“The church exists by mission just as fire exists by burning,” wrote Emil Brunner. “Where there is no mission, there is no church.” The problem is, some churches have become mere Sabbath-morning gatherings of religious people. They’ve lost their fire and fail to actively love and serve their community.
Adding to the problem is the temptation to “outsource” our mission. Rather than actively using our spiritual gifts to share our faith, we pay the pastor or a professional public evangelist to do it for us. And so evangelism becomes an event on the church calendar rather than our way of life.
In Coming Close, Curtis Rittenour gets to the heart of the issue—our urgent need to rediscover and participate in Christ’s method of ministry. The components of that ministry include mingling with people, showing sympathy, ministering to needs, winning confidence, and leading people to Jesus. Coming Close provides a practical how-to for all of us who want to see our churches transformed and on fire for mission.
About the Author
Curtis Rittenour is a freelance writer and seminar speaker who has pastored for more than 25 years in Oregon, Kansas-Nebraska, and Upper Columbia conferences. He has taught classes in friendship evangelism, spiritual gifts, and reaching missing members across the North American Division. He has also assisted in conducting research for the North American Division and General Conference. Rittenour graduated from Walla Walla University with a B.A. in Theology and from Andrews University Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. He is married to Colleen, and they have five children and two grandchildren.