The Anglican Mission in America
The Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) Theological Vision serves to connect and enable the Society to achieve our vision and purpose. It expresses a clear and comprehensive balance between beliefs and behaviors, outlining and describing who we are, what we do and how we do this together.
What is a Theological Vision?
In his book Center Church, Tim Keller suggests that churches and organizations create statements that lean too much toward doctrine (orthodoxy) or too much toward practice (orthopraxy). He says something is missing between our “hardware” (theological foundation) and our software (ministry practice). We need a “middleware.”
Middleware is the general technical term used to describe a system that connects different or otherwise separate applications or components together. That “middleware” for the Church is what Keller calls a “theological vision for ministry.” He defines a theological vision as a “faithful restatement of the gospel with rich implication for life, ministry and mission in a type of culture at a moment in history.”
The Anglican Mission Theological Vision is organized in seven sections:
PURPOSE: We exist to raise, release and support leaders and communities of faith to reach the lost for Jesus Christ in America.
The gospel is a person, Jesus, the Son of God and Messiah, who fulfills the story of Israel and invites the world to enter and enjoy the gracious and loving reign of his Kingdom here on earth and forever in heaven. All we are and all we do centers on knowing Jesus Christ and making him known as the forgiver of our sins, healer of our souls and leader of our lives—who restores humanity to relationship with God and one another for the common good and the renewal of all things.
The Society of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) embraces and encourages the identity of the Church as a missionary people: locally adapted, shaped and sent by the Holy Spirit to extend the Kingdom of God by demonstrating and declaring the gospel of Jesus. We long for every man, woman and child in our areas of influence to receive repeated opportunities to see, hear and respond to the gospel. We seek to introduce people to Jesus, compelled by the commission, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21).
AMiA encourages evangelism by providing:
- relational models and methods for evangelism;
- workshops to equip and mobilize churches;
- coaching to encourage focus and support implementation.
(2) Making Disciples
Jesus’ invitation to discipleship is, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17). This entails three responses. First, Jesus invites us into a relationship with him, to know him, to belong to him and to enjoy the benefits of being with him for who he is and what he does. Second, Jesus invites us to imitate him, to pattern our lives after his and to become like him in our thoughts, attitudes and actions. Third, Jesus invites us to participate in his mission by being his witnesses and making disciples everywhere we go.
AMiA supports disciple-making by providing:
- relational models and methods for discipleship;
- workshops to equip and mobilize churches;
- coaching to encourage focus and support implementation.
(3) Developing Leaders
Jesus came “not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). This is the heart of Kingdom leadership: to humbly serve in love for the sake of others. We equip our leaders’ heads, hearts and hands with Kingdom leadership by helping them get clarity about their call, character, competence and contribution. When leaders know who they are, what they do, how they do it and with whom they do it best, they become faithful, fruitful and fulfilled for Christ’s fame.
AMiA develops its leaders by providing:
- relational connection with like-minded peers;
- shared learning through workshops, retreats, conferences, internships and residencies;
- continued growth and leadership care through coaching.
(4) Planting Churches
Jesus commissions us to be missionaries; “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21). Church planting is central and vital to God’s strategic plan for the mission of the Church. We embrace the apostolic church-planting model of the early church, rediscovered by the Celtic missionary movement in the fifth century: Servant evangelism leads to relational discipleship and results in new expressions of the local church. This is the reproductive cycle of the people of God on mission: seeking the lost, discipling the found and sending the mature.
AMiA fosters 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 (read blogs).
(5) Ancient-Future Faith
Through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit we are restored to oneness with God and one another (John 17:21-23, 2 Corinthians 13:14). In grateful response, we celebrate, proclaim and invite others to participate in this divine fellowship with us (1 John 1:3) by upholding and extending the three streams of the historic Faith: The Scripture, the Spirit and the Sacraments. These three streams provide a comprehensive and balanced approach to our identity, formation, and worship that is rooted in the past but accessible and life-giving for today.
AMiA promotes the Faith passed down to God’s people by:
- upholding the Scriptures as the authoritative guide in all matters of life and faith;
- welcoming the active presence of the Holy Spirit to do what Jesus promised and the Scriptures teach;
- participating in the sacred practices of the people of God to proclaim the new, abundant and eternal life we have by grace through faith;
- following the Church Calendar as a means to focus on the entirety of the gospel and help orient our lives to the story of Jesus;
- participation in the Daily Office (Common Lectionary; Revised Common Lectionary) as an expression of our Anglican spirituality.
