It has become clear to many people in Christian leadership that we are moving toward a post denominational world. House churches and informal Christian gatherings have seen exponential growth, while mainline denominations are declining rapidly. Geaorge Barna, for example, wrote a compelling book on this topic (Revolution). He sees a growing desire for the living God and for authentic community but doesn't see a growing desire for church affiliation.
For some time I have dreamed of a ministry which could come alongside any and all groups who simply want Jesus and him alone. I believe more than ever in God's call on my life to teach, preach and lead. But I no longer believe he is calling me to do this as a representative of the Anglican Church of North America.
I love and am deeply grateful for my spiritual heritage from the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church. Some of the finest people I have ever met are in these churches and both churches have people who are truly disciples of Jesus and walk in the ways of the Holy Spirit.
But in my own sphere of influence, which is primarily through Desert Call Ministries, I think I can most authentically live out my calling by simply being a disciple among other disciples, seeking to use any gifts I may have as a pastor, to bring others closer to Jesus, regardless of their affiliation or non affiliation.
And so I have decided with much prayer to recommit myself as a pastor and teacher, and to the ministry of making and equipping disciples of Jesus without being a representative of a particular denominational body.
I am not leaving the pastorate at all, but entering it in a new way. Not a leaving of the church but a joining of all of it. The Church of Acts, the church in which I have been pastor in Hemet, has embraced for themselves this vision, as well.
As T S Eliot said, " I return to the place from which I started...and know it for the first time." This is not the end of the ministry the Lord has given me. It is, I believe, truly the beginning.