Influential Worship Leader Combines Ancient and Modern Christian Spiritual
Practices to Enrich and Revitalize Your Faith
“An impassioned call to move beyond spiritual observation into divine participation.” —Fr. Richard Rohr
, Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, author of Falling Upward
Christians are leaving church in record numbers. Their reasons may be surprising. For many, the story that began their spiritual journeys simply didn’t grow as they’ve grown. Feeling stuck between two bad options, they either double down on a formulaic faith or jump ship from the whole thing. But there’s another, far more beautiful pathway. It is one initiated by Christ and reflected in countless Christian traditions through the ages. Yet our modern culture has somehow lost sight of it.
Well-known worship leader and liturgist Aaron Niequist understands. He began his spiritual journey as a child—embracing Christian ideas, praying Christian prayers, and attending Christian events. Yet he was never shown how to swim in the life-giving River of God. He was missing out on the purpose, peace, and power of eternal life. Niequist had unknowingly traded the richness of swimming in the life-giving River for the dry riverbed of religion.
This journey of discovery is one that led him to an ancient yet future way of following Christ. Niequist calls it “Practice-Based Faith” because it embraces the Christian faith tradition while recognizing that belief alone is not enough. In The Eternal Current: How a Practice-Based Faith Can Save Us from Drowning
(WaterBrook, 8/7/18), Niequist unveils the historical Christian precedent for enacting and experiencing the Christian faith in refreshingly real ways.
Some of the practices that Niequist explores from various ancient Christian traditions include: the lectionary, prayers from the Book of Common Prayer, confession and assurance, the Eucharist, and the Jesuit practice of the Examen.
As well, he describes how his community incorporates a wide range of worship and liturgical forms—from hymns to readings to silence and to modern worship. Niequist emphasizes that the importance of reclaiming these spiritual practices are not about style but about form and intention. They need to be “infused with the power of the uncontainable Spirit of the living God,” he says. The Eternal Current
is an essential guidebook and resource that will help believers across denominations and backgrounds enrich their journey as they worship and walk with Christ.
Readers can explore samples of these experiential practices at Niequist’s anewliturgy.com, an ongoing collection of songs, prayers and scriptures that can be used in any location, community or season. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Aaron Niequist
has served as a leader at some of the most influential churches in the country. In 2014, he launched a neo-liturgical, ecumenical, practice-based service at Willow Creek in Chicago. He also created a series of liturgical recordings called A New Liturgy to help people create holy space wherever they find themselves. Niequist and his wife, bestselling author Shauna Niequist, live in the suburbs of Chicago with their two sons. For more information, visit aaronniequist.com and anewliturgy.com. Twitter
: @aaronieq Facebook
: @aaron.niequist Instagram:
Praise for The Eternal Current:
“Aaron Niequist has written the defining account of a generation of evangelicals who are disenchanted with the often shallow wells of evangelical spirituality and who are looking for a deeper, more robust, transformational expression of their faith. What sets his story apart, however, is that he stayed within his native tribe to contend for a different kind of space. The Eternal Current is the new construction on the other side of the deconstruction, written not by a theorist but by a practitioner.”
, author of How to Survive a Shipwreck and Prototype
“I value this book because of Aaron’s winsome way of inviting us to swim in the Eternal Current of God’s kingdom by engaging in the life-giving practices spiritual seekers have used through the ages to open themselves to God. And what a clear and compelling invitation it is, emerging from his own life and witness! I share Aaron’s vision for practice-based communities that learn together how to swim in the deep end of the pool for the sake of others, and I am glad we have taken the deep dive together.”
—Ruth Hailey Barton
, author of Sacred Rhythms
“Reading The Eternal Current
was like stepping into the current of my own heart. Aaron Niequist is a genuine encouragement to those of us who are working with the grace of God to practice ourselves into being followers of Jesus and his gospel of the kingdom of God. For those who want to take Jesus seriously, this book renews faith and reveals a fresh perspective on church.”
, Anglican bishop and author of Giving Church Another Chance
“Aaron has masterfully shared the skills he’s developed through the journey of discovery. This book is for all of us who want to discover how to grow deeper roots in loving God and our neighbor in the radical way Jesus described in the Gospels—through the rhythms of grace found in practices of public worship.”
—David M. Bailey
, coauthor of Race, Class, and the Kingdom of God study seriesReligion/Spiritual Growth
● Hardcover ● 208 Pages ● $19.99 U.S./$25.99 Canada
eBook ISBN 97816014291171 ● $11.99 U.S./$12.99 CanadaNotable Quotes from The Eternal Current
You and I have been invited to swim with this Eternal Current for the sake of the world. Jesus didn’t merely invite us to believe about the River. He didn’t say, “Here is the truth. Believe me.” He declared, “I am the truth. Follow me.” Beliefs are important but they’re not nearly enough. The invitation is to wade into the River and swim.
Christ calls us to finally and completely let go of our self-building projects and get swept up in the River of God’s humanity-building project.
Learning the “unforced rhythms of grace” became the anchor point and goal of every conversation, dream, liturgy, teaching, and plan.
Discipleship is not an optional add-on to evangelism. Mission is not an optional add-on to discipleship. The Eternal Current
is a beautifully messy journey experienced through interconnected people, practices, and lenses.
Communion is participation with a presence, not merely remembrance.
Liturgy is not about one specific aesthetic but about a well-balanced meal that forms us into what God has made us to be.
We often are good at teaching, talking, and helping people learn important truths. But we rarely give them the tools or training to live out those truths.
There is a great and mighty River flowing throughout history toward the healing and restoration of all things. Jesus called this the kingdom of God, where what God wants to happen happens.
The assertion that “Jesus loves me” is not the whole story. Not even close. The bigger story is that God, through Christ, loves everyone
Sunday is not the main event; our actual life–-Monday through Saturday–-is the main event.
A healthy spirituality will integrate every aspect of faith into a holistic, interdependent organism rather than splitting the spiritual life into separate, autonomous pieces.
We can’t separate spiritual formation from joining God’s redemption mission in the world, because our spiritual formation is part of God’s redemptive mission.
God is redeeming and restoring all
things. That includes our most difficult and broken relationships.
Wherever we go, we discover that the Creator and Animator of all life is already there. We cannot not
be fully submerged in the presence of God.