Seven Disciplines That Shape the Church for Mission
In our quest to renew the church, Christians have walked through seeker-friendly, emergent, missional, and other movements to develop new expressions of the body of Christ. Now in the post-Christian world in North America we're asking the question again: Is there a way to be the church that engages the world, not by judgment nor accommodation but by becoming the good news in our culture?
In Faithful Presence, noted pastor and scholar David Fitch offers a new vision for the witness of the church in the world. He argues that we have lost the intent and practice of the sacramental ways of the historic church, and he recovers seven disciplines that have been with us since the birth of the church. Through numerous examples and stories, he demonstrates how these revolutionary disciplines can help the church take shape in and among our neighborhoods, transform our way of life in the world, and advance the kingdom.
This book will help you re-envision church, what you do in the name of church, and the way you lead a church. It recovers a future for the church that takes us beyond Christendom. Embrace the call to reimagine the church as the living embodiment of Christ, dwelling in and reflecting God's faithful presence to a world that desperately needs more of it.
"David Fitch continues his constructive work in ecclesiology by emphasizing the presence the church makes possible in a world that desperately needs God's presence. The disciplines he calls attention to are life giving because they are the disciplines God has given us to be a faithful presence. Hopefully this book will be widely read and used in churches everywhere." -- Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus, Duke Divinity School
"Are missional churches merely traditional churches with some justice projects added on? In Faithful Presence David Fitch says no. Instead, Fitch argues, following the missio Dei and living incarnationally only occurs as we practice faithful presence in the world. And such presence requires disciplines. Faithful Presence is a meaty and delicious book." -- Michael Frost, author of The Shaping of Things to Come and The Road to Missional
"Do you want some practical, pastoral, and theological wisdom and encouragement on how to be the church, rather than merely go to church? Do you want to be a people for God's name and faithful presence—for one another and the world? Read this book. Learn nonnegotiable practices that Fitch and his communities have learned through their communion with a faithful God. These disciplines (including being with and for children), practiced together by the power of the Holy Spirit, will conform us to Jesus. Joined to him, one another, and those he's given us to love with him, we are intentionally shaped for God's missional life among us." -- Cherith Fee Nordling, associate professor of theology, Northern Seminary
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