At Mission Anabaino, we believe that during Christ’s ascension ministry today, Christ has an address at every place where there is an apostolic, Christ-centered church. Anchored by Christ Presbyterian Church (CPC) in New Haven, CT and its growing number of affiliate churches and partners, MA is gathering, energizing, deploying, and focusing our resources into a collaborative effort to plant churches in locations where Christ’s five mark presence is not geographically or socio-culturally accessible.
By “collaborative effort” we mean far more than our monthly or bi-monthly collaboratives, and yet we mean nothing less than that, for those regular face-to-face meetings are foundational to our ministry plan.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20).”
“For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you — that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine” (Rom. 1:11f).
In light of the “local flesh” nature of the ascension ministry of Christ, Mission Anabaino wants to do all we can to encourage the establishment of new Local Collaboratives throughout the country and world. Thus, wherever there is a sponsoring anchor church and at least two or three church planting pastors who desire to establish a Mission Anabaino Local Collaborative together in their city or region, we make use of the following process:
“Total Christ” / Five Marks Spirituality
First, we ask that the Senior Pastor of the sponsoring anchor church apply to establish a new Mission Anabaino Local Collaborative by sending us a cover letter explaining their reasons for applying, and interacting with the “Total Christ” / Five Mark spirituality at the heart of MA’s vision for churches.
Second, we ask that the Senior Pastor of the sponsoring anchor church agree to serve as the Convener for the Local Collaborative for at least three years, and that at least two or three local church planters also agree to participate for at least three years, Lord willing (cf. James 4:15).
A Collaborative in Missional Ecclesiology
Third, we ask that the Senior Pastor of the sponsoring anchor church help organize the Local Collaborative so that both its structure and content reflect a Christ-centered ecclesiology (i.e. time together in worship, theological [“covenant”] collaboration, practical ministry [“temple”] collaboration, and fellowship). Specifically, we ask that the Senior Pastor lead the Local Collaborative through a core curriculum of the Total Christ / Five Marks application of Christology applied to missional ecclesiology in their first year together (cf. anabaino.org for resources, curriculums, classes, and readings). (He need not take on all the responsibility himself, of course, but should empower each collaborator to lead portions themselves.)
Finally, we ask that the sponsoring anchor church agree to partner with Mission Anabaino financially for at least three years.
By God’s grace, our foundational $3.5 million venture capital fund has accomplished its purpose! With it the Lord enabled us to plant nearly twenty churches in six years, while laying plans for at least five more here in Southern Connecticut alone. At the same time, our organizational responsibilities continue to grow along with the growth of the network. Meanwhile, more and more church planters from around the country and world are contacting us, seeking to become collaborators and future “Anchor Churches” for Mission Anabaino.
One way the sponsoring anchor church can partner with Mission Anabaino is by agreeing to fund the $3000/year collaboration fee for each MA Collaborator who participates in the new Local Collaborative. Another way is by making additional financial gifts to MA -- more than 85% of such gifts go directly to new church planting grants. A third way is by providing financial support to fund the Coordinator of Church Planting and MA Development position.
Please Join Us!
As a community of church planters, we are committed to strategically targeting sites on the “frontier” needing church planting movements informed by a Total Christ, or Five Mark, understanding of the church. We are actively involved with defining and executing church planting strategy; encouraging, coaching and supporting planters; recruiting, assessing and developing interns; fostering a church planting culture; and cultivating and allocating financial and other resources toward church planting. We would be honored to be able to partner with you in the ministry of the Ascended Lord Jesus Christ.
 The term “Total Christ” originates from 5th century pastor-theologian Augustine of Hippo, and his teaching about the relationship of Christ’s incarnational ministry (past) to His ongoing ascension ministry (present). Applying John 1:14 to Ephesians 1:21-23 and 2:19, Augustine concluded, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us; to that flesh is joined the church, and there is made total Christ, both head and body….The fullness of Christ, then, is head and members. Head and members, what is that? Christ and the Church!” Total Christ is thus both “high Gospel” and “high Church,” and unites Christ’s salvific offices of Prophet, Priest, and King. We seek, then, to plant churches with these five marks: Gospel Centered (a covenantal, “high gospel” spirituality); Missional (a Temple presence, “high Church” spirituality); Confessional (Christ Our Prophet); Sacramental (Christ Our Priest); and Communal (Christ Our King).