I am quite late to actually reading Desiring the Kingdom. It was first published 9 years ago. I purchased it 4 years ago, but I didn’t actually read Desiring the Kingdom until this week when I realized that there was a new audiobook out.
The basic ideas in Desiring the Kingdom are not new to me. I have read six of Smith’s other books including You Are What You Love twice. (You Are What You Love is intended to be a more popular level introduction to similar ideas.) Several of the illustrations, going to the mall and ball park as an alien anthropologist trying to understand what it is that we as humans are doing is familiar from other books and talks I have heard. But it is worth reading this full book as both a reminder of the ideas and a more full expression.
Desiring the Kingdom is attempting to refocus our Christian discipleship away from information sharing toward worship in a broad sense. We are not simply ‘Brains on a stick’ but we are ‘thinking things’. It is not that information and thinking are unimportant, they are very important. But we are not changed simply by being introduced to information. We are changed through the power of worship and by refocusing on what we love.
Part of what is difficult for me is that I am a part of a megachurch, which I love, but which does not really take the ideas of Smith’s understanding of worship into account. My church wants to be a church that unchurched people like attending. And I love that. Our church is full of people that hated church as children, teens, or adults and because they hated church they never understood the gospel (or in some cases the actual gospel wasn’t presented.)