Sustaining Grace explores the dynamic between new faith communities and denominational systems through the lens of stewardship and sustainability. As a collection, these essays suggest that to facilitate ecologies for innovation in our current era, established congregations and new faith communities must model the sustaining grace of God to one another in creative ways. Thus, problems of sustainability are not for church planters to solve alone, but rather are related to the theologies of stewardship and the ecclesial system to which they belong. Issues of vision are not for denominational systems to theorize alone, but are given shape on their historic foundations in the creative and prophetic structures practiced in new faith communities.
This book speaks to a central tension in the growing movement of church planting--the mutual need of and the mutual frustration between establishment leaders and innovators, conservators and risk takers. Standing at the contact point of that tension in one of the wealthiest mainline denominations, 1001 New Worshipping Communities and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary engage the question of faithful stewardship with voices reflecting and strategizing on each side of the tension, broadening the conversation to include those beyond the Presbyterian Church, and bringing both the academy and practitioners from church judicatories, church plants, and traditional church communities to offer a theologically grounded, practical, and generative conversation.