Check Out The Kingdom Experiment (Book Review)

I recently subscribed to the new magazine Generate, which I highly recommend for all of you in church ministry and thinking about alternative, ’emerging’ ways of ministry. It is a great magazine (first one just came out this fall). I read through the whole thing in an evening I enjoyed it so much!

Anyways, the great editors of Generate sent a gift to those of us who subscribed early (at least that’s how I understand it), a book called, The Kingdom Experiment. And I’ve read through most of that as well! Besides the book having a catchy cover and nice design inside (made by the same people who did the design for the book “Jesus for President.”), it’s a really great book I recommend you checking out. What I like about it is that it works through each of the beatitudes, it gives a good introduction into each phrase but then the rest of the chapter are suggested experiments to try that in one way or another embody that beatitude. I like the guidance the book gives while allowing for a great amount of creativity. They also suggest doing it with some friends and journaling along the way. I look forward to doing this with some of the Quakers at Camas.

From their website:

What is The Kingdom Experiment?

The people are starting to catch on. There’s this guy who has spent his life working in his dad’s wood shop, making beds, stools, and some real nice end tables. But, around the age of thirty he gets to thinking a career change is necessary. Only problem is he wants a position that is seemingly already filled, the job of priest. Doesn’t stop him. Call him an entrepreneur of sorts, cause he begins preaching and healing in ways no one has ever seen— without the employment of the temple. And to top it all off, he starts collecting a good fan base—lots of people begin showing up to all his public appearances.

One day, he climbs up on a mountain and says there is a new kingdom at hand, and that this kingdom will be contradictory to everything they have known before.

And the people get the feeling this is only the beginning. You see, they were expecting a king arriving in grand fashion, but instead they got a carpenter, turned speaker and healer, who was about to shake things up a bit.

The Kingdom Experiment is a challenge to live this kingdom intentionally. It won’t be easy. And it may get uncomfortable. But if you commit to live what a carpenter started 2000 years ago, you too will experience the kingdom He spoke of.

How it works:
1. Read and discuss each chapter with your group
2. Pick one of eight experiments (challenges to live intentionally) to do throughout the week.
3. Journal your thoughts and experiences
4. Share your experiences as a group the following week

The point of The Kingdom Experiment is community. And to share stories while we’re at it. To grapple with what “good news” means in the context of this specific time and place. The Kingdom Experiment is an 8-week challenge, but who says it has to end there. Hopefully, this way of living becomes a habit. We wouldn’t complain if it did.

You can get the book here. (But always support your local bookshop first if you can!)

Published by

Wess

...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.