"the kingdom is not the child's responsibility"

The attempts in our church to select people for leadership (or develop a new leadership structure) have left me frustrated and disillusioned. I'm feeling that I shouldn't have gotten involved in church decision-making at all, and wondering if it even has anything to do with the real church, the body of Christ.

These thoughts reminded me of this journal entry from two years ago, especially the second part of it:

Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There it is!' For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you." (Lk 17.20-21)

Yet, despite Jesus' words, Christians have often put forth their organizations as examples of the kingdom of God. "Come see, here it is!" This always ends in bitter disillusionment. We can certainly say "there it is" about our churches and other institutional communities, but with those words we also confess that these are not the kingdom of God.

Yet the kingdom of God is among us. Not easily outlined like our organizations, but it is there, mixed in like leaven, the relationships between its members not outlined in any authority structure or membership requirement, crossing all denominational borders, undefined—yet strong as the most passionate love.

Like the unseen, unorganized web of our friendships. The kingdom of God is an organic community like that, untamed like nature, sprouting life through every crack in the sidewalk.

Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." (Lk 18.16-17)

A child does not receive the kingdom sitting in a conference room, making policy decisions. A child does not plan the ministry strategy of the kingdom. (The kingdom is not the child's responsibility.) A child receives the kingdom as a gift, enjoying the community given by the Father, never trying to take charge of it and manage it as we manage our institutions. "For we have one Father" and we are all his children.