For over twenty years the Anabaptist Network has offered as a ‘centre of gravity’ seven core convictions, an attempt to summarise and contextualise distinctive features of the Anabaptist vision. These provide focus, inspiration and ongoing challenge.
Over the past three or four years we have been investigating ways in which we might move on from core convictions to common practices. What kinds of things do either individuals or communities shaped by the Anabaptist vision do, and how do these practices shape them?
As the new Anabaptist Mennonite Network takes shape and explores opportunities both for planting Anabaptist churches and resourcing existing churches that want to become explicitly Anabaptist, this conversation has become more significant and more urgent. A small group has been discussing this, but we want now to open this up more widely and welcome insights and suggestions from across the Network.
So, here are 12 suggestions, distilled from many conversations, of common practices for both individuals and communities:
- Following the example and teaching of Jesus
- Living simply
- Multi-voiced worship and biblical interpretation
- Baptising would-be disciples
- Communion as a peace meal
- Non-hierarchical leadership
- Consensual decision-making
- Practising mutual accountability
- Practising peacemaking
- Practising mutual aid
- Telling the truth
- Witness in word and lifestyle
We invite you to participate in this discussion by completing this short survey. Your voice is vital in ascertaining how these common practices fit in a current Anabaptist vision, how we experience them in our contexts, and how the AMN might resource people and groups seeking to embody an Anabaptist way of being.
For those curious where these 12 suggestions have come from, please see the document below for a summary of points from four previous conversations with Tom Yoder Neufeld, Steve Kriss, Stuart Murray Williams, and those who attended the residential weekend earlier in the year.