The Ancient-Future Faith Network sprang up from the grassroots, from genuine need, and from the hearts of many whose passion unites them in a desire to come together in a common vision. It also started when many of those same individuals, in early 2010, sensed that the Holy Spirit was especially at work in the renewing of the evangelical church and her worship.
In Sacramento, California, He led a group of believers who were admirers of the late Robert E. Webber, and his many calls for renewal, to form “Epiclesis: An Ancient-Future Faith Community”, the first-ever church start built from the ground up on those principles. They eventually called Chris Alford, a graduate of the Webber Institute’s inaugural Alpha class of doctoral students, to be their lead pastor. As that group began their ministry, they became increasingly aware that the Spirit was stirring in similar ways in the lives of men and women, both in and outside of established church settings, across the United States, and from other parts of the world.
The leadership at Epiclesis began hearing from like-minded people every week— sometimes daily— who hungered for depth in worship, for a spirituality that would link them with countless generations of believers before them, and who desired to walk out their baptisms in a community that would call them to live an authentic faith. A vision began to immerge, especially in the heart of Chris Alford and a small team of Epiclesis elders, to prayerfully consider whether the Spirit might want to build a kind of network to connect to like-minded people.
That’s why we’re here— that’s the motivation behind the Ancient-Future Faith Network: Our desire is to reach out in hospitality to share with and encourage those who may be working on common ground and walking down a common road.
Our purpose is to foster the worship of God; to build and promote a network and association of like-minded individuals and churches; to organize and provide Ancient-Future resources and training; to particularly promote the 2006 “Call to an Ancient-Evangelical Future” championed by Robert Webber; and more generally to promote and encourage the knowledge and practice of Ancient-Future theology, worship, spirituality, and ecclesiology.
We aim, as “The Call” says it, to promote “ongoing, open-ended conversations,” and take as our principal purpose and reason for being the words recorded in that document’s Epilogue: “In sum, we call Evangelicals to recover the conviction that God’s story shapes the mission of the Church to bear witness to God’s Kingdom and to inform the spiritual foundations of civilization…. We pray that we can move with intention to proclaim a loving, transcendent, triune God who has become involved in our history. In line with Scripture, creed and tradition, it is our deepest desire to embody God’s purposes in the mission of the Church through our theological reflection, our worship, our spirituality and our life in the world, all the while proclaiming that Jesus is Lord over all creation.”
You are welcome here. You may be serving in a place of joy and fulfillment and would like to share what God is doing, Ancient-Future-wise, in your ministry. You may be serving in a place of difficulty and hardship, facing leaders who are indifferent or even hostile to renewal, and would like to learn more about how to implement Ancient-Future principles in an effective way. You may be interested in learning how to plant a new Ancient-Future community of faith.
The members of the Ancient-Future Faith Network are the very heartbeat of our growing family. And we urge you to reach out to them, engage, and join our number. You’ll be received with a warm embrace. Whether you’re here to give, take, learn, teach, encourage, or be encouraged—this Network is for you.
And you are welcome here.
Want more information? Would you like to join the AFFN? Contact us for more information.