Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Meeting of the Waters by Fritz Kling *press release*

The Meeting of the Waters takes a look at
seven trends that will impact the future church

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.

The Meeting of the Waters is the result of Fritz Kling’s intensive research of the global church. Kling has spent the past decade in the heart of the global Church, traveling through villages and cities in every corner of the world. As a foundation executive, he has worked alongside both high-level leaders and grass-roots workers and has an insider’s story to tell. In 2006 alone, Kling conducted 151 hour-long interviews with church leaders in 19 developing world countries which is the basis for The Meeting of the Waters.

“Over the past eight years I have met with more than a thousand indigenous church leaders from forty different countries.  I have earned Premium Elite status on United Airlines, bounced through endless van rides, and drunk gallons of coffee, Coke and chai in both slums where you could not drink the water and skyscrapers.  Secular commentators have long written about globalization’s wake, and I have witnessed it firsthand—through a Christian lens,” explains Kling.

Kling’s travel experiences are truly fascinating. “During my travels, I have walked where Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci walked in 16th century China.  I have accompanied an Australian nurse as she tended to the elderly in an Asian leper village.  I have learned from Russian preachers who were jailed during communist times.   I have been spellbound by Ugandan underground church pastors as they described private audiences with heinous strongman Idi Amin,” Kling recalls.

He goes on to explain, “During those years, I have also had the privilege of meeting hundreds of people like Mission Marm. These people are my heroes.  I find it impossible to travel the world seeing firsthand the sacrifices and fruit of past Christian workers’ efforts and not feel humbled and grateful.  In difficult years past, fully expecting to live out their days in their new country, missionaries left port for their assigned country with their belongings packed in coffins.  I can relate to 1950’s U.S. statesman Adlai Stevenson who, after visiting mission stations in Africa, was asked about what impressed him most. ‘The graves. At every mission station there were graves,’ he said.”

Fritz believes that God is on the move globally like never before. Neither an institution nor a bureaucracy, the global Church is incredibly adaptive and vibrant.  It has long been the world’s most effective relief agent, meeting needs across the globe through justice advocacy, material aid, counseling, biblical proclamation, education, and more.  That’s why understanding the seven global currents discussed in The Meeting of the Waters is so important.

The Meeting of the Waters by Fritz Kling
David C Cook/March 2010/ISBN: 978-1-4347-6484-3/233 pages/softcover/$16.99

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