Listen carefully for a concise summary from a Church of England evangelist as to what the gospel actually *is*.
Category : Evangelism and Church Growth
A team of pastors including Thabiti Anyabwile and John Onwuchekwa have launched a new network—The Crete Collective—to support church planters focused on black, Hispanic, and Asian American communities.
The network represents a move to bring more people of color into leadership for church-planting initiatives and to focus more missional attention toward poor and underserved urban areas with high concentrations of ethnic minorities.
“The Crete Collective would place at the center of its work the concerns, ideals, aspirations, frustrations, struggles, and realities of black and brown neighborhoods in all of their diversity,” said founding president Thabiti Anyabwile, a pastor at Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC.
“We would enthusiastically encourage the kind of holistic discipleship that sees gospel preaching and justice as siblings rather than as enemies. We’ve got a whole range of issues that we have to care about in our communities … immigration challenges, prison reform, hunger, homeownership.”
Me and my brothers are building something to meet the needs in our neighborhoods and neighborhoods like ours! Today we launch the @cretecollective!
We'd appreciate your prayers. Check it out!https://t.co/zROFlNsPsD
— John Onwuchekwa (@JawnO) November 19, 2020
Bishop Lawrence’s Annual Visitation schedule has just been released. In order to allow time for the Bishop Coadjutor’s selection, election and consecration, the calendar has been extended through the first of March 2022.
— Anglican Diocese of SC (@anglican_sc) November 19, 2020
In his address to the convention, Bishop Mark Lawrence reflected on lessons he’d learned from his predecessors, Bishops Temple, Allison and Salmon. With the last 12-15 months of his episcopacy remaining he asked, “What do I need to accomplish for the good of the Diocese? What do I need to give myself to? I’ve come to the conclusion I need to give myself, as much as I can, to the clergy of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina….To the rectors, vicars, associates and curates: I want to double down on my prayers for you, your families and ministries and to spend as much time with you as I can fit into my calendar.” He spoke of trimming time spent on committees, boards and speaking engagements “which often draw you away from what your heart wants to do” to allow him to spend time with clergy.
Analyzing the clergy of the Diocese by age, he said 10% of our clergy are between the ages of 25-39; 23% between 40-54 and 67% are age 55+. “We need to fan the flame of the gift of the Holy Spirit in the young men and women of the Diocese that God might call them to offer themselves, if God so calls, to the ordained ministry of the church.” He asked those listening to join him in praying for the work of St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center, where many young people have heard a call to ministry. “Pray for a spiritual revival on our clergy and lay leaders alike.”
He also said the Diocese needed to put an increasing emphasis on church planting, expressing his thankfulness for the work of the Rev. Todd Simonis, our (very part-time) Canon for Church Planting stating that by 2023 he hoped the Diocese would be able to fund that as a full-time position.
Please Pray for the #Anglican Diocese of #SouthCarolina Virtual Convention which happens today https://t.co/v86OJs4r55 #parishministry #conventions #meetings #ministry #prayer pic.twitter.com/Nxo3SGps2r
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) October 3, 2020
At…[a recent] Diocesan Synod in Chelmsford Diocese, a paper was discussed which proposed a radical reduction of stipendiary clergy posts from 275 to 215 within the next 18 months, a reduction of 22%. (Since these papers are in the public domain, you can read it for yourself here.) Despite some of these positions already being vacant, this will almost certainly involve making actual clergy redundant, which I think must be unprecedented in the modern era. With our (appropriate) current pre-occupation with the question of racism in society and the church, this might get overlooked or thought of as a local issue—but in fact this could be a turning point, since its implications point to a radical rejection of a commitment to a strategy of growth for the Church of England.
