There is a three-stage process of establishing a successful Parish. The first step is starting a PROJECT.
The distinctive of a Project is that it may not have, and is not required to have, a regular Sunday service. E.g. It may begin as a small group meeting in a home for fellowship, Bible study and prayer. Every Project must have a sponsoring ANiC parish to support and guide as possible.
When you want to initiate a new project, you have to consider both the missional/ministry requirements and the administrative/practical ones.
Some of these may have begun prior to seeking official status as a Project.
- Pray, ... then .... Pray, ... then .... Pray. God must be at the heart and centre (Ps. 127:1). It is His work!
- If not already begun, start a regular meeting for Bible study and prayer. It is a time of fellowship and community building. This gathering will form the Seed Group.
- Prayerfully consider how you will reach out to your neighbours and friends. To be successful a Project must be outward looking. Explorers can help you with ideas.
- Prayerfully consider how each person may contribute to growing and sustaining this ministry. The mission given by Jesus is to "make disciples ... to baptize ... and to teach them" (Matt. 28:18-20). What giftings do you already have among you? What do you still need?
- As the Project gets going, formalize your plans and strategy for growth and outreach. Again, Explorers will be happy to help. (To be sustainable in the long-term the rule of thumb is that a ministry needs to have 50 committed members.)
- Pray for God to raise up a Planter to give leadership to the fledgling ministry. It will be someone who is ordained, or who is seeking ordination. The bishop will be significantly involved in this decision. Explorers may help with practical aspects of recruitment and selection.
Prayerfully discern God’s direction for the group and whether you feel that the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) is part of your future. This is a process of much prayer, discussion, consulting, and seeking God’s will for ministry in your neighbourhood.
- When you are ready to start, or become, an ANiC "Project" you may want to contact Anglican Explorers who will assist you and guide you through the process.
- The first step will be to speak to your bishop or archdeacon. If you're not sure who that is, we will be happy to find out for you based on your location.
- Identify the leadership of the "seed group" (that's you! :). It may be more than one person, but keep it small (up to 4 people). Appoint a chair/spokesperson to be the contact. Consult with the Bishop regarding potential plant leaders.
- Make a formal application to ANiC, listing the members (who must each sign the application). This formalizes the initial link with ANiC and creates opportunity for accountability and support in both directions.
- Establish a budget and begin raising funds. In particular consider as a group how much each may be able to contribute to the ongoing financial needs of the Project.
- As you set a formal budget, Explorers will be able to assist you with a format, and what to consider.
- At the beginning, tithes and offerings for the Project may be administered and receipted through financial arrangments with the ANiC Office.
Here are some helpful websites that will give you ideas and advice.
- The C2C Collective is a coordinating network of church planting ministries in the USA and Canada.
- Always Forward is the church planting ministry of our Province - ACNA (Anglican Church in North America).
- The Lausanne Movement founded by Billy Graham and John Stott has some useful information on church planting.
- The Southern Baptists coordinate and support their church planting initiatives through the North American Missions Board.