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Partners in the Ministry

May 12, 2008

Everyone knows that most church planters tend to be stubbornly independent men. And I am one of those guys who tends to lean toward rebellion/pride in his flesh, but who has had men and women lovingly point out carnage in his life due to that rebellion and pride. Praise God that He is unwilling to let me stay in that state, because alongside this rebellion/pride that crops up is this deep, prevailing desire to walk under the leadership of and alongside of others who are seeking to glorify God and who both challenge me and encourage me. I need each of these relationships badly. So today, I wanted to give them a shout out (in chronological order) and a thank you. Each of these headings list an organizational entity but don’t let that fool you. Behind each organization are men and women who care for me, my family and the church that we are part of.

The Village Church

The Village Church is officially our sending church. My wife and I spent four plus years at the Village and two years on staff as the College/Singles Pastor. They are the ones who took a chance on a relatively young Christian (7 years) with no formal training and a very spotty previous life. Matt Chandler has loved me and my family more than I could have imagined from a pastor. He has corrected me, encouraged me, stimulated me, provided opportunities and continues to be in my corner. During a particularly sanctifying time in my life last year, Chandler told me, “I think I love you more than you do.” In addition to Matt, there are many others who have prayed for my family, loved on us and encouraged us. Josh Patterson probably doesn’t know it, but his support of us has been beautifully humbling. I want to list many others, but I can’t do it proper justice here.

Acts 29 Network

My relationship with Acts 29 has been a sweet one that I continue to seek how to cultivate appropriately. Like many of you, I listen to their podcast on a regular basis and many in the Acts 29 Network have influenced my thinking and subsequently my prayer life and view of God. Jeff Vanderstelt has been a considerable influence of note.

A little over a year ago, Acts 29 assessed me for church planting and while they passed me, they did so with strong conditions attached. Yes, I was frustrated initially, but it was apparent that their heart was ‘for us’, both for our church plant and for our family. We immediately sought to follow their recommendations and they have proved valuable. In March, we were approved as an Acts 29 candidate and will become full members when we reach 40 in our community.

On a side note, it has been beautiful to watch Acts 29 grow as a network and as individuals that make up that network. I am very excited about their past, and our collective continuing sanctification.

Hill Country Bible Church NW (Association of Hill Country Churches)

Hill Country Bible Church NW is our local Austin partner.  They are an incredibly generous church with a huge heart to reach the city with the gospel.  We have had the opportunity to walk closely with them for the past 9 months in their residency program and it has been a huge blessing to us.  I was able to spend considerable time with their Senior Pastor Tim Hawks and my bride has spent time with his wife.  They have both invested in us considerably.  John Herrington is their church plant director and he is the real deal.  If you have a heart for church planting and you would consider planting in Austin, then you should contact John and see where the conversation takes you.

Each of these organizations will also be supporting us financially at various levels.  And while the financial contributions are necessary for our efforts in Austin, it is the relationships that have contributed such great value to me, my family and our church.

Praise God for the body of Christ coming together to support one another.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2008 7:25 am

    I think it’s cool that you have 3 orgs helping you. Creates a great balance.

    As for a29. What is your hope in the future for them? How are they evolving?

    Praying for you.

    Shalom

  2. May 13, 2008 12:55 pm

    Thanks for breaking this all down for me. Now I understand how everything works. It was great to see you last week. I look forward to seeing you/emailing/whatever soon.
    Later Gator,
    Elizabeth

  3. January 15, 2010 6:58 am

    l am a ful time missionary working among the unreached rural poor of western maharashtra,India,born and brought up in a Hindu brahmin fly at kerala,and graduated from YWAM, married to a maharashtrain girl and having 2 sons.we are seking an opportunity to get associated with your mision

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