by the Rev. Peter Klenner
Executive Director, The Anglican Mission in Canada
Editor’s note: As of January 2015, The Anglican Coalition in Canada is now “The Anglican Mission in Canada.”
The Anglican Mission in Canada—who are we?
- We are a “quiet” network. We’re not about letting everybody know who we are, or making a lot of noise wherever we go. We’re about relationships. We not interested in numerics, but we want to connect with the right people who have a passion to obey what God says to the Church.
- We are a “do it” network. Step by step, person by person, church by church. We are more interested in doing the ministry than having great slogans. At the end of the day, we want to see the will of God done; we want to see the unreached reached; we want to see the marginalized touched by the love of God; we want to see churches changed.
- We are a “church-based” network. We believe in the church. We believe that God wants to use the church. We want to see the church becoming obedient to do the will of God in this world. We believe that the church can become the agent of God to touch this world. We believe the church can become a mission sending church. We believe the church can become the answer to the world’s problems. We are not against the many Christian organizations and agencies, but we want to see the church at the cutting edge of our times.
- We are an “ordinary church” network. We recognize that we are a simple network of ordinary churches with ordinary leaders. We don’t have any mega-churches or super-churches in our network. In fact, our conviction is that the key to our ministry is the ordinary church and its leaders—these are in the majority. These “ordinary” churches are the ones that need to be empowered and revitalized to become the force of accomplishment for what God wants in this time. Ordinary churches can do the will of God. Ordinary churches can be influential. Ordinary churches can be on the cutting edge. Ordinary leaders can be world influencing leaders. Ordinary leaders can rise up and take their place in the world. Ordinary churches and their leaders can believe that God will do far more than we can dream or imagine.
- We are an “ordinary people” network. Jesus’ disciples were just ordinary people. The world is looking for outstanding people—those at the top. But we are a network of ordinary people—people who may not even be recognized as those who can do anything for God. Simple, not so smart, maybe not successful. It’s the “least of these” people that make up the majority of our network. After all, it’s not about being smart—it’s about being committed.
- We are a “faithful-to-the-end” network. Some of us have known each other for years, and we keep on relating, associating, connecting and partnering together. Many of us are very different—we have our own characteristics and peculiarities, but we have decided to work together. We may even offend one another, but we look at the good rather than the bad; we look at what we have in common, rather than what we do not have in common. We are people who can be honest with one another. In this circle, you can say what is in your heart, knowing that we won’t be offended. We want to walk together to the end.
- We are a “walking together” network. We believe in walking together. We believe in team work. We want to walk together even though, at times, it is easier to walk alone. We can walk alone, but we chose to walk together. Our human nature draws us away from walking together. We are often good as individuals but not as teams. Regardless of our natural tendencies we have to learn the hard lesson: we will walk together. This is what we stand for.
- We are an “international” network. It is easier to be “homogeneous”—all of the same kind—same language, same culture and same food. But we decide to be an international network. We are made up of different cultures; and we will overcome any cultural barriers. We will overcome the difficulties of language. We will learn to love one another. We will contend for the Gospel and we will hang in there together.
- We are an “unreached people” and “marginal (neglected) people” network. We want to be where the need is. We are not afraid to take risks by going to some places and associating with certain people. We want to be a “cutting edge” network. We are not afraid of hard places and difficult people. It may be hard and it may take longer, but we want to do what is needed. We see hardship and suffering as part and parcel of our calling to follow Jesus—it’s part of the normal Christian life. Sacrifice is the calling of Jesus to “take up your cross.”
- We are a “trusting God” network. We do not spend a lot of time talking about money or looking at what we have. We are a dreaming network. Our organization started off as a “dreaming and praying” network. We dare to dream because we dare to trust God alone. Trusting in God is action for us—moving out even though we do not see the possibilities from a human perspective. We trust God even when we don’t have money. We say “yes” to God, even when we don’t know how it will work out. Trusting God is not just having prayer meetings or worship sessions—trusting God is action. It’s going ahead when the situation says it can’t be done. It’s being obedient to God even when it seems crazy to do so, or when it’s considered stupid by others.
- We are a “one body, one church” network. Your church is my church and my church is yours. We believe that there is only one body. “That they may be ONE” is the prayer of Jesus. This is not a slogan; this is not a “good word”; this is not a good idea. This is the character of God—this is who He is. This is the image that he created us with. This is the purpose of our salvation. This is the witness of His church to this broken world. This must become a reality in the church of Jesus Christ. WE WILL BE ONE. This is action. This is what we must do.
I pray these 11 characteristics of The Anglican Mission in Canada may inspire you in 2015. We look forward to how God will continue to shape us in the coming years.
Originally published in The Spectrum, the official e-newsletter of The Anglican Mission in Canada.
Learn more about The Anglican Mission in Canada.