Why Does AMiA Continue to Plant Churches?
One might think that after nearly a quarter century of planting new works, the Anglican Mission in America(AMiA) has matured to the point of simply nurturing the churches already in existence. However, our founding principle was then—and is today—to continue to press into new works wherever God opens a door. Most of us have gotten familiar with the use of “the AMiA” or “the Mission” so that we forget that the full and proper name for our organization is the Anglican Mission in America, A Society for Mission and Apostolic Works.
Holding true to our birthright is core to our identity. Being planters, creators and instigators of new and apostolically gifted work truly defines us. We have chosen a path of being outside normative structures in order to remain responsive to the Holy Spirit and be nimble enough to react quickly to opportunities that arise. Planting new churches keeps a vibrancy and level of excitement alive in our organization that can only be described as contagious. Our gatherings are dominated with stories of recent successes and new ideas and of innovative ways to continue to plow new fields for the Kingdom.
At the end of the day, a phrase that was used extensively by +Chuck Murphy, our founder, was to build churches that reach the 130,000,000 unchurched people in America. This certainly was and is a bold goal and one to which I pray we will always strive.
We plant, we nurture, we harvest and we pray, and as Paul stated to King Agrippa in Acts 26:19-20; “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles.” (NIV)
So then, let us always embrace our heritage, anticipate our future and remain bold, innovative, clear, apostolic and working in concert with what we see the Father doing in his creation.
Mike+ Murphy has been a leader in the Anglican Mission in America from the beginning as part of the precursor, First Promise, with +Chuck Murphy, ++Moses Tay and ++Yong Ping Chung, all founders of AMiA. He has helped lead church plants, notably the first AMiA church, St. Andrew’s in Little Rock, and other plants from South Carolina to California.
Mike+ is originally from Arkansas, where he began his ministry, and has two grown sons.