Following on from his bestselling The Invisible Church, Steve Aisthorpe finds inspiration for his new book in the ecological concept of rewilding, an approach to the environment that allows nature to break free from the dulling effects of strategic control and bring wonder back into our lives.
Applying this thinking to the Church, Steve Aisthorpe imagines what might happen if we put less faith in our strategies and plans, which inevitably depend on our own capabilities and resources, and allow the Spirit to lead us beyond our capacity to imagine.
Rewilding the Church explores afresh the compelling invitation of Jesus to ‘Follow me’ and the call to ‘throw off everything that hinders and entangles’. It poses provocative questions and issues a call to contribute to the great rewilding of the Church – and to be rewilded ourselves. The same human instincts that have disrupted our natural environment have also constrained and domesticated the Church and Rewilding the Church commends a rediscovery of the adventure of faith.
Steve Aisthorpe is one the freshest and most original voices in the church today.
'This is an exciting and surprising bringing together or two very different themes, which on reflection most naturally belong to each other. A clear, easy and liberating read.'-- Rev’d Dr Michael Moynagh, author of Church for Every Context (2012) and Church in Life: Innovation, Mission and Ecclesiology (2017).
'In this captivating and stimulating book Steve Aisthorpe uses the concept of rewilding to challenge the contemporary church to put love back at the centre of its life and work. It is an important and timely book that speaks into the narrative on church growth.' -- Canon Dr Jill Hopkinson, Tutor in Rural Ministry, Sarum College, Salisbury; independent rural researcher and consultant.
'If I had a difficult mountain ascent facing me, there’s no one I’d rather have as my guide than Steve Aisthorpe. And having worked with him and read his first book, The Invisible Church, there are few others I’d rather have as a guide into the unknown territory of what lies ahead for the Church. This book confirms that; Steve is a reliable and astute guide.' -- Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
'This is a book full of insight and gentle provocation – which invites a contemplative reading and could be a good retreat companion for those taking time to reflect on prospects and priorities for their church.' -- Rev Dr Doug Gay, Principal of Trinity College, University of Glasgow.
'Steve Aisthorpe challenges us to stop and to pay attention to what is right in front of us. Whether you agree with every point he makes or not, this will get you thinking, it will start conversations, and will provoke change. Everyone involved in mission and leadership should add this to their ‘must read’ list.' -- Lesley Hamilton-Messer, Church Without Walls Team Leader, Church of Scotland
'Few books are essential reading – this may become one of them. Steve Aisthorpe has written a tough and timely piece making a central contribution to the current and necessary re-imagination of Church.' -- George Lings, researcher, thinker and author on mission and fresh expressions of Church
'Now, even more, we need this book to spark our imaginations and send us back to the Bible and to the call of Jesus as we consider what it means to be his Church today and in the years ahead.' -- Elaine Duncan, Chief Executive, Scottish Bible Society
'My heart leaps when rewilding is applied to faith and church. It’s evocative and opens up the imagination for so many possibilities. This is a book whose moment is now.' -- Jonny Baker, Director of Mission Education, Church Mission Society