The introduction to the paper sets out the paradoxical pressures that has faced both dioceses and the national Church for some time:
a. On the one hand, it was widely predicted that 40% of serving clergy would retire in the next ten years, creating a kind of ‘cliff edge’ for stipendiary ministry. In fact, this has not been realised, since dioceses cannot control exactly when clergy retire, and many have been staying on longer than expected.
b. On the other hand, the Church of England nationally has never consistently reached its giving target of 5% of net income of those attending, and dioceses across the country are reporting growing deficits.
c. This paradox has been brought to a head by a very significant change in the way that the Church Commissioners distribute their funding. Prior to 2015, the Commissioners distributed funds according to what was known as the ‘Darlow formula’, which paid attention to needs in the dioceses in different ways, but paid no attention to commitment to or potential for growth. John Spence was the leading voice in the 2015 report Resourcing the Future, which proposed that the Commissioners money was divided into two: the Strategic Development Fund (SDF), which would give grants for church planting and church growth initiatives, each of which would need to become self-sustaining over a five-year period; and the Lowest Income Communities Funding (LInC), continuing support for the poorest communities across the dioceses….
Post Edited: The end of the road for C of E growth strategies? https://t.co/Nk4rr4UaM3
— Dr Ian Paul (@Psephizo) June 19, 2020
The Nigerian Guardian does a special interview with Anglican leader the Most Rev. Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba
How do you plan to create more dioceses, during your tenure?
Let me put it this way: I believe that my work, in the main, may have to do with consolidation. Along the line, there might be new things being introduced. But sustaining what is there, building up the structures that will make this Church stronger, funding and financing and being self-sustaining and supporting, and being able to carry out our mission to the world will be our focus. Part of that consolidation will be to help the needy dioceses to stand.
But I have also realised that as you engage in church mission, church planting, training of pastors and nurturing the believers, the church grows and there will be the need for us to expand. As of now, I cannot tell you the number of dioceses that will be created. This is a decision the House of Bishops, the Episcopal Synod and the General Synod will take. So, when the time comes, we will do the needful. But we will see that we consolidate, strengthen what is on the ground and build up the structures of this institution that will help the church to function and face future challenges.
— Diocese on the Niger – Anglican Communion (@on_niger) June 28, 2020
In lieu of traditional camp sessions, Camp Saint Christopher is offering a Day Camp this summer. The sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday starting on June 22. Campers who have completed 2nd-8th grade have the option to register for the entire week or half a week (Monday-Wednesday or Wednesday-Friday). Each week will have a different theme with varying activities. Most weeks will include sailing, kayking, crabbing, camp games, a visit to St. Christopher’s Herpetarium, mud pit, chapel, and much, much more! Campers are welcome to register for multiple sessions….
— StPaulsAnglican (@StPaulsAnglican) June 4, 2020
Q. You mentioned the precarious jobs and low wages. An example of that is a much praised film in the UK, titled “Sorry We Missed You”, a story about a man who starts working as a deliveryman in one of the new businesses such as Amazon, Uber… What ‘curses’ come with these new types of jobs linked to mobile phone ‘apps’ and the new ‘needs’ of costumers to have everything as fast and as cheap as possible.
A. Yes, it has been very interesting in the last decade that the combination of the new technologies that developed, especially smartphone apps, and that high unemployment at the beginning of the decade following the financial crisis, created the perfect conditions for what we call the ‘gig economy’ to emerge.
This form of capitalism, if you like, has developed where we have a cultural individualism and a market economy; but the consumer’s choice and freedom are becoming the most important thing of all. So we have 24/7 shopping, and somehow, we accept the ‘curse’ zero-hours contracts. And people who have to deliver this service are people we don’t really see, that are kind of invisible and anonymous. They are working having very anti-social hours and often not given much advance warning, only one day or two before they are told when they can work. This makes the worker in this ‘gig economy’… Well, it is a new kind of oppression, to be honest.
The loss of rights, the loss of freedom, especially for family relationships which came out in the film, is a very high price to pay for this new kind of consumerism – the new way we do buying and selling. So yes, it is something we should look out very critically.
Read it all and follow the links.
The spirit and example of Cyril and Methodius is not only to be praised as a piece of a bygone age.
