,” “Our leaders lead,” “I am a disciple of Jesus and I contribute to his kingdom,” and “We exist for the world our Lord came to save.” Each of these declarations has two sections attached. Under “No one gets left behind” are, “a kingdom culture sees people,” and “a kingdom culture embraces and engages mess.” Each section closes with a short “toolbox,” offering suggestions for further exploration or practice.