The Anglican Church in North America held its “Assembly 2012” this past week at the Southern Baptist Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina. And Southern Baptist missiologist Ed Stetzer was one of the convention’s keynote speakers, speaking three times on “The Local Congregation” to the 700 delegates from 16 countries gathered.
Stetzer gave the ACNA this advice:
- Multiply everything: disciples, ministries, groups and churches. You cannot lead what you do not live.
- Model multiplication: What you celebrate you become.
- Let churches lead.
- Welcome the church planter: Contextualize vs. contend. Church planters contextualize. But contending for the faith still needed.
- Define missional well: The Kingdom of God births the work in its wake. The church is central to God’s plan. Jesus is the center of God’s plan of redemption. When the disciples heard Jesus and his commission, he sent them on mission and they went out and planted churches.
- Plant by multiplication and not funding: Don’t give a lot of money to church planters. If you throw a lot of money it kills the work, it doesn’t help. It creates dependence. In Lifeway’s research, they found that there was no discernible difference between giving a church planter $30,000 and $500,000.
- Be born pregnant: Follow Walmart’s example and open more lanes — ethnic, lay, urban, bi-vocational, etc. Look less like parish priests and more like pastors. Open up more lanes.
- Give permission: Read missiologist Roland Allen. He made the case for voluntary clergy. The ACNA’s growing provinces are giving permission to people.
- Overcome fear: One is always fearful, it is always a risk. Overcome fear and multiply.
“The church is not a new mistress of social action but is a deeper love for Christ and his bride. … The Church must be the engine of discipleship.”
“A study of 7,000 Protestant churches revealed that the majority of people in the majority of churches were unengaged in meaningful ministry or mission. Most people are passive spectators rather than active ministers.”
“We are pastoring churches filled with religious consumers and not co-laborers engaged in God’s mission. It is easier to pander to customers than co-laborers.”
“People are watching the show and not joining the circus.”
“People love Anglicanism. People are attracted to Anglicanism; it is frightening as it draws people to come to be consumers. We provide, spiritually satisfying services, wonderfully expressed and you end up with a room full of people who watch you do it.”
“You watch the show, you end up a show goer.”
“Anglicanism is the siren-like call to evangelicals dissatisfied with the modern pablum of the modern evangelical movement.”
“Jesus gave four commissions: We are to be Missional, Mission-minded, Gospel-minded, and Spirit-empowered.”
“We are to live in a missional way. Mission is the activity of God’s purpose.”
“More Christians look like they have arrived rather than being sent.”
“Church should not be a cul-de-sac on the Great Commission highway.”
“Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.”
“My denomination loves church planting as long as someone else is doing it.”
“There is no one model for church planting. There are megachurches in South Korea and house churches in China … but hold the message firmly.”
What do you think about Stetzer’s comments to the ACNA?