“For the peoples of Europe,” said Poe Benedict, “these two great saints remind us that their unity” – the unity of Europe – “will be more solid if it is based on common Christian roots.” The Pope identified Christianity as a central and defining element in Europe’s complex history, and discussed how the Christian faith has shaped the culture of the Old Continent, saying that this faith, “is intertwined with its history,” to such a point that the history of Europe is not comprehensible without reference to the events that marked the first great period of evangelization, and the centuries in which Christianity assumed a growing role.
The Pope went on to discuss how, in the present day, Europeans are called to commit themselves to creating the conditions for a deep, cohesive and effective cooperation among peoples – a cooperation that cannot be based on an appeal to purely economic interests, but must rather rely on those authentic human goods, which have their foundation in universal moral law written on the heart of every man.
“It is important, therefore,” said Pope Benedict, “that Europe also grow in the spiritual dimension, in keeping with the best angels of the history,” of Europe’s peoples.
“We need to learn from industry,” he says. “When I was in marketing at Unilever we tried things out and if they didn’t work we dropped them. It encourages an innovation culture.”
Bishop Ric’s key objective for his ministry is overseeing the creation of new worshipping communities across England. He founded the Gregory Centre for Church Multiplication, using St Edmund’s as a training base.
His first “planting” success came in 2005, in the east London parish of Shadwell, where the church was facing imminent closure because of its dwindling congregation.
By adding a more relaxed family service and evening worship aimed at young people, numbers swelled to 200 regular worshippers, and groups quickly formed from among this congregation of new Christians and those who already had a faith that had moved to the area to repeat the exercise in four neighbouring churches.
Attendance across all five churches rose from 55 to 765 in a decade, Bishop Ric tells the planters assembled at St Edmund’s. “Planting is the most effective way to grow the church and if we can focus on that goal, with help, we can create growth,” he says.
“General Synod [the legislative part of the Anglican church] recently passed a motion that a new church should be created in each of the 12,500 Church of England parishes. That could mean one million people coming back to church.”
How the faithful borrow ideas from business to create start-up churches https://t.co/K3w2PiJxIB
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) February 9, 2020
Not a Convention Delegate? Come anyway – for the Workshops! Join us on Friday March 13:
Morning Mini Conference on:
Creating a Spiritual Legacy: Your Game Plan from Success to Significance
Afternoon Workshops on:
Church Revitalization • Stewardship • Global Partnerships • Church Planting • The New ACNA Prayerbook • Small Church, Big Heart, Big God • Hispanic Ministry • Prayer
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) February 10, 2020
— Age In Grace (@ageingrace22) November 19, 2019
Natural Evangelism with Canon J. John
January 21, St. Philip’s Church, Charleston
The Anglican Leadership Institute once again invites you to a gathering to hear a gifted global leader speaking on an issue central to our Christian faith and witness. On Tuesday, January 21st. at St. Philip’s Church, 142 Church Street, Charleston, Canon J. John of England will speak on Natural Evangelism: The practice of praying, caring and sharing. Canon John, originally from Greece, has for years been a noted author, speaker, and media personality in the U.K. This is one of his first American visits. His book Ten on the Ten Commandments has been used by many study groups here in Charleston and elsewhere. It is a unique contemporary approach to a classical subject.
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) January 11, 2020
Do members feel they are “losing” by planting a church outside their denomination?
Crane: This is a gift for the kingdom. It is not a quid pro quo arrangement. Our denominational systems reward denominational progress. Our resources are poured into the expansion of our own tribe. Imagine what can be accomplished for the kingdom if we move beyond models of denominational competition toward strategic partnerships.
But strictly speaking, one reason an evangelical congregation can plant an Anglican church in the same facility is because there is such a dramatic difference between a contemporary service and a liturgical service. Typically the evangelical congregation will not “lose” many people to the liturgical expression—other than those who are encouraged to assist in the startup. You can plant on top of yourself if you reach a different universe.
What should a typical pastor take away from your uncommon approach?
