At the Opening Eucharist on Monday, March 4, with over 700 church planters, clergy and lay leaders, staff and volunteers in attendance, Archbishop Robert Duncan offered the homily. Recalling his call to plant 1,000 churches during his inaugural address in 2009 Duncan said, “1,000 churches in five years. The number was God’s. To put that in front of people one has to be deemed crazy!”
“The Lord said I’ll give the power,” continued the Archbishop. “Indeed that’s what the movement has been about since the first day.” The theme of Summit 2013, “The Church: The Pillar and Foundation of the Truth” was repeatedly expressed by the speakers and breakout session leaders.
During Morning Prayer, Dr. Wesley Hill referenced I Timothy 3 which refers to the church as “the pillar and buttress of the truth” (ESV). Dr. Hill observed the irony in the relationship of the Church and Christ.
“Strangely, we are called to be a pillar for the very thing which is our pillar and buttress. It isn’t we who support Christ. It is Christ who supports us.”
Plenary speaker Alan Hirsch honed in on the example that Christ gave to church planters and leaders, emphasizing the fact that we were designed with everything that we need to unleash the potential of Christ’s Church. Furthermore, the Church that Christ designed is missional and intended for world transformation.
In order to be a transformational and missional church, though, The Rev. Dr. Joel Scandrett discussed the importance of catechesis in the formation of individuals who have developed godly habits though the mastering of essential elements of the Christian faith.
“One of our key tasks as a missional church is the recovery or a culture of Catechesis,” Scandrett said, “If the church’s mission is God’s mission, and formation is essential to mission, and Catechesis is the means of formation, then we must catechize.”
Following the plenary sessions on Monday morning, more than 30 breakout sessions and special initiative workshops were offered on subjects ranging from the practical nuts and bolts of church planting to leveraging social media in ministry.
On Wednesday morning, the Anglican 1000 team comprised of the Revs. Alan Hawkins, Dan Alger, and Jeff Weber laid out the 1,2,3 Challenge. In essence, Anglican 1000 calls every church in the Anglican Church in North America to plant “1” church, in the next “2” years, using one of “3” planting strategies: Jurisdictional, Congregational, and Pioneering. You can learn more about the 1,2,3 Challenge by visiting http://anglican1000.org/123-challenge.
“In calling for 1000 churches, Archbishop Duncan gave the ACNA the gift of a systemic change in how we ‘do business’” said Hawkins. “Anglican 1000 is not about 1000 churches…it’s about the first 1000!”
The Anglican 1000 team reaffirmed their commitment to advance the work of church planting. They are experienced church planters coming alongside other planters to provide resources and tools to encourage, equip, and catalyze our leaders as they go out to do the Lord’s work.
In order to practically encourage, equip, and catalyze the work of church planting, we need to take the wisdom and leadership resources of the Province and get them as local as possible. Locations for upcoming regional events include Chicago, Atlanta, New England, Seattle, Ottawa Canada, Phoenix, and Boston. Visit the Anglican 1000 website for details.
During his charge to the attendees at the Opening Eucharist, Alan Hawkins quoted an anonymous 1976 graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in nearby Deerfield, IL who prophetically wrote the following:
“If you want to see something last for a season, plant flowers.
If you want to see something last for a lifetime, plant trees.
If you want to see something last throughout eternity, plant churches.”
Summit 2013 concluded with a Commissioning Service where leaders of the ACNA prayed for and sent out those responding to those sensing a call to plant a church under the 1,2,3 Challenge.