ANGLICAN 1000: Field Reports Yield Goldmine of Church Plants
Summit Field Reports
March 10, 2012
Field Report: St. Andrew's Mt. Pleasant
Steve Wood: Rector of St. Andrew's Mt. Pleasant SC.
Last year I had a chance to walk you through City Church which 6th plant since I've been rector of St. Andrew's, and the most fruitful in some regards.
In April 2010, I was not thinking about church planting. A thought came into my mind while praying one morning to call the Music Farm (a Charleston nightclub) and see if we could plant a church there. This is a nightclub and a prominent place for bands that come through Charleston. The Music Farm is in a semi-commercial district. We called, not having any idea whether it would be open. We did not want a building because of all the costs. But we knew that a nightclub isn't doing much on a Sunday morning. They were delighted.
Late spring we advertised at St. Andrew's a new congregation that we were going to plant and we had a series of meetings. We wanted 65 people to start the plant. We identified those people. In October they planted downtown. Now they are 210 on a Sunday.
We are committed to holding back growth...we wanted no childcare, nursery, we had a target market-young college age people and college grads. We knew we wanted to grow our daughter church to without destroying the original daughter church. How we do that is still an open question for us. We grew through 2011. We added a second service. Attendance grew to 300. Young adults started having kids and they didn't want to leave...this was a problem since we had a target audience.
As we prayed about this, the children's museum across the street offered to open doors to us. Very quietly we had a 9am service offering childcare. This February, we are past 450 in attendance. So this is a 30,000 foot view of the City Church plant.
On the ground-One of the scriptures that came to mind was Zaccheus wanting to see Jesus. But he could not see because the crowds were in the place. We asked how many want to see Jesus but the church is getting in the way. We did not want to eliminate the church but not to be the stumbling block either. There are churches all over Charleston. The young people downtown wanted to know more of the Lord. But they said they'd tried it and were inoculated. They heard the gospel but had no idea how it was revelation to them. We knew we were missing that group.
What would it mean to lay down all church presuppositions...we actually require high responsibility. People are expected to be in life group, expected to serve, expected to give financially. Those are three things they hear every week along with the gospel. Every person who walks into the Music Farm is looking for an experience beyond themselves, a story bigger than them and then they go home. We remind our prayer teams that we have the real experience that these people are looking for. Our prayer is, "Lord thank you for the efforts that have gone on this week but let this be about you." That is where we have seen the most dramatic fruit downtown. People come back and have an understanding of kingdom and love.
One quick story: We have a variety of people at city church. There are people who sleep outside, people who are homeless and they have their own life group, weak people, professional people. This last week we had a man who's been homeless for ten years, now people took him under their wings and got him a job. He came to prayer group and said he'd been sober for 12 days, the longest he'd been sober for 12 years.
But he has a job, he is expected to help set up chairs. We don't want spectators but participants.
Field Report: Light of Christ Church
The Reverend Jennifer Roach planted Light of Christ Church in Seattle about three months ago.
I am excited to be here and tell you about Ballard, a neighborhood in Seattle. If you're familiar with the deadliest catch, a lot of those boats port in our neighborhood. It is a beautiful neighborhood, quite typically "Seattle" in that there seem to be more coffee shops than people.
But there are lots of people. Ballard is full of students and lots of hipsters without jobs. It's a walkable neighborhood. In fact Seattle categorizes Ballard as an "urban village" because people can walk to get 90% of what they need. All times of the day you will see people walking around. It's my own version of heaven. But it also has a sick and sore side. There are many homeless. We have the highest percentage of people who live alone, over 50 percent, in the country. So there is a lot of loneliness. There is also a great disparity between the rich and the poor, wealth and poverty are neighbors.
Our congregation began to meet only 3 months ago. We did not have a sending church. We just started with a group of friends. We're all evangelicals by background with no Anglican background to speak of. So during the liturgy I could tell them to stand on their heads and they would not know the difference. They are all looking for something that is and feels more real and they've found their way to an Anglican church. And they're making mistakes along with me. I'm a Baptist girl. I fell in love with the Anglican tradition at Resurrection Anglican in Chicago. There I became Anglican. I went to Seattle looking for a church to fill my soul. Todd Hunter said 'no one is going to give you the church you long for. You need to make that yourself.'
So I did.
