the tangible kingdom

July 11, 2008 | 4 Comments

“The goal of our missional life is not to grow churches. The goal of church is to grow missionaries. The goal of the gospel is not to get people to church. The result of the gospel is that people will find each other and gather because of the deep meaning of a common experience.” (pg 168)

While reviewing some of my underlines after reading The Tangible Kingdom, the quote above stood out. It seemed to capture the main ideas of the book so well.

For anyone who appreciates the writings of Michael Frost or Alan Hirsch (The Shaping of Things to Come, The Forgotten Ways, Exiles), I’d recommend The Tangible Kingdom. As I’ve described it to a few friends, it is a book written from the firsthand of experience who has started a faith community here in the United States holding on to many of the concepts that Frost and Hirsch offer in their writings. However, it isn’t written as a prescription. Though he offers lots of personal illustrations, Hugh Halter does a good job of emphasizing practically how things might shape without creating a model to be followed.

On the crest of a starting a new church community, the arrival of this book was beautifully timed for me because it expresses so well a lot of things I’ve been thinking about … and develops some thinking beyond where I’ve been able to take it. It will be a book I will ask our board and our core group to read as we dream forward.

Oh yeah, and it’s endorsed on the back cover by both Mark Driscoll and Brian McLaren. How many books can you say that about?

  • Pat

    Thanks for the summary. And yeah, I noticed those endorsements too 🙂

  • Awesome. I’ll definitely have to get that book – Frost and Hirsch’s works have been revolutionary for me.

  • We noticed on your blog that several months ago you wrote about The Tangible Kingdom by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay. Thanks for taking the time to do that.

    One of the questions Matt and Hugh often received following the launch of that book was “Loved the book, but how do I get my community to do that?” The newly launched The Tangible Kingdom Primer is our effort to help small groups and churches do just that. It is an 8-week guide to creating missional and incarnational communities.

    If you would like to receive a free copy of the Primer, please contact us at: books{AT} Please provide your name, the street mailing address you would like it delivered to (no P.O. Box please) and your email address. In the subject line, put Tangible Kingdom Primer Blog Copy.