If you’re wondering why this Mere Human hasn’t posted anything in the last couple of weeks, it’s because I’ve been otherwise occupied with my attempts to ‘Run For Archbishop’.
And all the people said, You’ve been what?
Upon which I explain that Running For Archbishop was three things.
A 30 Reason Campaign To Be Archbishop of Canterbury
My declared aim was that “throughout June, I [would] each day be explaining on YouTube one reason why a Mere Human like myself, a twenty-four year old who hasn’t even been ordained, would make a good Archbishop of Canterbury.”
#1. I have a vision for the revival and reformation of England
#2. I believe the gospel
#3. I’ve been baptised in the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit
#4. I’ve been blessed by the laying on of hands of a bishop
#5. I’m a royalist who believes in having an Established Church of England
#6. I’m patriotic but not xenophobic, and I can apologize for any imperialistic abuses of our country’s past without being ashamed of our great heritage of missionary activity.
#7. I would be delighted to baptize children
#8. I think Christians should celebrate the Eucharist frequently
#9. I affirm the 39 Articles
#10. I affirm the Book of Common Prayer as a good historical standard of true biblical catholic faith
#11. I affirm the Jerusalem Covenant while also affirming that the catholic church enjoys an invisible unity with all believers regardless of church affiliation
#12. I’m liberal
#13. I’m catholic
#14. I’m evangelical
#15. I’m pentecostal
#16. I’m therefore broad church
#17. I believe in episcopal oversight of the presbyters of local congregations and therefore believe we need not just local parish churches but diocesan cathedrals filled with night and day prayer and worship.
#18. I have a clear, gracious, biblical position on homosexuality (see this link)
#19. I have a clear gracious biblical position on the question of women in ministry which empowers women (to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) while affirming the truth of the traditional biblical doctrine of male headship.
#20. I am willing to speak out against the horror of abortion (see this link)
#21. I am eager to engage the challenge of secularist universities
#22. I’m not afraid of making fun of atheists but am also able to laugh at myself (see this link)
#23. I like to write rhymes (and so would be happy take my place in Canterbury’s proud poetic tradition)
#24. I can write hymns
#25. I can also write Christian lyrics of greater contemporary relavance (ie. holy hip hop!)
#26. I have a beard
#27. I like wearing funny hats
#28. I like wearing funny robes
#29. I wouldn’t need a salary (see this link)
#30. I fulfil the 1 Timothy qualifications of a bishop
Now, I am aware that the way the Church of England appoints her Archbishops has nothing to do with democratic elections, and thus if one was seriously interested in becoming Archbishop then trying to mount a campaign for the position would probably not be the most effective method of fulfilling that ambition. What then was the point of my irreverent — and I did have one person unfriend me on Facebook because “as an Anglican I am not finding it funny, especially you wearing a mock bishop’s mitre” — campaign?
Well partly it was simply an act of obedience to what I thought was a Spirit-inspired idea. Which may not have come quite as dramatically as the above video might suggest, but nevertheless occurred to me one morning’s Quiet Time, and then was tested and approved of by three of the YWAM Leadership Team when I mentioned it to them.
And partly it was about me imaginatively working through how my developing thoughts about church-planting/revival movements might function within the English context. Indeed I would argue that far from being irreverent, I have found that my convictions fit astonishingly well within Anglican orthodoxy.
And partly it was a first attempt at trying my hand at putting together a simple little internet campaign. As is evident from the above list, thirty Youtube videos in thirty days turned out to be over-ambitious in a busy month (and if there are people still eagerly awaiting the remaining reasons, then I might be moved to try and finally provide them, if there was sufficient demand). But it was a good learning experience.
But primarily it was:
A 7 City Tour Evangelistic Tour
In two weeks, we visited St Albans, Cambridge, Coventry, Oxford, Southampton, London, and finally Canterbury. We gave out a lot of tracts. We talked to a lot of people. People were encouraged: An evangelist friend of mine replied to my half-way report of what was happening to say that he’d never known what to say in street evangelism when the people being evangelized said they were Christians, and said that he would now use my strategy of giving them two tracts and commissioning them to share the gospel with people they know. Another friend wrote asking for prayer that she would be a bolder in sharing the gospel in her community. Someone on the YWAM Harpenden base said they’d not seen so much enthusiasm for evangelism in all their time here (and then added “but I’ve only been here twenty years”).
More importantly, I found myself learning the importance and the joy of working within a team (one of YWAM’s Foundational Values), as what began as my own individual crazy scheme became the work of nine people all playing important complementary roles.
And finally, I’ve always said that Running For Archbishop was:
A 3 Part Strategy To Revive England
Save the lost, revive the saved, train them all.
I should probably admit (if I haven’t already) that I stole that slogan from the Circuit Riders school, which Running For Archbishop was intended to build up towards, and which has finally arrived!
And I’ve been asked to be the official blogger for the Circuit Riders event. So I’ll be trying to post little updates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. So stay tuned!