No one said pursuing justice would be easy. The road can be so challenging and the destination so distant that you may be discouraged by a lack of progress, compassion or commitment in your quest for justice. How do you stay committed to the journey when God's kingdom can seem so slow in coming?
Kent Annan understands the struggle of working for justice over the long haul. He confesses, "Over the past twenty years, I've succumbed to various failed shortcuts instead of living the freedom of faithful practices."
In this book, he shares practices he has learned that will encourage and help you to keep making a difference in the face of the world's challenging issues. All Christians are called to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly in the world. Slow Kingdom Coming will guide and strengthen you on this journey to persevere until God's kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven.
Kent Annan (MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary) is a writer, speaker and co-director of Haiti Partners, a nonprofit focused on education in Haiti. He is the author of After Shock and Following Jesus through the Eye of the Needle and has spent fifteen years working with people in difficult situations around the world, including in Europe with refugees and in Haiti. Kent is on the board of directors of Equitas Group, a philanthropic foundation focused on ending child exploitation in Haiti and Southeast Asia. His writing has appeared in publications including Christianity Today, Utne Reader, Subtropics, Geez, Adbusters, The Sun, Orion and Sojourners. One of his essays was cited as a "Notable Essay" in the Best American Essays series and he wrote a chapter for the book Global Perspectives on the Bible. He has been featured on national TV and radio shows. Speaking regularly to groups around the country, Kent also teaches adult education at his local church. He travels to Haiti regularly from Florida, where he lives with his wife Shelly and their two children.
Seeking first the kingdom of God often feels like running the last mile of a marathon in wet sand. Progress seems painfully slow, and we often want to cry out in agony. Kent Annan provides us with practices to give us strength in the race so that we can run and not grow weary. I wish I'd had this book years ago!
founder and president, Chalmers Center, Covenant College
There is an African proverb that says, 'If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.' In Slow Kingdom Coming Kent Annan shows us how to live into the meaning of these words by experiencing the life-changing impact of working together for justice and healing, both locally and globally. If you want to be a part of the change you hope to see in the world, I highly recommend this book!
-Brenda Salter McNeil
Slow Kingdom Coming is one of the most honest yet hopeful reads for those who seek to do the work of justice today. Kent calls out shortsighted, quick-fix approaches and then offers a more responsible, sustainable way to love the world. This book is accessible, inspiring and actionable. It should be required reading for anyone who is serious about participating in the slow yet beautiful work of God's redemption in the world.
-Jena Lee Nardella,
Kent Annan is doing some of the most redemptive work on the planet. His newest book is a breath of fresh air - he steps back from all the action to consider the practices, prayer and disciplined reflection that sustains the work of justice. Slow Kingdom Coming is about going slow in a fast world, going deep in a shallow world and going far in a world that likes shortcuts. Brilliant.
In a culture that's tempted by quick and glamorous results, we often forget that the work of mercy and justice is long, laborious and often messy. I deeply appreciated Slow Kingdom Coming by Kent Annan because it's vulnerable, confessional and invitational. It's vulnerable because Annan shares the good and bad. He resists the common temptation to portray the work of justice as a neatly packaged product. It's confessional because Kent shares from his personal mistakes and struggles. We need this kind of honesty and truth telling. And last, it's invitational - in other words, hopeful. It's a humble reminder to us that we're not the saviors of the world. Ultimately, it's God's mission, and we are invited to participate in it.
pastor, Quest Church, founder, One Day's Wages
Kent Annan lives and works in the real world and he knows that the world in which we live is desperate for the transformation of justice - transformation that will last. But it is in our very desperation that we often forget that the transformation for which we so long only comes slowly. The field of neuroscience is teaching us that the most permanent forms of healthy brain changes - and, by extension, relational and institutional changes - emerge over the course of lengthy, persevering practice. Slow Kingdom Coming is a siren call, drawing our attention away from a world of quick fixes to God's timing, tempo and purpose. In it Annan graciously gifts us with a deeply practical manual for how to join God at his pace in his work of bringing justice to the time and place we occupy. But more so, he leaves us with an offering of spiritual disciplines by which God can change us more permanently in all areas of our lives. If you want justice, and you want it as God wants it - when God wants it - this is a must-read book.
How can I say this? Each day when I move out into the world, I want to be clothed with the truths shared in Slow Kingdom Coming. I'm not, but I want to be. I want to be as gentle and as smart as Kent is as he writes. I want to be as opened-eyed and open-hearted as those he quotes, from Weil and Bonhoeffer to a homeless vet in a dark park and a young mom praying over a photo on her refrigerator. I'll recommend [this] to everyone I know who wants to do justice more wisely and love mercy more purely and walk ever more humbly with our God. Yes, I love this book!
advocate for global engagement, Willow Creek Community Church
An immensely helpful, honest and practical guide for transforming good intentions into tangible action! Slow Kingdom Coming gives an honest look at the challenges and shortcuts that accompany a passion for justice. Annan raises the real questions, and with an honesty and transparency seasoned by years of experience, he provides insights and examples from his personal playbook. He takes ancient and familiar practices like confession and turns them into prophetic and energizing fuel for both the inner life and outward practice.
director, International Justice Mission's Institute for Biblical Justice
In this wise and insightful book, born out of years of working with some of the world's most vulnerable people, Kent Annan beautifully describes five practices that lead to lasting change and draw us deeper into God's 'slow kingdom coming,' the flourishing life God intends for all creation. This is a fundamentally hopeful vision. If we are attentive to it, it could radically transform how we care for our neighbors - and transform us at the same time.
-C. Christopher Smith and John Pattison
If you've ever found long-term service and loving your neighbor to be more difficult than you initially imagined, then you need to read Slow Kingdom Coming. As an experienced development professional, Kent shares five transformative practices to help you avoid compassion fatigue, maximize impact and walk humbly in the world. Grounded in real life experience and rooted in Scripture, this is a book I will be widely sharing with my global colleagues and friends.
president and CEO, HOPE International
" Slow Kingdom Coming is a captivating read, a must for any who believe God may be calling them to minister to and with the poor. It is a worthy successor to its predecessors and builds upon this rich foundation."