Exalt Jesus: Plant 1000 Churches to reach unchurched people in North America

Source: American Anglican Council

The following message is from the February 26, 2010 edition of the American Anglican Council’s Weekly Email Update. If you would like to recieve this email click here. If you would like to join the AAC as a member click here.

A report from the Anglican 1000 Church Planting Summit in Plano TX Feb 22-23

By The Rev. Phil Ashey, J.D.
Chief Operating and Development Officer

Sometimes in the heat of battle it’s hard to remember what you’re fighting for. I am grateful to the organizers of the Anglican 1000 Church Planting Summit – and especially to the Rev. David Roseberry and the staff of Christ Church Plano, Texas who hosted us – for reminding us what we are fighting for. We are not fighting merely for survival as orthodox Anglicans in North America. We are fighting against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places that blind the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot hear and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph 6:13; 2 Cor 4:4). We are fighting for the hearts, minds, souls and eternal destinies of multitudes of unsaved people in North America.

The Anglican Church in North America is more than a lifeboat movement for those leaving TEC. By the grace and calling of God, we are, in the words of Archbishop Duncan, “the ancient-future movement of the 21st century church in North America” that attracts a rising generation of future leaders abounding in Christ’s love for the broken. This is the Anglican moment. It may become for us the Anglican century if we keep our eyes on the prize and focus on reaching lost people.

As I listened to the Lord in our times of worship and prayer, to the testimonies of church planters on the ground, to fellow participants in our round table discussions, and to all our gifted speakers, I came away with four action steps we must do together in order to reach the goal of planting 1000 new churches in the next five years:

1.     We must exalt Jesus Christ

There is no other reason to plant a church than to exalt Jesus Christ. We do not plant churches to vindicate orthodox Anglicanism in North America. Nor do we plant them to attract attention to ourselves. As our Bible teacher the Rev. Jim Saladin reminded us from 2 Corinthians 4, we plant churches so that unbelievers will come to know “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:5-6). Drawing upon the context of Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, Rev. Saladin reminded us that Paul was drawing a contrast between his own church planting efforts and those who came in after him, who were literally “diluting and watering down” the gospel of Jesus Christ as they “peddled” the word of God. (2 Cor 4:1-2) Satan’s way is always to obscure Jesus Christ and veil him, just as these false teachers were doing by trying to make Jesus Christ less offensive to the culture and the synagogue.

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