I often consider why questions. Why should I pray? Why should I faithfully attend and support my church? Why should I give to Christian missions and specific workers? Today I want to answer the why question about my work and the mission of ACT 3. Why should you give (or consider giving) to ACT 3?
- The vision of missional-ecumenism is profoundly important. Very few churches understand this message and even fewer actually do something about it. Almost none presently budget anything to support this important biblical vision. My best guess is less than 5% even think about this and less than 1% give to anything to nurture it.
- Leaders need to be “equipped for unity in Christ’s mission.” This is what I do every day -- intentionally and prayerfully “equip leaders for unity in Christ’s mission.” I do this by writing, teaching and mentoring. I do not limit this to young leaders but I specifically target them because I believe the future will require leaders who understand this vision and know how to respond to the global and North American realities that are becoming apparent every day.
- There are a lot of ministries and organizations that stress mission and missional church. (Very few actually understand the term missional and even less seek to put this into real practice.) There are even more ministries that stress ecumenism and Christian unity, though few in the evangelical Protestant world. But, and this is why ACT is crucial, there are very few that stress the two biblical truths together. Yet this is precisely what John 13:34-35, 17:20-23 and 20:21 plainly teach. The reason for ACT 3 is as plain these three texts and a theme that runs right through the whole Bible. These Johannine texts clearly summarize a great deal of Jesus’ teaching ministry on earth and his purpose for the kingdom he established through the blood of his covenant.
- I personally provide a number of resources for thinking and growing Christian leaders, both pastors and lay leaders. In fact, the growing majority of my work is in the marketplace, not inside typical churches. Churches seem intent on running business as usual. I am committed to challenging “business as usual” so my audience is not large among busy pastors who are forced to run the local organization of a congregation. (This in itself is a problem but one that cannot be addressed here.) The rise of “marketplace theology” (see The Cape Town Commitment from Lausanne 2010) is now global and ACT 3 is strategically placed to respond to this growing kingdom movement, both in North America and beyond.
- ACT 3 does not need a large amount of money to do a great amount of good. If, and this is me openly dreaming here, we had the money to meet our budget and retire our debt then, and only then, would I invest in new growth. That new growth would not be in personnel or office space. It would be in the Internet, so we could spread this message more broadly and effectively. It would be in personal conversations with leaders that would teach and motivate them to pursue missional-ecumenism in the place where they work and live. It would not be large or impressive but it would be highly effective. Most important growth and change is not seen on the surface of things.
- Christian theology must be done by all Christians together. But most of us will never learn the importance of doing theology in an ecumenical context until we actually see and experience it. ACT 3 stands as an icon, as a beacon, as a messenger, for this call to ecumenical theology. We call on leaders to “do theology” in relationships with the living and the dead; i.e. the whole Christian Church. Time and time again I’ve seen this actually happen. A few days ago, at the Acton University in Grand Rapids, I saw the power of this as Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox discussed public theology together. Friends that I influence said to me, “Seeing this and experiencing it convinced me of the power of your big idea!” Yes, this big idea has a great deal of power but you will never discover this in books!
- Finally, where can you contribute to the future of the church in a way that is profoundly biblical, deeply centered on Jesus and loving faithful to the whole Christian tradition in its fullness? ACT 3 does what our name says – Advancing the Christian Tradition in the Third Millennium. If you are convinced that sectarian Christianity is the enemy of real mission and renewal would you prayerfully consider helping us do what our name and mission express?
You can donate to ACT 3 by sending a check to:
P. O. Box 88216
Carol Stream, IL 60188
You can also donate online by giving a one-time gift or by becoming a regular recurring donor at ACT 3.