Have you ever thought about planting a church with The Anglican Mission? Gavin Pate of All Saints Dallas gives five compelling reasons why church planters should consider this Anglican church planting society.
Church planting is hot today. Many young people have a hunger to plant new churches, to see God’s love realized in communities around America and to see the church thrive. They see declining standards and attendance at American churches and want to fight the slide. One way to fight that slide is to partner with The Anglican Mission to plant a new church in the United States. Here are five reasons why The Mission offers a fantastic climate for successful church planting.
1. The Anglican Mission has a culture of Prayer Book liturgy. Some parishes stick to the printed liturgy; others use chunks of liturgy blended with different worship concepts. This liturgical structure creates a soil in which the Bible is central, Christ is encountered and the Holy Spirit is experienced.
When you plant a church with The Mission, you know from day one that you are not under pressure to be a superstar pastor. If you want an environment where you are the star of the show, you will have to plant somewhere else. In The Mission, Jesus is the center of worship and that worship is animated in our liturgy. The liturgy itself is bigger than any one person and it guides us in worship.
This time-tested liturgy protects us from the fads and trends that churches sometimes find themselves tempted to employ. This durability is a testament to the theological soundness of its content. Church planters in The Mission realize that they do not have to provide a bonfire of inspiring comments every Sunday once people are conditioned to the goodness of the Anglican liturgy. This unshackles the pastor to do his best within Biblical boundaries, not be eaten up with stress every January, wondering how he is going to impress the people this year.
The liturgy also connects us to the historic church. I recently watched a video about the Christian martyr Perpetua with my children, and I was pleasantly surprised when Perpetua’s worship sounded a lot like ours! Much of the liturgy that we employ in The Mission is historically connected, finding its home in the church as it has since the time of Jesus Christ. It is both beautiful and theologically sound.
2. We enjoy formal relationships with other Anglican churches around the world. The Mission began as a commissioning work of the church in Rwanda, but has since evolved to be a work commissioned by Archbishops and Provinces in nearly a dozen countries. This means that The Mission has a living, active relationship with Anglican leadership from places like Tanzania, Madagascar and Ghana, among others. It is our small effort to be one with the Christians around the world.
3. The Mission is a place of diversity with boundaries. There is tremendous flexibility in ancillary issues. Items like clergy vestments, communion formality and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are all things that Mission church plants can decide for themselves. This gracious attitude allows churches to embrace their call to their community without facing litmus tests from others at Mission gatherings.
4. The Mission also shies away from a franchise model of church planting. As churches are planted, they are encouraged to reflect the culture and people of their parish. My home parish, All Saints Dallas
, worships in a high church way while exhibiting a relaxed, welcoming spirit to all in attendance. Other Mission parishes practice a more informal, low church worship. Neither of these practices is wrong. Both churches are doing their best to reach people for Christ. In The Mission, pastors can ply their craft as God calls and not worry about the uncharitable judgments of others.
5. The Mission has a good grasp on the purpose of the local church. There is no pressure to be a second Hollywood, offering amazing special effects to the locals. No one is suggesting a carnival-like atmosphere where reverence is seen as prudish baggage. The Mission plants churches that know their role in a community. More than voting centers or Christian clubs, Mission church plants are outposts of hope. They offer life. They encourage and bless. All in the name of Jesus Christ.