Pastor Stan’s Recommended Book ~ The Tangible Kingdom

It is my privilege to continue to share with you a number of books that have made a significant impact in my spiritual journey. Last month I gave an overview of a book called The Practise of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence which is a phenomenal book.
This month I’m recommending another book called The Tangible Kingdom by Hugh Halter. I have read this book twice over the past few years and have found it to be an excellent resource. It’s a book that challenges you to consider what the church and the Christian life can look like in the 21st century.
Over this past winter our church Eldership team read this book. We have had many salty conversations as we met together to discuss this book and consider how it relates to our church our community and our own lives.
Hugh’s understanding of what a healthy church looks like has deeply affected the way I view the church and how I now live my life. As with most books I found areas that I do not feel will work in our church or in my life. However that being said, it has many helpful observations and stories that have affected my paradigm of the church and the Christian life.
Hugh Halter brilliantly explains that we need to practise three elements in our churches and personal lives in order to grow as disciples and help sojourners move towards Christ. In this way the church will become like the early church, it will be healthy and the kingdom will become tangible. Hugh identifies these three elements or spheres as community, mission and communion.
To give you a little taste of what this means. The Tangible Kingdom describes communion as representing those things related to our intimate connection with God such as worship, spiritual formation and prayer. He defines community as representing those things related to our lives together such as sharing friends, food and life. Finally mission as representing “otherness,” that is to focus on people outside our church community. Hugh reminds us that Jesus was very missional minded having performed 99% of his miracles outside the church building. He leads us to the conclusion that it is God’s design that we live our faith among the people of our world.
This book challenges us to recognize that the Biblical evidence is overwhelming that God’s power is most naturally meant to happen “out there”! In response to this book I now say that I pastor a congregation of 2600 people, for that is the population of the town of Port McNeill.

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