All church starts begin with a God-given dream. God gives these dreams to all sorts and conditions of people – lay and ordained; young and old; black, white, brown; English-speaking and otherwise; male and female. Because God has inspired so many different ways to plant, he can use almost anyone to begin this process. The initial dreamer is not necessarily the one who later leads a plant. What dream has God given to you? Pray earnestly for direction from God; do your research (read this site and check out materials on our resources page) and seek counsel from godly leaders around you about your dream. If you are currently part of an Anglican congregation, your Rector is a good place to start. If not, we recommend that you speak to someone who has knowledge of church planting. You may dream to plant what becomes a full-blown program-size church; or to plant a small house church; or to plant a campus of your current church; or to plant a missional community to reach a micro-culture. Knowing the end goal is important in understanding how to proceed.
If you sense God’s leading to help plant a church, call us by telephone for a brief initial consult to talk about Discernment and Assessment. Call Tom Herrick at the Titus Institute: 703-817-0602. You may have already gathered a group of people interested in a new church, or you may be at the initial dreaming stage of the process. If you believe you are called to lead or help a plant, please fill out our Application form, respond to this brief questionnaire , and we will send to you a link for the Lifeway online Assessment for Church Planters. (You may be called to help plant a church, and not to lead a plant as the point person. We need many people to come alongside our planters to make a good start, and we can help you to get connected with people in your area.) After we receive your Lifeway profile, we’ll complete our initial discernment of how to move forward with you. If the indicators from your screening are positive, we’ll begin the formal assessment by asking you to complete two more online instruments; schedule a time to get together with you and your spouse for a thorough interview; check references; and more. As a final step, you may be asked to work together for a day and a half with other prospective candidates and spouses. Our partner, The Titus Institute for Church Planting and Multiplication, will provide a written assessment report with recommendations for how to proceed.
As the initial dreamer shares the dream, he or she will gather a small group of people–we call this a launch team–around a God-given vision for a new church. The vision should be articulated in writing. As the group grows, patterns of discipleship will emerge, such as Bible Study, accountability groups, and fellowship meetings. This group needs to agree on a few things, including jurisdictional oversight.
If your group intends to become an Anglican Church in this Diocese, you should notify the chair of L10-2, currently Tom Herrick ([email protected]), and we will discuss our Mission Fellowship Covenant with you. Mission Fellowships in the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic are expected to sign and follow this Covenant, which sets forth mutual expectations between the Mission Fellowship and the Diocese. The Covenant can be found here.
Clergy from other, non-Anglican Christian traditions may be either received or licensed here, depending on various factors, including character, education, experience, and skills. Such clergy seeking Anglican Ordination, as well as Lay persons seeking Holy Orders, should contact the Rector of an Anglican Church in North America congregation near them, and then the chair of the Ordination Committee of our Diocese, currently Jack Grubbs, at [email protected]. Our Ordination process information materials may be found here. Anglican Clergy from other Dioceses may be received or licensed to serve here.