Crane: The need for church plants. New churches have a much younger age profile than do older churches, and new churches have two to four times the conversion rate of new Christians than older churches do. New churches are required to keep the church species healthy and strong.
Hunter: The power of trust. Stephen Covey wrote about The Speed of Trust. When you have trust, things that would otherwise be really hard become doable.
A Baptist congregation in Washington decided the best way to reach the unchurched in their community was to plant a church … of a different denomination https://t.co/JDXgLv5fNv
— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) November 12, 2019
As long as Christians assume we are still living in Christendom, the church will continue to decline in the West, no matter how ferociously Christians fight to maintain power and privilege. If anything, the harder Christians fight, the more precipitous the decline will be, for cultural power and privilege will come at an increasingly high price. Christians will either accommodate until the faith becomes almost unrecognizable, or they will isolate until their faith becomes virtually invisible.
Nothing short of a change of church culture will suffice—from a culture of entertainment, politics, personality, and program to a culture of discipleship. Such a radical change will require patience, steadiness, and purposefulness.
The good news is, we are not alone, and the story of early Christianity reminds us of this fact. Faithful Christians have gone before us, bearing witness to the truth of Christianity, the power of the gospel, and the high calling of discipleship. Calling out across the centuries, they tell us that it is possible now, as it was then, to live as faithful followers of Jesus the Lord in a culture that does not approve of it or reward it.
Two millennia ago, Jesus Christ—his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension—set in motion a movement that turned the world upside down. He is the same Lord today. It can happen again.
The early church’s survival and growth against all odds should encourage and challenge us Christians today https://t.co/vTgW2icWbp
— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) October 16, 2019
Michael Green was decisive. He made decisions, sometimes impulsive, often intuitive, occasionally spur of the moment. And he encouraged thousands of people, many in their late teens and early 20s, to make the most important decision of their lives, to live for, with, and in the power of Jesus.
It is quite natural, that within nine months of his death in January 2019 at the age of 88, 35 people who had known him at various stages of life should, encouraged by his family and editor Julia Cameron, contribute to a book of remembrances that was formally launched at his memorial service in Coventry Cathedral, where he was a canon theologian, on 7 September.
Some will read this book to discover more about a valued friend and colleague in Christian ministry, and others because his combination of sharp apologetics and winsome evangelism won them to Christian discipleship and they want to find out about other phases of his life.It is not a book to be read end to end, but from which to pick out gems here and there.
And they abound….
Read it all (subscription).
Did you see Tim Green’s blog post about his father, Michael, drawn from our new book ‘Michael Green: by his friends’?
— IVP UK (@IVPbookcentre) September 21, 2019
— St Pauls Summerville (@StPaulsSVille) August 29, 2019
O Lord Jesus Christ, thou good Shepherd of the sheep, we beseech thee to be present in thy power with the missions of thy Church in this our land. Show forth thy compassion to all who are out of the way, and bring them home in safety to thy fold; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.
In this key role, Stephen will be responsible for working with dioceses, churches and other organisations to equip the Church’s million regular worshippers to be a confident witness in every part of their lives and enable a growing Church.
Stephen will also be responsible for a national project to identify, equip and release 1,000 new evangelists in the Church of England by 2025. His appointment emphasises the importance the Church attaches to our commitment to ‘motivate the million.’
Stephen is currently the Dean of Derby, a position he has held since 2017. He was previously the Canon Missioner of Southwark Cathedral and Director of Mission and Evangelism for the Diocese of Southwark from 2013 to 2017. Stephen is founder and convener of the Cathedrals and Growth Network and is a former member of the General Synod.
— Stephen Hance (@StephenHance1) July 8, 2019
The Latest Edition of the Diocese of #SouthCarolina Enewsletter https://t.co/y36ntoXjUg#parishministry #lowcountrylife #anglican #churchgrowth #theology #lowcountrylife #anglican #media pic.twitter.com/EhqZ0oeFso
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) June 5, 2019
The three biggest UK denominations—Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and Presbyterians—are all declining quite quickly. Overall, their numbers have gone down 16 percent in just the last five years, Presbyterians the fastest (down 19%). Two other major groups are also declining, Baptists and Methodists, but they are much smaller in size.
