Years ago, I challenged my friend, now Canon Dan Alger, to write a book about church planting from an Anglican perspective. Church planting was increasingly important for the Anglican Church in North America, yet most resources (including my own books) are broadly evangelical.
So I was happy to write the foreword for Dan’s new book, “Word and Sacrament: Ancient Traditions for Modern Church Planting,” and I’m glad to be able to share 20 quotes from the book in my 20 Truths series!
Here are 20 insights from “Word and Sacrament” to give you a feel for the book.
20 Truths from ‘Word and Sacrament: Ancient Traditions for Modern Church Planting’
“I feel as though I am introducing you to two of my dearest friends. On one hand, we have the beautiful and rich Anglican heritage that has been my home since infancy. On the other, we have the complicated world of church planting in which I have served for more than half my life.” (1)
“Planting in Word and sacrament means that we find our calling and our guide for church planting in the truth of God as revealed in his Word written and echoed in his sacraments, the Word visible.” (2)
“Although firmly grounded in the ancient undivided church, the Anglican tradition has been profoundly shaped by people and events as diverse as the monastic and Celtic traditions, the Synod of Whitby, the Protestant Reformation (although our experience of the Reformation was a bit different from that of continental Europe), Puritanism, evangelicalism, the Oxford Movement, and revivalism.” (11)
“Anglicanism’s lens is now much bigger than the British Isles, as it is the third largest communion in the world with more than eighty-five million adherents. Scholarship, thought, and practice is being defined by a global family of Anglicans in Africa, Asia, and the Global South along with revivals of faithful Anglicanism in the West.” (13)
“We are faithful to the Christian faith, the Great Tradition, and our Anglican heritage, but that faithfulness is not unnecessarily restraining. Rather, it provides the framework for modern mission. It carries on the essentials, the ethos, and the institutional memory of the church while also speaking winsomely to the current culture.” (13)
“Church planting is a complex and risky endeavor. Church planting not only forces us to ask philosophical questions of the church’s identity and purpose, but also to find practical solutions to how we start new churches in our own local areas.” (16)
“The coming together of the historical juggernaut that is Anglicanism with the creative and passionate work of modern church planting is a beautiful convergence. Each benefits the other. We cannot be faithful Christians and not be on mission, for our work of mission is a part of the gospel.” (19)
“If we are to believe in the fullness of the gospel, we must simultaneously be beneficiaries of the gospel and witnesses of the gospel.” (21)
“The church is the saved people of God locally gathered for worship and formation, a people sent to love and serve, and a people who will one day assemble around the throne of Christ together in the new heavens and the new earth. When we are planting churches, we are planting local embodied expressions of this greater gathering.” (24)