American Christianity, like the Southern California shore, gets hit by many waves. As a Southern California native, Todd Hunter has caught some of the most notable evangelical breakers.
In the fall of 1979, he and his wife, Debbie, were the first church planters sent out by John Wimber's Calvary Chapel of Yorba Linda—more than two years before that group joined the nascent Vineyard movement. By 1994, Hunter was national coordinator of the Association of Vineyard Churches. In 2000, he became a church planting coach for Allelon, a group devoted to cultivating (here comes a buzzword) the missional church. Four years later, he took the leadership of Alpha USA, an evangelistic program with roots in a prominent charismatic parish in England. And after four more years, he left the leadership of Alpha to launch the Society for Kingdom Living in Boise. But he soon found himself recruited to plant 200 Anglican churches on the West Coast, becoming a priest this March and a missionary bishop in September.
Is Hunter's history a farrago of fads? Or is his career a history of the fresh winds that have blown across America's religious landscape?
You just became an Anglican priest in March and a bishop this month. Did you ever remotely envision aligning with Anglicanism?
Two of the earliest people to shape my theology were J. I. Packer and John R. W. Stott. Through John Wimber, I knew almost every charismatic Anglican leader in the world. In Alpha I grew to love and respect a lot of key Anglican leaders. I wasn't on the Canterbury Trail and didn't see it coming. But now I realize that I do fit this tribe.
When you left the Vineyard leadership, you connected to the early emerging church movement. What did you learn?
I linked to the emergent ...1