A Strategy that Changes the DenominationA dozen or more clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, together with the bishop, Dorsey McConnell, agreed today to undertake a study of evangelism, using John Richardson‘s book, A Strategy That Changes the Denomination. Their first meeting will be on February 26th, and all parishes in the diocese will be invited to participate.

The book and matters arising therefrom have been discussed before on this site, here and here and here and here. I’ve read some useful and interesting discussions on Richardson’s own web-site, here, but it doesn’t appear to have a way to search the site for them.

To quote the review linked to above, ‘The heart of Richardson’s case is that Evangelicals have been content to be a party within the Church with evangelism as their specialty, when in fact evangelism is the purpose for which the whole Church exists. Mission societies, the means by which Evangelicals have pursued the goal of evangelism for generations, actually undermine the evangelistic enterprise, because they don’t involve the whole Church, which was founded by Christ as a mission society: ‘God’s mission work to the world flows from Christ through the Church… the Church is the missionary organisation seeking people’s conversion’ (88f). Evangelism is not part of but the heart of all the Church’s mission (pp 30, 90).’

The book is only $5.63 plus shipping, and can be ordered here, and I hope evangelical clergy elsewhere in the Episcopal Church will follow the Pittsburgh example.