The three major denominations form 60 percent of church members, and the smaller two another 16 percent. The remaining members often belong to the types of churches that are seeing the most growth right now—many of which have a Pentecostal bent, ranging from immigrant-founded denominations to Hillsong campuses.
Their increase, although significant, is unfortunately not enough to compensate for the drop among the bigger churches, but has moderated the overall decline. I’ll share below which kinds of churches are growing the fastest amid demographic shifts in the UK.
London is the epicenter for growing churches. Between 2005 and 2012, overall church attendance (not membership) in London went from 620,000 people to 720,000, a 16 percent increase. The number of churches increased by two a week, from 4,100 to 4,800. During this time, the city welcomed immigrants both from Europe and the rest of the world, its population growing from 7 million to 8 million in 10 years.
Many of those newcomers were Christians and sought a church that spoke their language.
A type of church that’s taking off in the UK:
“Messy churches,” which offer food, fun, and fellowship, especially for families. There are over 3,000 messy churches in the UK attended by some 103,000 people in 2019. https://t.co/DErEzTyBds
— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) May 29, 2019
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 21, 2019
The Spring issue of the Jubilate Duo has just published! A front page article salutes our church plant – St. Timothy's – https://t.co/0lrrUV6tRM
To subscribe tothe Jubilate Deo, go here: https://t.co/tiTmvbIx3O pic.twitter.com/889A11PtE8
— St Pauls Summerville (@StPaulsSVille) May 20, 2019
A Suffolk bishop will be at one of two ‘Grill a Christian’ evenings being held in a Sudbury pub for people to ask questions about life and faith.
The two evenings are being hosted in the White Horse pub in North Street from 7pm to 9pm on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18 when a local mission team and ministers will get quizzed.
Grill a Christian events to be hosted in pub https://t.co/yaPFwR7d8w
— East Anglian Daily Times (@EADT24) May 12, 2019
Bishop Thorpe said: “The Church of England is a church that can grow and so we want to be encouraging churches to think about how they can grow.
“This whole program is about taking a step back, working with church leaders to see how can we be part of a strategy in the Diocese to begin to invest in growth, rather than in some of the decline that we’ve seen, and that’s a challenge. But there are churches that are good at growing and we want to get right behind that and see it happen more and more.”
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) April 25, 2019
In July of 2018, a summons ordered me to report to Charleston Municipal Court for jury duty in early August. After reading the very limited exemptions from duty, I realized that resistance was futile and reported on the required Monday morning to fulfill my civic duty.
As it turned out, a priest named Ryan Streett and 40-some other Charlestonians had been summoned for this same jury duty, and we all sat in the courtroom that Monday waiting to see if we would be selected. Later, those of us who were not chosen for the first case lined the walls of the hallway outside the courtroom waiting for the next case to be called. The week progressed this way and with a great deal of waiting outside the courtroom in the hallway.
During a particularly long recess, I spotted Father Ryan and I nervously approached him, introduced myself, and asked if he ever performed baptisms for people other than those in his congregation….
Roseanne Gudzan–How a Jury Summons led to a very unexpected Outcome https://t.co/DOClpaZw2k … #parishministry #baptism #evangelism #law #southcarolina #lowcountrylife (photo: St. Philip’s #CharlestonSC) pic.twitter.com/ZGoknUzHF8
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) April 10, 2019
She was completely trapped, locked ina life of immorality and shame with no apparent way out.No way forward. No way back. Living an almost invisible existence until he, under God’s providence, crossed several boundaries—both geographical and cultural; established a personal contact with her in spite of her desire to be invisible; courted her curiosity; touched her deepest pain and need and brought her into the grace of his reckless and redeeming love….
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) June 18, 2018