(6) Apostolic Gifting
We enjoy being pioneers in mission and catalysts for the gospel with a bent toward innovation, flexibility and boldness. We value creative methods, starting new works and opening up new areas for the Kingdom of God to come. Focused on prayer and the ministry of the Word, we continue the mission of God by seeking the lost and lonely, tired and troubled, disconnected and disheartened people in America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
AMiA prioritizes recruiting, raising up, relating to and releasing those with apostolic gifting (Acts 1:8; 6:1-4; 16:6-10, Romans 15:20, Ephesians 4:11-13). Therefore, we encourage and celebrate apostolic leadership as defined by the following characteristics and behaviors:
- a vision beyond what currently exists in the Church, with the calling and competency to take new spiritual ground;
- a holy discontent with maintaining the status quo, coupled with the irrepressible desire to pioneer with the character and capacity to draw other people into the work of God;
- a humble desire to learn and grow with the commitment to train and be nurtured by and under others;
- a proven ability to design the framework and set the course for a local church with the charisma to influence a group of people to carry forward the mission of God;
- a knack for making things simple and reproducible with a consistent determination to persevere;
- a passion to contend earnestly for the faith and clearly communicate the gospel, entrusting it to other reliable people who do the same.
The Anglican Mission will certainly and necessarily have leaders that are not apostolic but represent the other four gifts (prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, Ephesians 4:11). Yet our focus and bent is toward creating a culture and system that recruits, raises up and releases apostolic leaders, knowing that apostolic leaders create new spaces in which the other four giftings operate as they draw upon and compliment the gifts of those around them.
(7) Spirit-Filled Life
The Father sends the Holy Spirit to take Jesus’ place on earth. The Spirit does not rest over an Ark or reside in the Temple anymore; the Holy Spirit indwells the life of every believer. The Spirit gives us life in Jesus’ name, unites us to Christ, communicates his ascended presence to his Church, draws us together as a people, gifts us to strengthen one another in love and compels us to share and invite others into community with us. We enjoy cooperating with the Holy Spirit to bring people to Jesus and Jesus’ Kingdom to people.
AMiA nurtures a personal and corporate relationship with the Holy Spirit by providing teaching, workshops and retreat experiences that uphold the following biblical portrait of the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit:
- the Holy Spirit helps disciples in two ways: to know Christ and to make him known (John 15:26-27);
- the Holy Spirit is the giver of life (John 1:12-13; 3:3-8, 1 Peter 1:23);
- the Holy Spirit is our companion who takes Jesus’ place on earth (John 14:16-20);
- the Holy Spirit is our counselor, making the Scriptures comes alive to us, reminding us of everything Jesus taught, directing us to live for Him above all else (John 14:26, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12);
- the Holy Spirit is our advocate, conforming us to Christ and cultivating the fruit of his presence in our lives (Romans 8:29, Galatians 5:22-23);
- Jesus came to preach the Kingdom of God and heal (physically, emotionally and spiritually), trained his disciples to continue his ministry and gives the Church the power and authority to do the same today (Luke 9:1-2,6; 10:1-2,8-9, Matthew 28:18-20);
- the Holy Spirit gives us divine strength to continue God’s mission (John 20:19-23, Acts 1:5,8);
- all of the gifts of the Spirit continue to be given and operate in the Church today (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12);
- the Spirit of God and the written Word of God always complement one another and promote the person and ministry of Jesus Christ with love, joy and peace (1 Corinthians 13, Galatians 5:22-23).
(8) Kingdom Diversity
All human beings are equally created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Since everyone is made in God’s image, every human life is of infinite and equal value (Genesis 9:5–6). Every person possesses an inherent, God-given worth and dignity.
In His life, Jesus respected all people and accepted everyone equally. In his death, he put an end to division among us, becoming our peace and destroying the walls of hostility between us (Ephesians 2:14-16). In his resurrection, he united us to God and one another, making us new creations. Therefore, as dearly loved sons and daughters, members of the one household of God (Romans 8:15, Ephesians 2:19), we discover a family resemblance not based on color, language, ethnicity or race, but on Jesus Christ Himself (Romans 8:29, 2 Corinthians 3:8). We will celebrate the multicultural and multilingual heritage of our redemption in the presence of God for eternity where “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” will worship before the throne of God and the Lamb (Revelation 7:9).
Building upon these biblical foundations, AMiA:
- confesses the sin of racism and laments that we all have been both individually and corporately damaged by it, whether as perpetrators, victims or both;
- asks and listens to one another’s stories, giving and receiving forgiveness, engaging in the work of reconciliation wherever sin and separation hold sway;
- pursues unity in diversity as desirable and essential for fulfilling God’s design and purpose for humanity.
We enjoy being together and maximizing our relational time. We appreciate relaxed formality and joyful reverence. We are flexible, accepting change while staying true to our commitments, with a positive attitude. We highly affirm a healthy sense of humor and do not take ourselves too seriously. We appreciate healthy evaluation and gratefully receive helpful feedback in order to learn and grow. We love to exchange ideas, ask questions and discover innovative solutions together. We commit to:
- attend Anglican Mission general gatherings and meetings and invite potential members, and the leadership and staff from our churches when appropriate;
- participate in learning cohorts, coaching and leadership development opportunities;
- promote the Anglican Mission on social media;
- contribute our thoughts and ideas to the annual Ministry Plan;
- complete and submit the online Annual Report in an honest and timely manner.
