As a follow up on the aspirations and desire of the Bishops at the 2008 Lambeth Conference "to develop a worldwide vision and strategy of church planting, growth and mission", taken forward by the Joint Standing Committee of the ACC and the Primates, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, The Revd Canon Kenneth Kearon, invited a small but diverse group of people involved in evangelistic and church growth ministry, from around the Communion to a consultation to take forward the recommendation of setting up an Evangelism and Church Growth Network.
The group met at St Andrew's House (London) on 10-11 February 2009, and began their meeting with sharing their personal experiences of the ways in which they have been involved in the ministry of evangelism and Church growth.
By the end of a two-day engaging meeting the group had a common mind on the following:
Aim and Purpose:
That in commitment to holistic mission reflected within the five marks of mission, a 'network' was necessary to enhance collaborative work and mutual support by establishing an 'Evangelism and Church Growth Initiative (ECGI)' with the PURPOSE of promoting evangelism and Church growth in parishes, dioceses and provinces of the Anglican Communion, in order to bring people to Christ as Lord and Saviour and that they might become life long disciples within the community of God's people.
That this aim and purpose will be achieved by:
- Facilitating prayer and mutual encouragement
- Developing strategies to reach unreached peoples
- Recommending resources & sharing good practice
- Encouraging training in E&CG for the whole people of God
- Sharing stories, news and strategies
- Identifying key issues for specific consultation
- Building links with other E&CG networks within and beyond the Anglican Communion
A report from this meeting will be presented to the ACC-14 in May 2009 for Communion wide ownership and formalisation of the initiative.
It was also agreed that a biblical and theological basis for Evangelism and Church Growth should be developed and shared widely within the Communion.
For further information on Evangelism and Church Growth Initiative, please contact the Mission Desk at the Anglican Communion Office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1. "We acknowledge the growth of the Church in areas of the southern hemisphere and the many fresh expressions of church in the whole Communion. At the same time we are called as a Communion to develop a worldwide vision and strategy of church planting, growth, and mission. While we encourage these strategies we must be conscious of those diocese and provinces which are yet to achieve self-sufficiency and respond in appropriate ways to address the areas of need."P.13 and paragraph 42 (Programmatic concerns)of 'Lambeth Indaba'.
2. RESOLUTION 2: MISSION DESK AT THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION OFFICE THAT the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates of the Anglican Communion and the Anglican consultative Council…encourage the Secretary General to proceed with the setting up of an Evangelism and Church Growth Network.
3. The Five Marks of Mission are: To Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom; To Teach, baptise and nurture new believers; To respond to human need by loving service; To seek to transform unjust structures of society; & To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.