The Sunday before last we had a “Joint Simple Church Gathering” at our place. One of our student church planter elders at the student church in Arizona was in town, and joined us to share testimonies of what God is doing there. We were all equally edified as we shared stories of how God is moving in our different simple churches all over the city and country. It is beautiful to see these young passionate students pursue Jesus in such a radical way. There were several people from about 6 different simple churches present. Several of those new churches were started as a direct result of Student CPx here in Austin back in August! We have the privilege of being in a community with several of the leaders from those churches, as well as shepherding them as they are sent back out into their individual contexts.
On another note:
We’ve had people visiting us here in Austin almost every weekend for the past month and a half. It’s been awesome for friends and family to come see what God is doing here as the testimonies spread across the country. Brad McKoy, one of the elder’s on the student church national elder team, and Jim Erb, a spiritual grandfather of ours have been here with us the past few days to pour into us and the students. The Taylor’s then joined us this past weekend to relax and enjoy Austin. Our place is open for anyone to come visit! Do it!
I am excited about the next few months of life for us. They will be busy, but full of fun and the kingdom.
As has been the case with many of you, God has totally been wrecking all of the preconceived thoughts I’ve had about what His Church is, and what He desires it to be. The things we have seen happen in the past 3 years of our lives, and the life of Intentional Gatherings have been incredible. From serving the poor to community discipleship houses, and training others across the nation to make disciples & plant new churches we can only assume God has something big in store…
Through Student CPx we, along with the help of several other organizations, have seen hundreds of students trained to make disciples and plant LAY-led faith communities in their context as new believers encounter Jesus. After the students are trained we pair them up with a “seasoned practitioner” to mentor & disciple them. We have elders and leaders spread out in different regions of the country to help shepherd and pastor these apostolic missionaries…
This past weekend in St. Louis we gathered together (with those who could make it) many of these disciple makers/church planters for a time of celebration of what God has done, and edifying one another before going back out into the harvest. As the national elder team and I were chatting we realized something really neat…we have a Nationwide Church of Churches on our hands! There are hubs where traveling teams can be sent out from, and return to for rejuvenation. Not to mention the many Baptisms and hundreds of powerful stories of God moving on campuses & in neighborhoods.
Realizing what God is doing has, once again, completely shifted how I view His Church. I can’t help but think about the early Church in the New Testament, and how it must have been spread out all over the region with thousands of believers, elders, traveling apostolic leaders, BRAND new believers, and many individual church communities spread out all over the place. I’m learning that God grows & builds His church in many ways when we LET HIM. When we get our of His way & remove Him from the box we put Him in He can really amaze us. There really are ways for “growth” outside of how many people gather at a weekly service! (Imagine that! =) It brought a smile to my face, and much peace to my soul to look and see what God has built in the past couple of years – we are humbled and blessed to be a part of it…
If you look closely at the picture you’ll notice FOUR generations present. By the grace of God we have Spiritual grandparents all the way down to small children and infants who are a part of our growing national spiritual family!
Hey there blog readers. I wanted to share a wonderful resource with those of you who are either simple church planters, or are “investigating” simple church in differently ways. Some of you have embarked on this journey to plant, others of you are still questioning the Biblical legitimacy of simple church. A friend of mine here in Vegas, Scott Linklater, is doing a study/documentary video on Simple Church for his denomination. It will be a great voice for SC, and raise awareness in the denomination. As a part of the study he has put together a list of FAQ’s about simple church, and asked that practitioners participate. I filled out the questions, and sent them back to him. I also posted a link to the file here on the blog, and would love for you guys to look over it; fill it out if you like. Feel free to share it with whomever, and if you do fill it out I would love to read the answers you contributed. If you do so please email them back to me: email@example.com
Scott will also greatly appreciate your feedback. To the right of this post, and down a little bit you will notice a “box.net” file sharing widget. The file is at the very top. Simple download it, fill it out, keep it, share it, and please email it back to me. I will forward it to Scott. Again, your response is greatly needed and appreciated for this “study”. Let me know if you have any questions!