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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 forwards a renewed vision for the witness of the church in the world—to be a community restored to God's presence in Jesus Christ and faithfully present to him in the world. In the wake of the loss of the intent and practice of the sacramental ways of the historic church, Fitch calls for a recovery of seven disciplines that have been with us since the birth of the church. Such Christ-given disciplines, Fitch contends, shape communities of faithful presence, giving witness to the kingdom breaking in and inviting the world to join in. 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 not only helps you re-envision church—what you do in the name of church and the way you lead—but also recover a future church that carries 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.
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)|
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"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
"David Fitch can write this book not just because he has a heart for mission, but because he has attended faithfully to the presence of the Spirit of the living Christ poured out on all flesh. If you want to know more about Spirit-empowered mission, read this book. But be careful, as it will transform—discipline, even!—your life, your family, and your church according to the shape of the coming reign of God."
—Amos Yong, professor of theology and mission, Fuller Theological Seminary, author of Hospitality and the Other
"In Faithful Presence David Fitch brings heard-it-all-before church leaders both profound insight and a new imagination for spiritual practices that lead seamlessly to an authentic, faithful presence with God in the world—a faithful presence that results in intuitive and organic mission in all aspects of our everyday lives."
—Todd Hunter, bishop, Churches For the Sake of Others, author of Giving Church Another Chance
"Faithfulness is an intimidating idea, so the church can be tempted to find speedy shortcuts to growth, mission, and relevance. David Fitch is helping the church outgrow its obsession with fads to break open space for the reappearance of God's real-time presence in our neighborhoods. There is certainly unflattering press about the church in today's headlines, but Faithful Presence gives me genuine hope about what the body of Christ can be when it gathers around these seven practices. This book is appropriately critical at times, but it is fundamentally grounded in inspiring the shaping of a community for God's witness in the world. David Fitch has laid out a pathway for the church being the church again!"
—Dan White Jr., cofounder, The Praxis Gathering, author of The Church as Movement