Front Porch

The Future of our Front Porch

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Anglican Compass is a digital front porch. It is visible, accessible, welcoming, and winsome. It interfaces with the outside world, as in the photo above. At the front porch, anyone can stop for a chat or pull up a chair. You can come by in the morning for coffee or in the afternoon for tea, going further and learning more. We’ve been known to host deep conversations, too—the kind that go late into the night.

My name is Peter Johnston, and I am the new Ministry President of Anglican Compass. I am a passionate student of our Anglican tradition, of our Reformed and Catholic faith. You may have seen my articles on the Lambeth Conference, the British Monarchy, the collects of Holy Week and Easter Week, and the hymns Ah Holy Jesus and It Is Well.

Sponsored

As Ministry President, I am now the steward of our front porch. It’s an exciting, humbling role and a sign of the Lord’s sovereign grace and providence. As a rector, I will bring a strategic vision grounded in everyday ministry and mission to Anglican Compass. I ask for your prayers and support in this worthy endeavor.

The Next Generation

I step in at a remarkable time in our life together. On the one hand, Anglican Compass is a vital ministry, serving some 10,000 people a week. A majority of the traffic comes from Google, from folks asking questions about Anglicanism. Even as we have published little this year, traffic has remained high. The enduring value of our archive is a testament to the vision and dedication of our founding team.

On the other hand, Anglican Compass is in the midst of a transition from its founding team to its second generation of leadership. For any ministry, this is a fraught moment. How do we carry on the core competence of our founders when we can no longer rely on their authority and energy? In this sense, Anglican Compass is a microcosm of the American Anglican movement as a whole, which faces a similar challenge.

Over the past six months, I have prayed, broadly consulted and deeply considered, seeking what is most necessary for Anglican Compass to both survive and thrive through this transition. The result is a vision with two imperatives, operational and editorial, which I outline below.

A Full-Time Managing Editor

Anglican Compass needs a full-time Managing Editor funded by its readers.

There is no shortage of authors willing and able to contribute to Anglican Compass. Ours is a unique digital ministry in the Anglican ecosystem, the most trafficked and accessible to newcomers. Whether to proclaim the gospel, share hard-won wisdom, or promote good work, virtually everyone has a reason to write for Anglican Compass.

What we lack is editorial time. Where authors can fit composition around their own schedule, editors need to be available all the time, able to manage incoming proposals and edit ongoing projects. What’s more, editing is an acquired skill and one less common than writing. We need an experienced editor who gives exclusive attention to this ministry.

We, the readership, also need to fund this editor ourselves. In the past, we ran on the passion of our founders, who received little or no compensation. Their gift of editorial time was essential to our early viability, but it will not work in the long term. And given my ecclesial roles, I cannot be our Managing Editor. My role as Ministry President is to provide strategic vision and to build our network of supporters.

Therefore, we will soon launch a campaign to secure the future of Anglican Compass. In the campaign, we will share on-the-ground stories to illustrate this ministry’s remarkable impact and ask our readers to prayerfully consider supporting it.

Refocusing on our Core Competence

In the next season, Anglican Compass will refocus on its core competence of helping readers grow closer to Jesus through the wisdom of the Anglican tradition.

Always writing with clarity and charity, we will publish principally in five categories, as follows:

These categories are focused enough to guide our editorial direction while also allowing a broad exploration of the riches of the Anglican tradition. They are designed, in fact, as conversation starters for the front porch. By focusing here, we will reinvigorate our ministry and create an expanding community of conversation of writers, long-time readers, and enthusiastic seekers just discovering our Anglican tradition.

The Anglican church is a paradox. It’s an old building, to be sure, but also strangely fresh and compelling—a bit like Jesus, that way. If you come by the porch here at Anglican Compass, we’d be happy to tell you all about it. But our glory is to point beyond ourselves. And when you are ready, you can enter the front door. The refreshments on the porch are lovely, but the full meal waits inside.


Photo by MCCAIG for Getty Images, courtesy of Canva.

Published on

October 14, 2022

Author

Peter Johnston

The Ven. Dr. Peter Johnston is the Ministry President of Anglican Compass. He is a priest and archdeacon in the Anglican Diocese of All Nations and the rector of Trinity Lafayette. He lives with his wife, Carla, and their eight children near Lafayette, Louisiana.

View more from Peter Johnston

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