Thoughts from NT Wright’s Simply Jesus. I blame him. Don’t shoot me. 😉
The church for centuries lived in the true power of the Kingdom (not fully, but more at times than others). The church lived out what was demonstrated in the life of Christ and they simply believed him when he commanded them to go and do the same.
Now that in many countries the “state” has assumed responsibility for many of them (that’s part of what I mean by saying the state, not least in Western democracies, has become “ecclesial,” a kind of secular shadow church), the church has been in danger of forgetting that these are its primary tasks.
When we cease to live in the power of the disciples saying, “We must obey God rather than human beings” (Acts 5:29), we cease being the church.
Jesus went about feeding the hungry, curing the sick, and rescuing lost sheep. His Body should be doing the same. That is how his kingdom is at work.