Why We Are Part of Acts 29
Many of you know that we, as a church, are part of Acts 29 – a diverse, global network of church-planting churches characterized by (1) theological clarity, (2) cultural engagement and (3) missional innovation. About a month ago, Jen and I travelled to Miami to be part of a week-long annual conference with other lead pastors and their wives. I posted a brief follow-up immediately after the conference on the City, but I wanted to do a more thorough follow-up in this post – particularly for those who are unfamiliar Acts 29. It is also important to note, and this is new as of last year, that the Acts 29 designation not only belongs to me (as the initial “planter”) but to us as the church.
Acts 29 is not a denomination, but a network of like-minded, Jesus-loving, theologically-strong, gospel-driven, missionally-engaged churches. That means that while all of the churches within Acts 29 have many of the same values, there is also incredible diversity – there are presbyterians (PCA), baptists, and independent; some are paedo-baptists (those who baptize babies) and others are creedo-baptists (those who only baptize followers of Jesus); some are governed by a plurality of elders while others employ presbyteries and congregational elements; some focus on missional communities while others leverage more “attractional” methods; many are suburban but there are a growing number found in urban settings, like our own. What we all agree on, however, is the centrality of the gospel and the urgent need to take it to the ends of the earth. Therefore, Acts 29 specializes in assessing, training, coaching and networking church planters in order to make that a reality.
Here are some of the most recent data points:
- Total number of Acts 29 churches globally: 503
- Total attendance of Acts 29 churches: 171,769
- Median attendance per church: 165
- Number of applicants in process of applying to Acts 29: 578
- Total number of church planters sent out from Acts 29 congregations in 2013: 174
- Number of church planters in training to be sent out within two years: 605
- Total money given to church planting by Acs 29 churches in 2013: $20.1M
I hope you can see that we are part of something so much bigger than ourselves – we’re part of a global church planting movement. As I’ve previously mentioned, I have never been more thankful and excited about where Acts 29 is at in terms of overall health and leadership with Matt Chandler as president (The Village Church, Dallas) and Steve Timmis as the Executive Director (Crowded House, Sheffield, England). The men within Acts 29 are among the finest, most respectable, Jesus-loving, risk-taking men I’ve ever been among. They love Jesus, His church and His mission and are laying their lives down to make it happen. There couldn’t be a better organization of churches for us to be a part of – and that is why we are Acts 29.
Here is a brief vision video put together for the Acts 29 conference that we should all watch – maybe a couple times.
Jesus is building His church, from the neighborhoods of Seattle to the nations of the world, and the gates of hell won’t prevail against it (Mt 16:18).
Until the world knows,