"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."
At Mission Anabaino, we believe that during His ascension ministry today, Christ has an address at every place where there is an apostolic, Christ-centered church. Anchored by Christ Presbyterian Church 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 where Christ’s saving presence is not readily accessible.
As a strategic plan, Mission Anabaino is mission church planting!
For a summary of the practical and biblical justification for this, you will want to read Preston Graham's short paper, Why Plant Churches as a Missionary Strategy?
In short, consider this:
* Christ tells us that the Church is the epicenter of the Kingdom of God!
* By its very nature -- as the mediatorial presence of Christ -- the Church IS mission!
* The Church is an essential element of the gospel -- outside of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.
THE NEED AND THE OPPORTUNITY
- New Haven, Connecticut is the fifth-most “post-Christian” metro area in the country (Barna, 2015). Culturally, the region has essentially discarded Christianity, yet possesses a genuine curiosity.
- Southern Connecticut is the entry point and foyer of New England, the region with the lowest percentage of church attendance and participation in gospel-believing churches in the country.
- At the same time, no metro area more closely resembles the “real America” than New Haven. “Based on age, educational attainment, and race and ethnicity…the metropolitan area that looks most like the U.S. is New Haven, Connecticut” (FiveThirtyEight, 2016). To reach Southern CT is to reach “the real America.”
THE MISSION ANABAINO NETWORK AND COLLABORATIVE
- MA is an encouraging church planting network, currently consisting of 22 churches (6 in Connecticut and 16 others around the country and world), and a growing number of other participating churches.
- MA is also an invigorating theological collaborative, with monthly Local Collaboratives, monthly Global Collaboratives, and an Annual Collaborative for all of our church planters and collaborators.
- MA provides ongoing coaching, training, & mentoring; together with a cadre of like-minded brothers.
- MA is anchored by a healthy, missions-minded church and Session; and (as of December 2020) presently holds as many as 4 additional Southern Connecticut church planting grants of $150,000 each.
THE BEAUTY AND RESOURCES OF CONNECTICUT
- With mountains, rivers, lakes, rolling hills, farmlands, and more than 1000 miles of coastal shoreline (look it up!); with world-class education, healthcare, art, and culture; Connecticut’s quality of life is a true delight.
- With easy access to both New York City and Boston, Connecticut’s strategic location is unparalleled.
- According to the United States Prosperity Index -- which makes use of more than 200 state-level indicators to assess three broad categories for each state, “Open Economies,” “Inclusive Societies,” and “Empowered People” -- Connecticut is the 2nd most prosperous state in the country.
- With 169 distinct towns and cities, nearly all built and centered on their classic colonial town green, our state motto (taken from Psalm 80), “Qui Transtulit Sustinet,” has been true for 400 years and counting!
THE QUALITIES WE LOOK FOR IN CHURCH PLANTING PASTORS
Church Planter Qualifications and Competencies:
- An infectious and authentic experience of the gospel of Jesus Christ in full agreement with a “Total Christ” theological vision for ministry.
- An ordained (or imminently qualified for ordination) minister of the Presbyterian Church of America denomination (PCA) or an approved alternative denomination.
- Qualified either by previous successful church planting experience, or by approval from the PCA's Church Planting Assessment Center.
- Demonstrates discernable experience and aptitudes in entrepreneurial leadership such as to include:
- A strong passion and conviction for the gospel;
- A principled or “core values” approach to problem solving;
- A compelling style of communication;
- Giftedness in leading from the front;
- Resiliency to persevere; and
- A general faith-based sense of optimism about life and ministry.
- An ability to function independently and at a high level of performance, resourceful, highly motivated.
THE CALL: CONNECTICUT NEEDS PASTORS!
- While Connecticut can boast of many things, what people in our state crave is a town-centric way of life. And yet, there are very few disciples of Christ here, and even fewer believing pastors. Church planters in Connecticut have the unique and disproportionally impactful opportunity to become a true “village pastor” and “parish priest” (as biblically understood) for the town to which the Ascended Christ calls them.