The Rev. Bill Haley, an ARDF board member, sat down with us at the Anglican 1000 Church Planting Summit 2013 to talk about his experience as a church-planter and supporter of world mission.
Bill emphasized how important it is for churches to have world mission in their DNA from the very beginning.
When Bill and his family planted St. Brendan’s in the City in inner city DC, they set aside 30% of their budget for mission giving right from the start. Some of that money went to support ARDF projects.
“That 30% demonstrated that mission wasn’t an afterthought” Bill says.
“It spoke to how we understand our reason for being: that we exist for other people. From the beginning, our church had a broader awareness and concern-not just for the things that immediately impact us-but for the things that impact millions of people around the world like poverty, hunger, oppression, and despair.”
In fact, “some people stayed at our church precisely because they knew we were concerned about the world, not just our community or country.”
Bill continues: “It infused a sense of excitement in our congregation about what we could do with these resources, and from time to time we had to take on corporate experiences of faith and prayer in order to raise that 30%.”
Yet Bill cautions that mission of any kind must never be undertaken because of the benefits it has for a congregation or to attract new members: “that’s not the reason why we do it; we do it because it’s right. Helping the poor should never be about attracting people–we serve because that’s what Christians do. It doesn’t matter if anyone sees it.”
St. Brendan’s is now pastored by the Rev. Richard Treacy and is part of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.
Help raise awareness: