A young Christian from Ireland moves to India-not to evangelize but to help girls escape prostitution. A retiring missionary in Brazil who long ago left all remnants of home encounters a thirty-year-old, laptop-carrying family man who rarely stops texting friends in the States. A Kenyan pastor struggles to connect with a congregation that watches a mega church pastor on the Internet every Sunday morning.
The community of Christians around the world-also known as the Global Church-is stunning in its scope and spiritual impact. But what is happening to the Church as technology, generational transitions, and cultural shifts make their mark?
In The Meeting of the Waters, Fritz Kling identifies seven trends-mercy, mutuality, migration, monoculture, machines, mediation and memory-having an impact on today’s Global Church. Equal parts travelogue, character study, and global documentary, this breakthrough book is for anyone eager to make a difference in a changing world.
Kling begins by posing the topical question…“How can Christians be faithful and relevant in these volatile, fluid days, as we seek to spread good news to people of different cultures in a winsome way?”
For many of us wanting to reach the last, the least and the lost, we may consider it to take a specific format and stick to many old methods but Kling challenges us to reflect on our approaches considering these 7 ‘global currents’ that he has identified.
“For Christians seeking to be faithful and relevant in the changing world, the 7 Currents offer new ways to pray, think, give, send and go. Most strategically, the Currents provide a starter kit for a new generation of globally minded Christians to see God’s kingdom come–in brothels and barrios, in statehouses and criminal courts, in movie theatres and boardrooms, and in rain forests and greenbelts.”
In his exploration of the challenges and changes occurring in world evangelism Kling reveals how his encounter with an honest Kenyan pastor led to the gathering of a wide variety of testimonial truths that have shaped this book. Kling writes that a mission Scholar once said to him “If you really want to understand the future of Christianity, go and see what is happening in Asia, Africa and Latin America…that’s where the action is.” So, my colleagues and I decided to do just that. Between June 2006 and June 2007, we conducted 151 one-hour interviews with church leaders in nineteen countries. We called it the Global Church Listening Tour.”
With such measured research we can only conclude that if we are really serious about mission and world evangelism then we need to change our perspective and recognise as Kling says that, “Different generations are used by God to serve the world in different ways at different times.”
A great book for those with a heart for mission and evangelism, be prepared to be challenged and propelled into action!
The Meeting of the Waters by Fritz Kling
David C Cook/March 2010/ISBN: 978-1-4347-6484-3/233