Journey into Kingdom Christianity
This dissertation defines and describes the journey to Kingdom1 Christianity, providing a resource for individuals and communities traveling deeper into the Kingdom of God. In the process, I discover commonalities in progression, barriers, and breakthroughs, arriving at my conclusions through a variety of research methods including literature reviews, focus groups, interviews, ministry visitations, a research survey, and personal experience. My research highlights understanding and experience as essential components for balanced navigation in the journey.
In Part One, I provide a glimpse into the destination, a present realization of the Kingdom of God. As an expression of the Kingdom of God, Kingdom Christianity illustrates the life of one living out the love, relationship, truth, and spiritual power of the Kingdom through the Holy Spirit. This has been most recently expressed through movements commonly referred to as “Third Wave” and “Empowered Evangelicals.”
In Part Two, I introduce the Kingdom Journey Matrix as a tool to identify one's current position and inform the next steps in the process. Delimiting traditional Westernized (Evangelical) Christianity as the starting point, I highlight various stances toward the journey: resisting, seeking, and regressing. An examination of the dynamic process is further revealed through the creation of a Kingdom Journey Cycle. Studying the process, I highlight dangerous detours into theoretical Christianity and experiential Christianity and methods for moving forward.
In Part Three, the perspective shifts from the individual traveler to the leader guiding a community of faith along the path. Adapting John Kotter's Stages of Change for this purpose, I examine leadership and change dynamics inherent to the process.
The dissertation ends with a summary of research findings as presented throughout the chapters. Through the creation of the Kingdom Journey Matrix and Kingdom Journey Cycle tools are now available to help inform and guide individuals and groups along the path; highlighting common steps forward, detours, enemy interference, breakthrough points, and change dynamics. Most importantly, it demonstrates, through research, the intertwining of understanding and experience and the need for a balanced approach throughout the journey.
Mentors: Charles H. Kraft, Elizabeth L. Glanville
1 I have chosen to capitalize the term Kingdom as an inclusive term referring to both the reign and presence (imminent and heavenly) of God. For a more detailed definition of Kingdom Christianity see the definitions section later in this chapter.
Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)
Kraft, Charles H.
Kingdom of God, Holy Spirit
Missions and World Christianity