(Psalm 9:1, Proverbs 11:1-3, Romans 14:17; 15:13, Galatians 5:22-23, Colossians 3:16,23)
We appreciate one another as God’s masterpieces, created anew in Christ Jesus to do the good things he planned for us long ago. We show our gratitude for one another by using our words to bless and build up. We honor one another by talking honestly, appropriately, respectfully and directly. We affirm one another by delighting in how we see God at work in each other’s lives. We protect one another by giving the benefit of the doubt, seeking understanding, keeping confidentiality and refusing to gossip.
(Ephesians 2:10; 4:15,25; 5:19-20, 1 Peter 3:9,15)
We value others above ourselves, doing nothing out of selfish ambition and trusting that God’s power is best displayed in our weakness. We eagerly desire to serve sacrificially in love for the sake of others. We do so, mutually submitting to one another in Christ, offering our gifting, sharing our learning and contributing our resources, knowing that together we are better.
(Philippians 2:1-16, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Ephesians 5:21, 1 John 2:5-6).
We follow Jesus’ model of conflict resolution to ensure that nothing separates us from God or one another. This means humbling ourselves, acknowledging our faults and seeking peace with those who sin against us. We graciously speak the truth in love, extend and receive forgiveness and intentionally pursue reconciliation in Christ.
(Matthew 6:12,14-15; 7:3-5; 18:15-20, Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13)
A Mission Plant is characterized by:
- being led by an approved planter who is an ordained member of the Anglican Mission in America;
- a team of at least 40 people engaged in evangelism, discipleship and leadership development to start a three-stream Anglican church;
- a commitment to tithe 10 percent to the Anglican Mission;
- the expectation of being self-sustaining in a three- to five-year period.
A Mission Church or Resource Church is characterized by:
- being led by an ordained member of the Anglican Mission who has completed the membership and licensing process with the Anglican Mission;
- a well-defined evangelism, discipleship, leadership development and church-planting platform;
- three-stream liturgical worship with a minimum of 125 average Sunday attendance (adults and children);
- a self-sustaining budget, including a 10 percent tithe to the Anglican Mission in America;
- a governing body, such as a board or vestry;
- a commitment to serve as a hub and catalyst for mission and apostolic work.
A Mission Chapel is characterized by:
- being an extended expression of an Anglican Mission church;
- cultivating a gospel community among a specific people group in a designated area with a clear strategy for evangelism, discipleship and weekly worship;
- a commitment to tithe 10 percent to its parent Anglican Mission church;
- being led by an ordained member of the Anglican Mission.
The Lead Bishop (formerly Apostolic Vicar) is the spiritual head of the Society and oversees the Anglican Mission. The Lead Bishop:
- is the chief ambassador and keeper of the vision and values of the AMiA;
- chairs the Leadership Team;
- chairs the Council of Bishops;
- leads the financial development for AMiA.
The Leadership Team gives spiritual oversight, upholds the Theological Vision, and provides strategic direction for the Anglican Mission. The Leadership Team:
- is mutually submitted to one another in Christ with the Lead Bishop as the chairman of the Leadership Team;
- members are appointed by the Lead Bishop with unanimous consent of the team;
- includes the Executive Director of the Society and up to 7 other members who serve one-year renewable terms;
- makes decisions as a council;
- meets in person or by phone at least four times a year;
- organizes and runs the events of the Society;
- prioritizes the strategies and goals, facilitates, and approves the Annual Ministry Plan;
- in consensus with the Council of Bishops, identifies, assesses, and nominates the new Lead Bishop, who is confirmed by 2/3 vote of rectors/senior pastors of Anglican Mission churches.
Council of Bishops
All Bishops assist the Lead Bishop and serve at his pleasure. The Council of Bishops:
- uphold and promote the Theological Vision;
- discuss and advise on theological issues affecting the Society;
- provide for ongoing pastoral care and spiritual formation of AMiA Clergy;
- preside over ordinations, confirmations and other Episcopal duties as necessary and helpful.
AMiA Board of Directors
The Board serves to ensure our fiscal responsibilities and legal compliance as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The board meets at least twice a year.
The Staff serves to facilitate and carry out the daily operations and work of the Society. The Staff proposes and manages the budget under the oversight of the AMiA Board.
The current AMiA Staff includes:
Executive Director: The role of the Executive Director is to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Anglican Mission and oversee the AMiA Staff.
Director of Leadership Development: The role of the Director of Leadership Development is to work with Anglican Mission clergy to develop intentional plans for their development, and direct church planting assessment and coaching for the Anglican Mission.
Director of Ecclesiastical Affairs: The role of the Director of Ecclesiastical Affairs oversees all ecclesiastical affairs for the Society including; ordinations, Mission Partner Agreements, and advises the Anglican Mission on civil and canonical law.
Director of Military and Vocational Chaplains: The Director for Military and Vocational Chaplains is appointed as the Counselor General for the Anglican Mission to act as the endorser for the Department of Defense for our AMiA Military Chaplains, to provide guidance and support for vocational chaplains and to work with the Director of Ecclesiastical Affairs in all matters pertaining to both military and vocational chaplaincy.
Assistant to the Lead Bishop of the Anglican Mission: The Assistant to the Lead Bishop supports the Lead Bishop and the AMiA Staff in the day-to-day operations.