Six Kingdom Evidences
1. Reconciliation with God – human beings, having repented, forgiven and adopted as children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
2. Community and loving relationships among human beings – people, once alone and isolated, now discovering relationship, mercy and love in community with others.
3. Healing of minds, bodies and spirits – physical, psychological and relational wellness being restored. Pain being healed.
4. Peace – among diverse ethnicities, nations, and people groups – the end of hatred, racism, discrimination, bigotry, prejudice and intolerance.
5. A restored and beautiful physical planet – the world being re-established in its “very good” status. Its decay halted.
6. Justice – vast systems of human poverty, misery and brokenness coming to an end.
Then I began to teach it. Our people got it…mostly.
Some of them were so inspired that they created whole new ministries around these evidences. But, still, many times, I got blank looks from people. The idea of “Kingdom” is certainly not a concept 21st century folks grasp readily.
Then one day, sitting on my back deck with Tim Ayers, our teaching pastor, we had a burst of insight. We had been concerned that the six evidences of the Kingdom weren’t sticky enough to be remembered or embraced. They really weren’t. And it frustrated us. So, in our musings about it we flipped the coin to the other side, so to speak, and started playing around with an idea: if these are the evidences of the kingdom, then what does it look like when they are not present? The “Six Broken Places” came to us so quickly we could hardly write them down fast enough. And when we began to teach them, to emphasize them, and to construct ministry around them, we realized how truly sticky they were. Today, people at Grace might not remember all of them, but they’ll get most of them right most of the time. The six stuck.
Now, watch how this plays out as the 6 Evidences of the Kingdom become the 6 Broken Places:
Separation: Since the moment humanity began to rebel against God under the lying influence of Satan, the world has been broken. First and foremost, humanity now experiences separation from God. Having “fallen short of his glory”, we live in an un-reconciled state with Him. We are lost, without hope or a future.
Isolation: Human beings live in isolation from one another. Real community is vanishing and loneliness is commonplace.
Pain: Our bodies and minds are overwhelmed with pain. This pain is physical, emotional, and mental, and originates with everything from cancers to depression to heartbreak.
Hatred: We have become increasingly filled with hatred toward one another. Racism, ethnic conflict, ideological antagonism and unfiltered fury are all too common in our world.
Decay: The physical creation, itself, has been experiencing decay. God’s “very good” creation groans under neglect and abuse.
Injustice: Nearly everywhere, vast systems of wrong and injustice have been perpetuated for millennia. Soul crushing poverty, life-ending abortion, food insecurity, and human trafficking, to name just a few, are tragic day-to-day realities in our world.
So, there you have it. The 6 Broken Places. Click the button below to see how God moved through Grace Church in 2017 to heal the six broken places.