I’m part of a new community that is forming called the “Ancient Future Faith Network” (AncientFutureFaithNetwork.org). I’ve always felt the need for ministry to be rooted in the historical, not just concerned with the novelty of the now. Bob Webber, in “Ancient-Future Faith” writes:
“In biblical and ancient times worship was the primary way of experiencing God’s saving work in history. Early Christian sermons (as in Acts) and liturgies (both Eastern and Western) are oriented around the proclamation and enactment of God’s saving work from creation to the consummation. This historical and symbolic recitation expressed the identity of the church, gave shape to its communal self-understanding, and signified its place in the world. During the first three centuries of the church, worship took place in homes or the catacombs. Its content was primarily the proclamation of God’s salvation and the anticipation of Christ’s return. The culminating praise of worship celebrated the work of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Because believers did not meet in churches, worship was informal and intimate.” (p. 97)
The vision of the Ancient-Future Faith Network (AFFN) is to grow and facilitate a grassroots network of like-minded individuals and churches.
At its core is Bob Webber’s 2006 “Call to an Ancient-Evangelical Future”. But the association is not so much about doctrinal bona fides as it is about mutual encouragement and resourcing. The very heart of the Network is its members. Our desire is that members will find in this virtual community of faith a vibrant place for interaction. The Network:
- Is purposefully ecumenical and non-denominational.
- Exists for the purpose of championing and promulgating an Ancient-Future theology and philosophy.
- Is open to men and women around the world— both ministers and lay persons— inside and outside of established churches who are interested in worship renewal and what it means to be Ancient-Future.
- Exists for established churches, and people who serve them, who want access to Ancient-Future materials, resources, and ideas, and want to learn from, share, and collaborate with those who are using them.
- Exists for brand new church starts, and those called to start them, who need a network of encouraging, like-minded communities of faith.
- Promotes and coordinate conferences, workshops, and offer appropriate resources and materials consistent with the mission of the AFFN.