Our Future

future
 

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. ~ John 14:6

Principles for Tomorrow:

What will the Christchurch of the Future Look Like?

  • Christchurch will continue as a missionary movement

    We will remember that we were called to be a people still on a journey as much as a street location in Montgomery, Alabama. In other words, His Purpose for us is our real home. That includes faithfulness to our Mission Statement (WHY we exist), our Vision (WHAT God wants us to become), our core values (CONVICTIONS about Scripture and Church tradition) and Evangelism (HOW to CARRY OUT the Great Commission). All of these will be based on the premise that our first task is to be His witnesses in the world, wherever we are, long after our buildings and facilities are built. 
       
  • The clergy will uphold the Word

    Their task as preachers will be understood as their most important calling: to remind the congregation WHO we follow and WHY. Everything else, from spiritual direction and counseling to teaching and pastoral care, derives from the authority and commission to preach the Word in season and out of season. Our real legacy will not be our buildings and our facilities, but our faithfulness to the Bible and Christian tradition. To that end, the priests who serve at Christchurch are never to function merely as village chaplains or group chaperones or purveyors of the Sacraments, but guides and point-men for the journey.


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  • The staff members will be facilitators

    Their primary role will be as spiritual midwives, in the identification, training, instruction and equipping of the people for their own ministry and evangelism. As such, their work is the very lifeblood of Christchurch.
     
  • The Vestry will help shape the parish

    Their primary function will be to seek and provide ways/means to enable the parish to fulfill its mission. To that end, one of their most important responsibilities will be to assist members in strengthening their faith-commitment, help them articulate their public witness as Christians and aid in the discovery of each person’s part in kingdom work. Instead of merely serving as Members of the Board, the Vestry members will always be in prayerful discernment for new opportunities to increase the lay ministry in the parish. Everything the Vestry does will be with a view to enabling each parishioner to become a better Christian.
     
  • Lay ministry will be emphasized

    The mobilization of the Body of Christ will have high priority, with each member defined as having his or her own S.H.A.P.E. – that is, spiritual gifts, heart/passion, abilities, personality, experiences of life – a ministry and place to serve. Each new member will be expected to have a clearly identifiable ministry of some kind. A systematic approach will be used to identify various gifts and talents, to train and place people for service in His Name. The perspective will be one of “whole life ministry,” with members using their gifts to serve others not only in the church, but in their own families, community and the world.
     
  • Covenant groups will define the parish

    The small group cell system will insure that every member of Christchurch is both cared for and held accountable as a believer, no matter how large the congregation grows. This is where in time some of the most rewarding Pastoral Care will take place, enabling Christchurch to become more and more like a family. The ideal is that each person will eventually find his or her accepted place in a caring, affinity-based ministry group. As each small group experiences the life of what is in effect a small Christian community, it will become a healthy, essential family unit, caring meaningfully for one another and challenging and encouraging each other to grow in Christ.


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  • New members will be intentionally welcomed

    This process of incorporation into the life of the parish will be seen as a planned and ever expanding process. To this end, each Christchurch member is to be defined as a missionary to others. The congregation will remain mindful of the Great Commission, which implies that a church really exists for the sake of those who are not members. To live by the invitation, “Come and See,” is to say that every decision made must in some way assist us in reaching those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ or help us pass on the faith to those who come after us.
     
  • New churches will be planted and supported

    Rather than planning for indefinitely larger size and unending growth, a ceiling of approximately 1500 to 2000 members will be accepted as our corporate goal. In keeping with the original missionary policy of the Anglican Communion Network, the ultimate measure of our faithfulness to God’s purpose will not be defined by the size of our budget or the number of members in our parish, but the new Anglican congregations we have started, or helped make possible. Our concern will always center on souls, not size; on Truth, not success.


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  • The lordship of Christ will be our modus operandi

    We will acclaim Jesus Christ as the true Head of the Church and seek His direction for our common life in every possible way. As Anglicans, we will continue to appeal to Holy Scripture, as interpreted by the orthodox Church Tradition, with the aid of human Reason, guided by the Holy Spirit. Our operative belief will continue to be that, as the Head of His Church, God has both a WILL and a PLAN for Christchurch, one that He wants us to know. As we seek His will, not ours, the unity of and unanimity in the Spirit will be a natural consequence of His guidance.


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  • Christchurch will be committed to the Bible

    Ecclesial authority will be understood as that contained in the Holy Scriptures and Church Tradition, as interpreted by the Early Church, the Reformation and the Thirty-Nine Articles in the Book of Common Prayer. These ideals will comprise our theological bottom line. We will strive to always be a church of open doors, showing genuine welcome, sensitivity and compassion to both seekers and skeptics, inviting all to join us at the foot of the Cross. But we will not compromise the revealed Truth of Scripture or the faith of our historic Creeds.


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  • Christchurch will be both catholic and protestant

    As Anglican Christians, we have a unique heritage that both the world and modern Christendom need. Combining the orthodox traditions of classical Christianity, with the passion and commitment of the English Reformation - a liturgical heritage with an evangelical one - we will remember that we are the inheritors and keepers of ancient Truth, but also present in a modern world. Our task is to offer hope and new life, timeless answers in the language of our own day. In our Worship, Education, Children and Student Ministries and Pastoral Care, we will uphold the best of the traditional and contemporary.
     
  • We will offer new life and historic faith

    We will remember that what is old is not necessarily irrelevant and what is new is not necessarily better. We will also remember that just because something is old that doesn’t mean it’s helpful, and that God can still reveal historic truth in new ways. We will do more than answer questions and question answers: we will answer questions that aren’t being asked and ask questions that should be. We will keep to our two-fold task: to stand fast as guardians of “the faith delivered once for all to the saints” (Jude 3), and to work and plan and pray as if Christchurch were to go on for a thousand years.
    The Fifth Sunday in Lent
    March 25, 2007

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Last Published: April 29, 2016 11:03 AM

 

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