One the things we do to build relationships in our neighborhood is put on community dinners with other churches. We cater dinner, bring in artists who paint, musicians who play, and we invite everyone the community and eat with them. There is not an evangelical message but we do give a 5 min story about Jesus and let the narrative work into their souls. Some of the homeless people have started attending our church. They particularly resonate with the liturgy. I've had one homeless man tell me, "All day long people tell us what to do and then we come to church and we get to play a part. We have work to do in the liturgy. It gives dignity and hope."
One man comes who apparently used to have a wife, kids, a house. He doesn't talk about what happened, but he does say it is the love of Jesus that sustains him. He tells me "when it's cold and I'm trying to sleep, I recite the liturgy in my head and it is a beautiful thing."
He brings questions from his homeless friends and we pray through them on Sunday mornings. We are all new Anglicans. We love this tradition and learning it from you. Thank you
Field Report: American Anglican Council
Phil Ashy from the American Anglican Council and Bill Midgett from Christ the King Winchester, TN.
Phil Ashey: 10 years ago I parachuted into northern Virginia to re-launch a failed plant. I took the 12 people there and managed to reduced them to 2.
For 7 years it was exciting difficult, gratifying, and terrifying. We did all the reverse of what Roseberry said yesterday, worshiping and preaching and teaching before doing any administration work. This was probably a mistake, but God blessed us and over 7 years we grew to 100 people. Two resources I wish I'd had. Sure Foundation to grow a congregation. And the Clergy Leadership Training Institute.The secret to good church leadership is learning to disappoint people at a pace they can tolerate.
You need to have character and know how to deal with conflict. The older generation can pass on this wisdom. So we have a number of leaders at the Clergy Leadership Training Institute to help leaders.
Now I want to introduce Bill Midgett who is going to share some of his thoughts and experiences with Sure Foundation
Bill Midgett+: Christ the King Anglican Church, Winchester TN, was formed in January 2008. We'd left all our property behind and walked away from it. We're a transplant. I thought it was going to be horrible. There are lots of resources for church planting, almost no books on transplants. We are writing it as it goes. We are a new start with DNA that needs to be changed. Our situation is probably a lot like many of the ACNA churches represented here. We presently have an Average Sunday Attendance of 50-55. We've declined in the last 4 years. God is pruning. Not everyone leaves the church for the same reasons. We have an older congregation that recognizes the need for young people but it's been difficult to move from recognition to actually reaching out. God has not left us but he has put us in a place where we are utterly dependent. We need to shore up the foundations. We began doing that in January of last year. I'm going to show slides from our engagement with the Sure Foundation process and also give you some of the things I've learned.
1. It is not a one man effort. It is not all up to you. That is no longer the case with me at Christ the King. It is a shared and growing piece of ministry. This is a change to the DNA from being clergy centered to being Christ centered and letting the Body of Christ be the Body of Christ.
2. I've also had to learn something about communicating and embracing purpose. Before 2011 I could not tell you our core values. Now I can.
3. Church planters set the DNA for a congregation, so we need to be intentional and explicit about articulating values and helping the congregation live them out.
4. If it is not good DNA it will take a long time to change. Communicating and living our core values is huge.
5. Before I would not be able to tell you what our mission is. Now I can.
6. Before Sure Foundation, I would not be able to tell you the importance of intercessory prayer because we were not engaging in it. Now we are. That has made a dramatic impact on the life of the congregation.
7. I would not be able to tell you the importance of community outreach and using the gifts of the people God has given us. Now I can. This past fall we had a fall festival that included a craft sale, face painting, music, food. We thought were just going to raise about $1000 but God blessed it four fold. And we tithed 10 percent back into the community. This was wonderful because I had not thing to do with it. This was led by the lay people
8. I would not be able to tell you, before Sure Foundation, about the impact of healing prayer. Now I can.
We are now looking to break ground on new property and to establish a building. Looking forward down the road, we know that there are so many people in Franklin county who don't know Jesus. We are even planning to plant a church.
These things would not have happened if we were not part of the Sure Foundation.
Clergy Leadership Training Institute.As new people come into a diocese, some relationships are there, some are not. Through the Institute I began to form a bond and build relationships with my fellow clergy and create some firm sharing relationships. This provided a context for thinking about leadership in community.The Institute trains clergy to, among many other things, handle conflict, begin and grow small group ministry, lean on the support and prayers of fellow clergy. It has been an invaluable learning experience that has made and is making me the leader God called me to be.
