Each May I write to everyone in our database to allow
them the opportunity to hear our vision and financial needs clearly stated. (We
do not do major donor contacts month by month so this is our simple method of choice. We explain
and ask that you pray and decide to do what you will.) This year my letter was mailed by U. S.
postal service to over 1,500 readers at the end of April. With nearly 2,500
readers of the ACT 3 Weekly, and
thousands more readers of these blogs that I write each day, I am now making this same
letter available to all who can receive it in various Internet forms. I humbly ask
you to read this letter, which is quite short and to the point, and then to respond
to it in whatever way that you feel led by God.
The purpose of ACT 3 is clearly stated in these words:
ACT 3 is a ministry to advance the missional mandate of the Lord Jesus
Christ in the third millennium, through the witness of Scripture and the wisdom
of the Christian tradition.
Our core commitments
are three: to advance worship, spiritual formation and mission.
We openly do this through humble collaboration and cooperation within the whole
Christian Church—Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox.
When I am sometimes
asked if we have changed over the years, I unashamedly affirm that we have
definitely changed! Our doctrinal position has not changed, but the way we
do ministry has significantly changed.
Most of you understand this by now. You also understand that change is
necessary for a vital mission that wants to engage both the present and the future. ACT 3 lives for the future by
understanding our calling in light of the Great Tradition of classical
Christianity. Christianity has a real
history. We are not gnostic. Within that Christian history there is a living
and holy tradition that we have been entrusted with to guard and pass on to
those who come behind us. This means that the past must always bring us to the
present, and the present must take the Church into a future that is deeply
rooted in the heart of God, which is real mission.
Why, then, should you support ACT 3 with your prayers and
You should support ACT 3 because you trust us to be good stewards of the gospel. You believe we really are reaching non-Christians and faithfully helping others do real contextually framed evangelism.
You should support ACT 3 because you believe the church needs ministries like this one to stir the conscience of leaders and institutions to be faithful to the reforming witness of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
You should support ACT 3 because we are unique. Few ministries produce this type of counsel and written resource for the next generation. Our work is unusually positioned to make a real difference in equipping the leaders needed in a post-Christendom world.
What difference will your support of ACT 3 make?
Your support helps me to write for a growing audience of Christian leaders, as well as provide counsel for churches and missions, both mainline and evangelical. Over the past three months our Web site has increased in “unique visits” (35%). My blog readership has increased in similar ways (40%), while the subscriber base for the ACT 3 Weekly has grown by nearly 50%. The response that we routinely receive to these resources is encouraging. There is abundant evidence that these materials are really changing lives.
Your gifts help us present the gospel in numerous settings. This includes preaching, personal evangelism and media ministry via radio interviews and Internet broadcasts. It includes seminars and classes on postmodern evangelism.
Your gifts allow me to personally represent your voice on the boards of groups like the Institute on Religion in Democracy and the Association for Church Renewal, as well as related missions and schools that impact the renewal of the church and the recovery of historic Christian influence on both church and culture.
Your gifts allow me to do serious private research and thus concentrate on writing a new book, Your Church Is Too Small. In addition, I am allowed by your gifts to write regular columns for several periodicals.
Your gifts further allow my small staff, which consists of one full-time administrator and a part-time editor, to help me focus on my real work and thus to get it done efficiently.
Finally, your gifts help us remind the Church, in all its present confusion about its role in the modern world, that the people of God’s free grace are really “a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a special possession . . . to declare the praises of him who called