Yes, you’ve heard it correctly: All Saints was the largest church represented at the ACNA’s Provincial Assembly this past June! Absolutely incredible! But even more importantly, together we were exposed to and inspired by the missional impulse that is alive and well in the Anglican Communion worldwide. Anglicanism, at its best, strives to reach the world with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
The Provincial Assembly is neither a business meeting nor a “state of the Anglican church” update. Rather, it’s a pep rally and training conference for the mobilization of the church for mission.
Our imaginations were stirred with endless possibilities for reaching the world right here on the doorsteps of Jackson, TN—to minister to the elderly, the international students on our college campuses, the forgotten surrounding rural population, those suffering from various addictions and mental illnesses, the unchurched as well as the de- churched, and those among us who have never even heard the name of Jesus—even right here in the Bible Belt South!
Those at the Assembly reminded us once again that one of the primary ways a local church can continue pursuing these and other types of ministry efforts is by making church planting a priority. In fact, the Assembly went as far to say that one cannot talk about making disciples without talking about church planting—it’s that important!
And it’s never too early to start talking about church planting, because the longer a church goes and grows without cultivating a church planting culture, the more difficult it becomes to even think about planting a church in the future. And so what does this mean for All Saints, a church that is growing and blessed with abundant resources, both in personnel and in finances? We should all make this a matter of daily prayer.
Those who attended the Assembly will soon be sharing their insights and takeaways with our Vestry in the hope that our conversations will help to catalyze even more future ministry efforts for All Saints. Please pray for this as well.
As Jesus told his disciples, “Open your eyes! The fields are ripe for the harvest!” We must never forget that as we “share in the life of God,” we always do so “for the life of the world.” Be looking for opportunities to move outside your comfort zone to love the forgotten, the marginal, and those who are different than you. Never slack in asking God for the courage to reach out to the untouchables in our community, to speak love to the hardest hearts, and to give of our time and money to those in need.
So let’s keep our eyes open! Opportunities are on our very doorstep!