Tag Archives: austin stone

Life after The Verge Conference

I had the honor of debriefing one evening after The Verge Conference with Alan Hirsch (The Forgotten Ways), Neil Cole (Church 3.0), Lance Ford (Shapevine), and Matt Smay (Tangible Kingdom & Missio) in the lobby of the Aloft. And by debriefing… I mean sit quietly trying to absorb what they were saying. The discussion moved far beyond theory and best practices and quickly became an absorbing of sorts of what God was doing in our city.

In the words of Alan:

Something special is happening in Austin. We’re not seeing this kind of partnership and momentum in other cities.

He followed that up yesterday when he tweeted:

“I think Austin might just be the US city furtherest along the missional road.”

I instantly felt both thankful – and honestly -a bit burdened (in a good way). I was hit by the gravity and responsibility that comes with stewarding even a shred of God’s movement. And I was thankful that PlantR is neck deep in trying.

God help us.

It doesn’t really matter whether you’re a part of the mega or micro-church world. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re at an established church or a planting pastor with a dream. What matters is if you’re in this city and whether or not you’re for God’s Kingdom in this city.

We need to take a moment and acknowledge – with thanksgiving – what God is doing in Austin. To realize that what we’re experiencing is just a glimpse of what can happen. Recognize that there were men of God praying for His Kingdom in Austin way before we were even here. Prayerfully consider what we need to do to not get in the way. And do whatever it takes to be a part of advancing what He’s already doing.

I think John Herrington (Hill Country Bible Church) put it best in his recent post:

“It is time to coalesce the incredible talent I see in the pastors of Plantr and release it collectively into the city. The idea of tithing our time and talents beyond our own plant changes everything.”

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Our Need for Mission

This is kind of a rePost of a Post of sorts. My friend Michael Stewart from the Austin Stone Community Church posted this from what Alan Hirsch wrote, in his book The Forgotten Ways. It’s a good reminder. And in it, he tells this story about missional community:

“In a remark ascribed to Gordon Cosby, the pioneering leader of that remarkable community Church of the Savior in Washington, D.C., he noted that in over sixty years of significant ministry, he had observed that no groups that came together around a non-missional purpose (e.g., prayer, worship, study, etc.) ever ended up becoming missional. It was only those groups that set out to be missional (while embracing prayer, worship, study, etc., in the process) that actually got to doing it.” (p. 235)

Hirsch goes on to say that experience tells us that a group that aims at community seldom gets to mission even if it sincerely intends to do so. But the group that aims at mission will have to do community, because community “is the means to do mission… By planting the flag outside the walls and boundaries of the church, so to speak, the church discovers itself by rallying to it – this is mission.” (p. 236)