The Anglican Mission in America
Our Identity in Mission
The Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) is an Anglican society of gospel-centered leaders and churches introducing people to Jesus, making disciples and developing leaders who plant three-stream Anglican churches. We exist to raise, release and support leaders and communities of faith to reach the lost for Jesus Christ in America.
Our Call to Mission
Fundamental to the Christian faith is the truth that God is a sending God. St. John records, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9). Furthermore, God not only acts on mission, He is mission. “God is love” (1 John 4:16).
Still the Christian narrative of mission does not only involve God. According to Scripture, the followers of God are commissioned to join Him in essence and purpose on mission: “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20).
The Celtic Way of Mission
Ireland was one of the only early Christian cultures in Western Europe that was never controlled by the Roman Empire. Moreover, as scholar Thomas Cahill argues in How the Irish Saved Civilization, it was St. Patrick’s conversion of Ireland that made possible the preservation of Western thought through the early Dark Ages. The key and centerpiece of this work was the establishment of the Irish monasteries as “mission staging platforms” that were founded by Patrick and his successors.
When Patrick undertook to carry the gospel message to Ireland, he developed a specific strategy or “model.” Because his missionary approach made no attempt to “Romanize” those who were converted, Patrick essentially founded a new kind of Church—one that was both catholic and primitive. Patrick’s approach was to travel throughout the country preaching, teaching and converting the Irish pagans to Christianity, tribe by tribe. As these tribes came to faith, he would establish churches, schools and monasteries at each site.
These early Irish monasteries founded by Patrick and his successors served as much more than merely ecclesiastical sites. They became centers of population, culture, learning, trade and the arts, as well as the Christian faith. As Bishop John Finney writes in Recovering the Past, “The monastery became not only a center for prayer and learning, but the heart of the organization of the church, and extraordinarily evangelistic.” And it was through these monasteries that Irish influence on Britain and Europe was exerted from the sixth century onward.
Rooted in the creative and flexible boldness of historical Celtic evangelism, the Anglican Mission in America seeks to play its part in bringing personal, social and cultural transformation to America.
A Society of People on Mission
By definition, a missionary society is a religious organization dedicated to the support of Christian mission, such as evangelism, education, economic development and church planting. This model has biblical origins that can be traced back to Acts chapter 13, when St. Paul and Barnabas were identified by the Holy Spirit and sent out by the church in Antioch on what would become Paul’s first missionary journey. As described earlier, Patrick and his successors further embodied this missional approach in Ireland, and it has continued throughout the history of the Church.
Organized in this manner, the AMiA stands in the great tradition of furthering the mission of the Church as a society of mission and apostolic works. With a single-minded focus on raising, releasing and supporting leaders and communities of faith to reach the lost for Jesus Christ in America, the Anglican Mission in America is “stripped down for mission, and not wearing Saul’s armor!” (Bishop John Rogers). Guided and held in trust by wise and faithful biblical Christian leaders, including our founding bishops, Bishop Chuck Murphy and Bishop John Rodgers, and the support, guardianship and oversight given to AMiA by the founding Anglican archbishops, Archbishop Kolini, Archbishop Tay and Archbishop Yong, from the beginning the AMiA was characterized by lean structures with a bent toward action in evangelism and apostolic works, growing through the work of church planting. As a people, mission is what we do, and society is how we organize.
Rooted in the Anglican tradition, an ancient-future faith that dates back to the first-century church and was developed in the English Reformation, the AMiA is distinctly nourished by three streams:
THE SCRIPTURE: We hold that Scripture guides our lives and is authoritative for us individually and for the Church at large (known as the evangelical tradition).
THE SACRAMENTS: We believe the sacramental life is embodied in the practices and teachings Christians have held throughout the centuries as expressed in the historic creeds and 39 Articles of Religion. Our faith tradition has a variety of worship expressions, including the sacraments instituted by Jesus (known as the catholic tradition).
THE SPIRIT: We trust the Holy Spirit is at work in the Church and the world, manifesting His power and preparing us for ministry through the deposit of His gifts (known as the charismatic tradition).
The AMiA Plan of Mission
As a society that aspires to create a movement of excellence, the following strategies and systems are in place for long-term sustainability:
1. LEADERSHIP ADVANCEMENT IS PRIORITIZED
Trusting that it is God who initially calls forth leadership, we seek to join him in recognizing, recruiting, resourcing, releasing and supporting leaders prepared for evangelism and apostolic works, primarily for the work of church planting. This investment includes discerning the call, character, competency and chemistry of emerging leaders, developing and equipping identified emerging leaders, and supporting them for a lifetime of growth and success on mission and in life through:
• relational connections with like-minded peers;
• shared learning through workshops, retreats, internships and residencies;
• continued growth and leadership care through coaching.
2. MISSION IS STRATEGICALLY CATALYZED
By supporting our mission (resource) churches, mission chapels and mission plants, the AMiA is committed to evangelism and apostolic works, primarily through church planting. The AMiA seeks excellence and success in church planting by providing:
• comprehensive church-planting assessment;
• contextual boot camps for planters and teams;
• strategic development and coaching for implementation.
3. OPERATIONS AND RESOURCES ARE STREAMLINED
Our structures are simple so as to keep our mission central. Under the authority of the Lead Bishop, the AMiA streamlines its operational oversight of leaders and communities of faith through the Executive Director, Leadership Team and staff. Additionally, the Council of Bishops serves to “push out” into new missionary works, sustaining the vision of mission and loving and pastoring as spiritual fathers.
4. GODLY PARTNERS ARE PURSUED
Jesus prayed in John 17:20-21: “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me..”
Living into this prayer, the AMiA seeks to partner in passion and purpose with an ever-expanding network of gospel relationships, both in America and around the world. With humility and expectation, we aspire to serve and lead all who are called to join us on mission with God.
For more information, please visit the AMiA Theological Vision webpage.