Three Streams: A Template for Identity and Worship
By Aaron Allison
The Church at Indian Lake (CIL) is in Hendersonville, Tennessee, a growing suburb of Nashville. Our church is ten years old, and has Assemblies of God and Southern Baptist roots. We have been including liturgical elements in our worship since our inception. Through our friendship with the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) members in recent years, we have gained needed insight and encouragement to advocate for the three stream ministry model. While our denominational past made the Scripture and Spirit streams flow naturally in worship, the Sacrament stream has needed the nourishment that AMiA provides. One of the many reasons we partner with AMiA is because we believe three stream churches are being birthed and defined in preparation for a national revival. For God to move upon all people in the United States, there will be a convergence of Scripture, Sacrament, and Spirit.
CIL believes a key to a thriving congregation in our culture is a connection with the historic church. We love that AMiA’s strong missional call does not deviate from orthodox Christianity for pragmatic results. Instead, in a society with post-modern sensitivities, AMiA points to the sacred without dishonoring the Word, nor quenching the Spirit. For these reasons, CIL is an enthusiastic participant in the Mission, and considers AMiA the church planting arm of our congregation.
The United States is a society of great opportunity for evangelism. Research has concluded that church planting is our most effective method to welcome new people to Christianity. As AMiA plants more churches around the nation, CIL desires to continue to partner with the Mission. The important tasks of identifying strategic church plant locations and effectively training church planters are initiatives that require much collaboration. CIL can more effectively accomplish these directives by partnering with AMiA. Jesus did not call us to fulfill the Great Commission alone, but sent disciples in teams.
The three streams are a convergent force for our times. Can ancient guides like the Creeds and the Book of Common Prayer be a doorway to innovation? This question calls to mind something the great musician, Bob Dylan wrote. The innovative folk singer changed music in the early 1960s, and has been a forerunner in music ever since. When Dylan was introducing his unique style he observed: “… if I wanted to compose folk songs I would need some kind of new template, some philosophical identity that wouldn’t burn out.”
For CIL, we needed the template and identity that Anglican worship and practices provides. Our participation in the mission gives us a needed partner to remain rooted in traditional faith while also being responsive to Jesus’ Great Commission. We expect the Kingdom of God to advance through the three streams of Scripture, the Sacramental Life, and the Holy Spirit. This is an identity that will not burn out.
Aaron Allison has been the Lead Pastor of The Church at Indian Lake since 2008. His positive experiences in different expressions of Christianity has led him to advocate for the Three Streams perspective of church life which strives for participation in the liturgical, evangelical, and charismatic streams of Christianity. Aaron has been in vocational ministry since 1995, serving as a children’s pastor, youth pastor, associate pastor and church planter. He earned a Doctorate f Education (Ed.D.) from Union University (Jackson, TN). He also has a Masters of Art in Leadership is from Southeastern University (Lakeland, FL), and a Bachelors in Religion from MidAmerica Nazarene University (Olathe, KS). Aaron is an adjunct instructor at Union University’s Hendersonville campus. Aaron and Beth Allison have been married for eighteen years, and have three children.