The mission of ACT3 Network is “to empower leaders and churches for unity in Christ’s mission.” I seek to do everything that I devote time and prayer to on a daily basis toward this one primary purpose, or telos. Many ministries and missions have great goals that are rooted in sound biblical ideas. We believe that ours is somewhat unique. We do not try to build up the organization of ACT3 so much as we try to develop our partners by serving their mission with our resources. This is true in several ways:
1. All the writing that I do is aimed at individuals, missions and churches to help them develop a theology of mission that is intentionally rooted in Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-23. I believe most Christian ministries that focus on mission aim at individuals, not at churches and communities. I also believe that too few of them understand how much unity really matters to accomplishing Christ’s mission. Our unique call is to help you see this vision and to embrace it.
2. The Unity Factor Forums that I conduct in various cities, as well as the ACT3 Cohort groups that I teach, are both uniquely designed to follow-through with the vision that is cast in all my major writing, especially in the two books: Your Church Is Too Small and The Unity Factor.
3. The regular meetings that I have for lunch, coffee (and on the phone) are all aimed at equipping and empowering leaders to grasp these ideas and ideals. I believe relational leadership is Christ’s plan, not my own.
4. The forums and speaking that I do in other settings is directed toward these same goals. I seek to model missional-ecumenism wherever I go and in everything that I do. I believe this vision is better caught than taught, though it plainly must be taught since people are not familiar enough with it.
Toward this end I accepted a position as the Liaison for the Lausanne Movement’s Catholic-Evangelical Conversation last year. Our first meeting will take place this month, April 18-20, in Mundelein, Illinois. We will gather twenty-seven Catholic and evangelical leaders on the campus of the University of St. Mary of the Lake to pray, discuss our common mission and build deep friendships. Our purpose is to see where we can advance Christ’s global mission as friends and partners. I believe this is a historic gathering since Lausanne has never had such a Catholic-Evangelical gathering. When I was at the Vatican in March of 2011 I actually had a dream about this happening so I am not shocked that it has now come about. I humbly ask you to pray for me, and the other twenty-six leaders who will join me, for God’s blessing upon these three days.
The ACT3 Network, and the global Lausanne Movement, are thus pleased to invite you to attend a special public event on Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m. Fr. Edward Oakes will speak on “Christ Our Center.” A response will be given by Dr. Hans Boersma, the J. I. Packer professor of theology at Regent College (Vancouver). Conversation, and questions from the audience will follow. This conversation and the question time will be led by Dr. John H. Armstrong, president of ACT3 Network, and Fr. Robert Barron, rector of Mundelein Seminary.
There is no charge for this event but you must register at http://www.act3network.com/unityfactorforum. (Please do not call the seminary for information.) The meeting will be held in the USML Conference Center on the seminary campus at 1000 East Maple Avenue, Mundelein, IL 60060-1174. If the registrations exceed our room space then we will move to another location on the same campus but when you arrive on campus plan to come to the Conference Center first. You can find a photo and map of the conference center at http://www.usml.edu/conference-center.
If you have any questions you may contact me directly by email or response to this blog. And please pass this information along to friends and invite them to register for this event at http://www.act3network.com/unityfactorforum. We need to know who is coming, and how many, so we can plan the event as we should.
Above everything else, pray.