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The Meeting of the Waters: 7 Global Currents That Will Propel the Future Church Paperback – March 1, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

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—such as migration, machines, and the growing Mercy Generation—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.

About the Author

As a longtime foundation head, Fritz Kling has visited the world’s most common and most remote countries.  He delivers riveting stories about the Global Church in transition, from an insider’s perspective.  Fritz and his family live in Richmond, VA.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434764842
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434764843
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Fritz Kling has over two decades of ministry and nonprofit experience. Philanthropy consultant, Sunday school teacher and world traveler, Kling has spent recent years studying the phenomena that have made the world smaller and, in some ways, trickier for Christians trying to do good. While working for private foundations that have given millions to organizations in developing countries, he has traveled to a lot of places most Americans don't go and talked to hundreds of indigenous leaders around the world.

Kling writes to help people who care about Christianity to adapt and evolve in a world of dizzying change. In his 2010 book, The Meeting of the Waters, he explains complex global issues by recounting memorable stories from the most intriguing places: North Korea, Peru, Cuba, Mozambique, Myanmar, Russia and more. He has met with several thousand indigenous church leaders in forty different countries. He has bounced through endless van rides, drunk gallons of Coke and chai in slums, huts, and skyscrapers. Secular commentators have written endlessly about globalization's wake, but Kling seeks to provide an accessible and engaging firsthand look--through a Christian lens.

Customer Reviews

Kling's book is a thoroughly engaging and thought provoking read.
Richard J. Keshian
Kling provides a great framework for understanding global trends and how Christian Missions efforts must adapt to continue to reach people.
Jason Deuman
Kling has written an excellent easy-to-read overview of the major trends that are reshaping missions and the global Church.
Daryl McCarthy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By George P. Wood TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
From 2006-2007, Fritz Kling and his associates facilitated a "Global Church Listening Tour" with 151 church leaders in 19 countries. The Meeting of the Waters is his report on emerging trends that will affect the mission of the worldwide church. This report is timely since younger Christians are rethinking both the nature of the church's mission and of the missionary calling.

Here are the trends that emerged through Kling's conversations with church leaders:

* Mercy: The church must address the physical and material needs of humanity, not just their spiritual needs.
* Mutuality: The church in the developed world must interact with the majority world as peers, not as patrons who seek to control the use of their patronage.
* Migration: The church must minister to populations that are increasingly multinational, multiracial, and multiethnic.
* Monoculture: The church must realize that globalization is making local cultures increasingly similar to one another, and this face presents both challenges and opportunities.
* Machines: The church must utilize technology (especially computers) to accomplish its mission.
* Mediation: The church must take the lead in making peace and resolving the conflicts that increasingly characterize global culture.
* Memory: The church must take into account the fact that memory (especially of tragedy and oppression) shapes the way that people respond to the gospel.

If you are the pastor, missionary, or denominational leader, I urge you to read The Meeting of the Waters. It will not answer all your questions about how the church should carry out its mission in the postmodern world, but it will help you understand the questions that need to be asked and answered.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. T. Krispin on March 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the past decade, two books have been profoundly important to me when it comes to world evangelism: Let the Nations Be Glad!, by John Piper, and Cities: Missions New Frontier, by Roger S. Greenway and Timothy N. Monsma. The former provides a robust theology for why we do missions*, while the latter addresses the changing focus of missions from the middle of nowhere in the bush or outback to the world's cultural centers.

I now have a third book for my list of required missions reading: The Meeting of the Waters: 7 Global Currents That Will Propel the Future Church, by Fritz Kling, releasing March 1 (click here to pre-order your copy at a discounted price.)

When it comes to how the work of foreign missions is executed, the twenty-first century has brought with it an entirely new set of trends that missionaries-in-training would do well to heed. Kling, a world traveler many times over in his role as president of a philanthropic management firm, has spent years on the ground in "the field," interacting with leaders throughout global Christendom, asking questions and analyzing his findings into seven "global currents" presently at work in the river of world missions.

From my much more modest experience doing missionary work in Asia, Central America, Africa and North America, I found myself uttering enthusiastic "amen's" throughout my reading of The Meeting of the Waters. How I wish I had the perspective this book offers when I first delved into the world of foreign missions over a decade ago. Kling is careful to honor the old wineskins, which for centuries have broken ground and reaped fruitful returns in many unreached areas.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richard J. Keshian on March 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Based on Kling's extensive experience meeting with Christian leaders in ministry in over 40 countries and analyzing the effectiveness of their ministry organizations, The Meeting of the Waters is an insightful look at the way global forces are affecting the Church. The author recounts the feedback derived from a "listening tour" in which he asked leaders in developing countries to reflect on things like relationships with missions organizations and the government, the effect of global phenomena on their faith community, and the effectiveness of particular ministry strategies. It is not so much a guidebook or playbook for the future, which would become outdated within a month or year because of our rapidly changing times. Kling's very premise is that, in a world in flux, we need to learn to ask the right questions, listen, and adapt- much needed skills for the Christian Church. Because of their staggering implications, drilling down on just two of the seven currents- "migration" (movement of people and people groups) and "monoculture" (worldwide images, ideals and icons causing diverse cultures to suddenly come together) would be a fruitful enterprise for anyone interested in the Church's mission. Kling's book is a thoroughly engaging and thought provoking read. He creatively frames the questions which will need to be addressed as the Church navigates the global currents that are providing unique and unfamiliar challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing world.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Meeting of the Waters: 7 Global Currents That Will Propel the Future Church is a book I never knew I needed to read. I've attended missions conferences in several churches, and I often questioned why their methods always seemed the same: i.e., they still addressed the mission field as if the world we live in is still the 18th century where there are "tribes" we need to "evangelize to" or "save", as if the countries they wanted to go to were still heathen or pagan or unreached by any technology at all. This book showed me what I knew all along: that the world, despite being composed of many nations and peoples, is still, at the same time, united by advances in technology, science, and nature's calamities. It's safe to say that nothing happens in another part of the world without the rest of the world knowing about it sooner or later--even really closed countries like North Korea.

If there's one term I would use to summarize the book, it is relevance. This book tells you how 7 different trends, which the author terms global trends, now affect any charitable or missionary endeavor we send abroad. Any church interested in sending missionaries or aid, any non-profit or aid organization extending relief services to countries abroad, and any company wishing to do any sort of business abroad should read this book. It gives you insight as to how to actually reach other people in other nations effectively, how to work with them, and how to help them---all within the context of their national, cultural, and religious backgrounds. And that is what I call relevance. Any help, aid, or business will more likely succeed if it takes into account the 7 trends that Mr.
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