Are you the leader God is calling you to be?
I encourage you all to consider the Leadership Training Institute.
Field Report: Redeemer, Northwestern University
Mike Niebauer, Redeemer, Northwestern University.
When William Beasley suggested I train to plant a church, I had no desire for lifelong ministry, but I was also jobless so when asked to train for ministry and possibly planting a church, I said okay. I was thinking I was going to be a catechist which was a term in Africa for a lay pastor but I'm now ordained. Eventually we planted Redeemer Church at Northwestern University in 2005.
William Beasley worked with me and was there every week and then less as time went on. He was constantly apprenticing and working with me. This congregation continues to grow 4 or 5 hundred students have walked through our doors. As I get to be older and look less like a student, I have a desire to reach out to 20 somethings. When I was as student, there were no churches I could invite my friends to in Chicago. No Anglicans reaching out to Anglos.
2009 we decided to start Redeemer...we wanted to create an atmosphere that anyone in the congregation could be sent out to start a congregation. We wanted to be a church plant that plants churches that, themselves, plant churches. Just as William Beasley set me up in the beginning as a catechist, I would send out people as catechists to start other congregations. I began to apprentice a number of catechist.
The atmosphere at Redeemer was that if we could not reach someone or some area in our congregation we would equip someone and send them out as a planting catechist. There were four coming to our church from the Logan Square area of Chicago. They said we love Redeemer but the people we know won't come this far. So we sent 4 from our congregation to form Logan Square Anglican Church. They have been meeting in an apartment and gathering steam.
Heritage Anglican church-this is what I get amped up about. There was a Loyola University student 19 years old, coming to Redeemer. You would not pick him out as a planter. He enjoyed reading Latin and playing the flute. But Jacob was at a Christmas carol night and he gets the idea to start a church in his neighborhood. So I walked alongside him. He started Heritage Anglican Church in a nursing home. Redeemer has planted 4 congregations headed by catechists. My job is to train and equip the catechists at all of these congregations. We have these 4 churches....there are already thoughts about where these 4 can go to plant other churches.
To share what we have learned.
1. Spontaneous growth-we believe that this happens when we release lay people to start congregations. When you allow them and train them and equip them, the number of planters expands a thousand fold, anyone in the congregation can do it. People start to approach you to become catechists and plant churches.
2. If you do this, you find that you're able to reach multiple cultures in a community. We believe that when God places a call on your heart, chances are you are the best expert. I have been to Northwestern University. William said, "You're the expert. You have a vision. Jacob is an expert at nursing home ministry. You'll hear from Jonathan Kemper in a moment who is starting churches in low income housing.
3. Resources come in the harvest: All of these churches started with zero seed money. The people who are sent out...the groups are no bigger than three or four. God provided and continues to provide for each. Trust him.
4. Church planting is more fun than hard. We're having a blast. It is hard but it is a fun kind of hard. What makes it fun is letting the Holy Spirit show you where to go next. It's his work really, yours is just to follow and go.
5. This catechist model builds a missional ecclesiology into the church: the pool of ordinands come from your catechists. These are people to be ordained. William Beasley had me do two congregations before considering me for ordination. There is a high degree of discipline and accountability. They clearly are continually walking alongside them as they take ownership of the church. But as the church begins to fill up with ordained church planters, the mentality and philosophy of the whole will shift toward mission. William Beasley is now working nationally to do this.
Field Report: Church Planting and the Hispanic Community
By Jonathan Kindberg
I was born a missionary kid in Latin America. And now I am leading an Hispanic church planting initiative. My hope is to start a church planting movement among Hispanics in North America and pull together this those initiatives and plants that already exist.
The Hispanic community is the largest minority in theUSA with 50.5 million people. 1 in 6 people in the US are Hispanics. It is also the fastest growing minority group in the US. 1 in 4 babies born are Hispanic babies. We are right now the second largest Spanish speaking country in the world.
What does Anglicanism have to offer? This is a great opportunity to be the via media we talk about being since lots of Hispanic people come from liturgical backgrounds. We preach the gospel in the familiar context of liturgy. And in so doing, we can put the fire of the gospel into the fireplace of liturgy and hopefully see many Hispanics come to the Lord.
There are 25 current Hispanic congregations. We've planted 6 new congregations in the last 6 months. So we are growing fast.
On the Mainline
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