Dear Friends and Church Family of the Anglican Church in North America,
As we enter into the season of Advent and the beginning of the new church year, I wanted to send out an update of what Anglican 1000 has been doing for the second half of 2012. I am truly amazed at all that God has done and I am in great expectation of what he wants to do in 2013!
On Good Friday of 2012 Archbishop Duncan called and asked if I would consider the role of Vicar of Anglican 1000. After a lengthy process of prayer and discernment, I accepted and began this new season of ministry in June. That month, at the Provincial Assembly, I shared three goals I hope we can accomplish before the end of Archbishop Duncan’s term as our first Archbishop.
1. To build on the excellent work of Fr. David Roseberry and Fr. Daniel Adkinson to continue to serve church planters and the Province. For the first three years, they helped lay an excellent foundation for a united missionary and biblical North American Anglicanism by "changing the subject" from the divisions of our past and encouraging the planting of 1000 new congregations. I want to keep up the work that they have so ably done and continue to increase our effectiveness in driving church planting in the Province.
2. To encourage and catalyze several "pipeline" areas that will have long-term effects on the scope and trajectory of our planting of new congregations, namely: children, youth, college, and multi-ethnic ministries.
3. To actually see 1000 new churches planted before the end of Archbishop Duncan’s term.
Since that time I have been working diligently to position A1K to accomplish these goals in this next season. Here are some highlights on what we have been working on:
I have put together a team of leaders to come along side me in the work of Anglican 1000 including a small field staff and an Advisory Team made up of a diverse group of men and women from throughout our Province. These leaders are helping shape the direction of Anglican 1000.
I have also more clearly defined our role as Anglican 1000 moves into its next season of ministry. I use three words to explain what we are about: Encouraging (we want to support and love existing ministries and planters), Equipping (we want to get the proper training and tools in to the hands of our planters for them to flourish in the work), and Catalyzing (where there is a need for a plant or ministry that does not currently exist we want to gather the people and resources together to break new ground and make it happen). These three aspects of our work are being played out in numerous ways.
We are planning Summit 2013 for March 4-6 and we are in a new location this year. We will be hosted at the beautiful new facilities of Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, IL. I’m very excited about this conference.
The theme is “The Church: The Pillar and Foundation of the Truth.” Under this banner, we will explore how the systems, structures, movements, organizations, and strategies of church planting should be built upon, and exist for, the promulgation of the truth. Missiologist Alan Hirsch will be teaching us in greater detail about apostolic ministry and how we can release and foster a missionary culture within this province. Darrin Patrick, who served a key role in the formation of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network will help us understand their church planting story, especially its impact on leadership maturity. Joel Scandrett of the Robert Weber Center at Trinity School for Ministry will be discussing with us the need of and methodology for catechism in mission. Joel’s colleague at Trinity, the brilliant Wes Hill, will be our Bible Teacher. There are many other great teachers and practitioners coming to help equip us for the work of church planting.
In addition to the lineup of quality speakers, we'll also have worship, breakouts, intensive lab opportunities, and a great celebration of all that God is doing in our midst. There will be also be gatherings of those involved in our initiatives for Hispanic ministry, youth ministry, and college ministry as A1K helps to nurture these important ministry focuses.
I am also happy to report that we are making this a very affordable conference. The cost is $99 per person if you sign up before Jan 15.
Registration will be live within the next week. We will update you via web, Twitter, and Facebook to let you know the moment it is up.
I do hope that you will join us for this important event!
We believe the best next step in practically encouraging, equipping, and catalyzing the work of church planting is to take the wisdom and leadership resources of the Province and get them as local as possible. Beginning this spring, we're starting regional conferences where we can encourage, equip, assess and build up our local congregations for the work of planting. Leaders like Phil Ashey (AAC), William Beasley (Greenhouse), Todd Hunter (C4SO) and others will be travelling to seven regional epicenters to gather, serve, and equip the people of our Province.
There will be tracks for church plant assessment, training and coaching as well as leadership development, congregational development, global mission, etc.
The sites will be: Chicago, Atlanta, New England, Seattle, Ottawa Canada, Phoenix, and Boston. The dates for these events are currently in process.
I truly believe this will allow us to get closer to the folks “in the trenches” and allow our work to have a more immediate practical impact.
I have traveled extensively throughout our Province for the past few months and have been greatly encouraged by what I have seen. The sense I get is that we are ready to take our charge to plant 1000 churches to the next level.
Currently there are just under 800 churches in ACNA. Since 2009 we have planted nearly 230 congregations. The call is 1,000 before 2014. We have work to do, and A1K is issuing a challenge to our Province to aggressively pursue the prophetic call given to us by Archbishop Duncan and make 1,000 a reality. We are communicating the challenge this way:
Every congregation in the ACNA whether small or large is a part of planting at least 1 new congregation in the next 2 years using one of 3 major strategies.1
The three strategies are:
Jurisdictional (Diocesan)- In this model an organization such as a Diocese or Network leverages financial and people resources to start a new congregation.
Congregational (Mother-Daughter)- In this model a congregation “hives off” people and resources to start and new church.
Apprenticing (Organic)- Church plants often pop up in less structured or expected ways and in less traditional venues like in coffee shops and nursing homes, on college campuses, and in living rooms and apartment complexes.
Employing these different strategies allows us to intentionally pursue the work of planting in a manner properly contextualized for each of the diverse and varying cultures within our Province.
If we rise up and meet this 1,2,3 challenge, we will have planted 1000 new churches in 5 years!
In order to make this vision a reality, Anglican 1000 is dedicated to coming alongside every diocese, local church, and individual who is willing to take part in this great work in whatever ways that we can. Join with us and may God give us success in this endeavor!
Other projects we are working on include an overhaul of the A1K website, initiating an active blog with robust planting resources, creating more training opportunities including frequent webinars, participating in deep ecumenical planting partnerships, and so much more. Keep a look out for all of the big changes coming out of A1K in 2013.
Trust me, you will hear much more about all of these objectives in the coming year!
In the spirit of Advent, I look back on these past few months of 2012 as a season of significant preparation for all that God will be doing in our midst next year and I am in great expectation for the churches that will be planted, the lives that will be changed, and the songs that will be sung in praise to God for all he has done!
So, I covet your prayers for the A1K team and me, for our Province, and for our church planters and their profoundly important work.
I am thankful for all that God has done in 2012 and I look forward to sharing with you the exciting year that 2013 is already shaping up to be.
Thank you for allowing me the honor of serving you, the Church, and the risen Christ in this way!
May God bless you richly.
In the name of the one who is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,
The Rev. Canon Alan Hawkins