I have just completed David Fitch’s latest book called Faithful Presence. He has some great insights, so it is worth reading.
However, I have this nagging doubt that presence is not enough. Jesus was not just present, he made his home here on earth (tabernacled among us). He told his disciples to go and stay in a home in the place where he had sent them.
I believe that people going out to share the gospel must go and live in a place to have real impact. That is the theme of my book Being Church Were We Live.
So I was interested to hear David say in his discussion about the Benedict Option, that when he and some of his friends planted a church in Westmont, Chicago, they decided to live within six blocks. Six blocks is probably four too many, but living close together has contributed to the effectiveness of their community.
I am surprised that David did not push this a bit more in his book, as it seems to be important. As he says,
Faithful presence must be communal reality before it can infect the world.