Second, for your prayers: York Street Anglican are having a Vision and Planning Day on Saturday. Just a small group of people interested in asking how we will speak with, for and to the city of Sydney in the next 20 years.
Third, for your discussion: For about 45 minutes, we are going to put our mind to 'Successful and Innovative City Church Models'.
I've chosen three churches, or groups of churches -- one in New York and the other two in London. I could have chosen more, and differently. But I chose these three because they represent three different models and ideas that York Street could put their mind to. I've decided not to critique them, although that would be a helpful thing to do. I'm not agreeing with their models, just recognising that they have found a voice that appears to be working.
I've just listed what I think their key aspects are, and tried to be positive about them:
Key Aspects of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC
(Megachurch Presbyterian on Manhattan. They are in the city, on the upper East and West Side, but not downtown. They are theologically reformed.)
- Psyche, holistic thinking, and vocational living mark their language. They 'go deep' and they exegete the city.
- They are deeply positive about the city.
- They have insightful preaching (unrepeatable, really). Tim Keller ‘hits the sweet spot’.
- Tim Keller is positive, insightful, and a good example of the new apologetic.
- They speak always as though new people and not-yet-Christians are present.
- They have an captivating vision (although worth examining): Renew the city spiritually, culturally, and socially.
- They have a desire to be ‘Missional’: the whole church facing the whole city in mission (gospel, community, and life)
- They are positive to other denominations.
- They have adapted to the new reality: It is a post-Christendom world.
- They have clearly identified, and articulated the needs of the city, and they speak to those needs.
- They have clearly identified, and articulated certain ‘defeater beliefs’.
- They have something to say about being a professional, and the value of work
(Mostly Anglican Congregations in City of London. They are classically reformed and Evangelical.)
- The words of the Gospel mark their language.
- They appear free to plant churches well before the most churches would plant.
- They have about 10 relatively small congregations that appear to plant assertively.
- They have strong, clear, unafraid and unambiguous leadership.
- They are strongly Evangelistic in the classic sense of the word. They are outward focused.
- They may not seen as Anglican ‘kosher’. They capture a young and confident crowd?
- They work hard to connect with young people (workers in the city).
- They are great at staffing.
(Large Anglican Church in the City of London. Charismatic Evangelical.)
- The Holy Spirit and change mark their language
- Long term leadership from Sandy Miller and then Nicky Gumbel.
- Exciting vibrant meeting (music and ‘worship’ is a big part of the ministry).
- Found one thing that has made their name known in world: Alpha.
- Positive, positive, positive.
- Positive to other churches. They are very warm and accommodating (too accommodating?)
- Simple and clear messages that touch the heart.
Have I got anything wrong? Have I missed anything?