A Theology of the Kingdom - Teaching & Equipping Month

Introducing our inaugural Teaching & Equipping month, entitled ‘A Theology of the Kingdom of God’, we are  thrilled to introduce Dr Stephen and Clare Backhouse who will be resident with us and leading our input. The increasing emergence of the Kingdom of God within our lives, churches and communities is integral to our long-term aspiration in Chanctonbury Churches – what we call ‘2033’.

The focus for this month is to go deeper: to go deeper in knowledge and experience of the Kingdom of God through examining the theological roots, biblical foundations and practical outworking; there will be space to grow in confidence through the practice of ‘hands on’ ministry, and time devoted to encountering the presence of God.

The vision for this month was birthed back in September during our Church Weekend away, when a strong desire was expressed through the ‘dreaming initiative’ by many in the churches, for more time for personal renewal, and more teaching and training in Kingdom ministry. We have planned the timetable carefully to allow as many of us as possible to participate within our varied circumstances and commitments.

There is a small charge of £5 to participate in the Teaching and Equipping month to cover materials. On Sunday 20th May we will take a financial offering to bless the Backhouses for their time with us.

With love,

James di Castiglione

Rector, Chanctonbury Churches

Dr Stephen Backhouse writes: “The Kingdom of God is the subject Jesus talked about more than any other. The Kingdom is a place of healing, prophecy, encouragement and victory over evil. It is a place where 
people love their enemies, forgive one another and refuse to worry about money. Kingdom people listen to the Spirit’s prompting, above their own inclinations, and amidst the confusing plethora of agendas in our world today.

Jesus taught that the Kingdom is now here and also, that
 it’s full potential is not yet realised. It is like a lamp shining in the darkness, yeast in dough or a small seed that is growing into a far-reaching plant. The Kingdom is what we welcome when we join Jesus in his famous prayer, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.”

Over our time together we are going to look at the Kingdom as it is envisioned by Jesus, and how it played itself out amongst the earliest Christians, through history until today. We are not just going to be educated about the Kingdom, but we want to experience and live it together. We hope to learn about life under the rule of King Jesus, and then practice it!" 

Dr Stephen Backhouse is an author and a theologian who specialises in political theology: tracing the ways that Christianity works itself out in the world.

He loves the work of Søren Kierkegaard and has written a couple of books about him, as well as speaking and teaching on the Gospels and the political imagination of the New Testament.

Stephen has been on the staff of St Mellitus College for the past ten years, and is the founder and director of Tent Theology, a new venture seeking ways to bring real theology back into the local churches where it belongs.