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Patriarchs

June 18, 2008

Patriarchs, every city has them. Men in the city who have prayed over it, preached over it, been shaped by it and bled in it. Men who have seen God more clearly than most and whose life characterizes humility, boldness and obedience. I am certain that Austin has more than one patriarch, but I am blessed to call one of them a dear friend. I got to spend the last few hours with Dan Davis, the Executive Director of Austin Bridge Builders Association (Abba). Dan is one of those beautiful saints who have labored for the kingdom long before I was born. He is the founding pastor of Hope Chapel in central Austin and the Director of Abba. Abba exists to connect Christians in Austin, in order to impact the city together. Here are some things that patriarchs seem to do:

  • They encourage you through prayer. Both praying over you, and the trust that they are praying for you and your family, even when you are not in their presence.
  • They encourage you through the rich stories that they have to share. Stories of God’s faithfulness in the city and the hope that there is more to come.
  • They humble you with their devotion to Christ and grace-filled obedience.
  • They speak truth not just into your head, but into your heart.
  • They inspire you with their boldness.
  • They show you the futility of our trying to impress others. They are old enough to have nothing to prove to anyone, even themselves.
  • They have been around long enough to see multiple ‘best practices’ come and go. And they have been around long enough to see men of God break through ‘best practices’ toward exponential blessings.
  • They have seen others labor obediently for years with just a few in their pews. No one knows their names, but they are blessed and have a great reward with the King.
  • They feel your burden with you.
  • They rejoice with you.
  • They believe in God’s anointing in you and with you.
  • Did I mention that they encourage you?

Thank you Dan for pouring your life into young leaders. Thank you sweet Jesus for shaping men after your own heart and for keeping them around to bless young leaders. If you are a church planter, I pray you have a patriarch to speak into your life. Not just one whose books you read, but one who can sit across the table and read you.

(For you apostle guys out there, it is cool if you have one of those also.  Dan has apostle gifting, and I see him as such, but his primary relationship with me seems more like a patriarch, which in a way has a more subtle, yet powerful influence.)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 19, 2008 2:07 pm

    Great to hear how much you were blessed through that time.

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