Matt Chandler, Jeremy Pace and Chris Chavez came down to Austin for a couple of days to visit, to check out our mission focus area and to learn about the Hill Country Church Plant Residency Program. Matt is the Lead Pastor of The Village Church which is where I was recently on staff as the College & Singles Pastor. Jeremy is the now the Church Planting Director, and Chris is Matt’s admin and a dear friend of mine.
They are currently building a church planter training program up at the Village and they are seeking to learn whatever they can to aid them in their efforts. If you are interested in their program then contact Jeremy Pace.
On Monday we got the residents together for a Q&A with Matt and there were several great nuggets. Here are just a few of them:
- On one piece of advice for the church planter
‘The thing you have to do well, is to have humility. Whether it is theological or philosophical, you have to operate with humility. When dealing with older members or younger members, you must find a way to honor the old, while you bring in the new. You can say harsh things with humility and it will be received. Lastly, love Jesus a lot more than the church you want to build’
- On conflict
‘If you are a church planter that is afraid of conflict, then get out now. In the church, conflict contains the seeds of the biggest acts of love. Be direct with humility and love.’On this topic Matt stated that far too many church planters are afraid of conflict. They are afraid to confront sin and afraid to be bold.
Later that evening we had dinner with some other Acts 29 church planters in Austin, Jonathan Dodson from Austin City Life and Brian Lord from Austin Journey Church. Conversation was great and it is beautiful to hang out with other men who are laboring for the peace of the city. Tuesday brought a lunch with Matt Carter, Lead Pastor of Austin Stone, which was just a good, encouraging time.
There are three upcoming Acts 29 Regionals in Texas:
- January 29th in Dallas, Topic is Spiritual Formation
- May 6th in Austin, Topic is Courage
- September (date to be determined) in Houston
These regionals are generally free to attend and it is always a great idea to bring key leaders from your core team as well, especially for the breakouts which are generally about practical matters which your leaders will likely be leading.
I am left with one overwhelming thought/feeling: God is good, and I am blessed beyond anything I could have imagined. Praise God for His mercy and goodness.
Edit: Check out Jonathan Dodson’s thoughts over at Church Planting Novice.