This weekend in Austin, our city will be flooded with worshippers. Seventy-five thousand people who adore music, will gather at Zilker Park each day to take in the sounds of Austin City Limits. It’s iconic Austin. The festival has become so popular, we’ve started a second weekend for ACL. Since we get a lot of this music year round, some Austinites rent out their homes and bail from the city. Others stay and join the fun, still more try just to avoid the crowds. Parking pops up all over the city, signs for temporary parking poke out “Park Here $25 ALL DAY”, and throngs stream down Barton Springs to Zilker Park, lawn-chairs in tow, to stages of all sizes, people of all kinds, a music of every variety wafting out over the thousands of fans.
What Does City Life Church Do During ACL Fest?
People within City Life Church, respond to these weekends in similar and dissimilar ways. Some of our folks will perform, some will attend or volunteer, some will have merch booths, and others will just do life together as a counter-cultural community in the city. Instead of centralizing our Sunday gathering downtown, we free people up to enjoy good culture, make some cash, or dig into their community through Neighborhood Churches.
A Neighborhood Church is two or more missional communities in the same area of the city that share a common mission. These NCs share mercy ministry to the poor and the marginalized in their part of the city. They also gather together 4-5 times a year for fellowship, brunch, vision-casting, stories of grace, prayer, maybe some singing. The gatherings are open-ended. People love em. They can be great places to relax and be the church, get to know neighbors, and have a good time.
Each Neighborhood Church has an elder oversight, along with a leadership team comprised of three types of leaders from within the community. The leadership teams meet regularly to address three things:
- Multiplication of Missional Communities
- Address Pastoral Concerns
- Develop & Refine Missional Strategies
We recently stepped up our intentionality with leadership to make these better. We began with explaining the leadership types, the focus of NCs, and encouraging lots of prayer and strong leadership. To do that, we distributed a Neighborhood Church Worksheet for people to process through.