A couple of weeks ago Acts 29 hosted a Church Planting Bootcamp in Dallas, hosted by the Village Church. The aim of these bootcamps is to assess, equip, and release church planters into planting gospel-centered, missional churches that plant more churches. The theme of the Dallas Bootcamp was Depth.
The were a number of plenary speakers and a variety of breakout sessions (see schedule here). Audio and electronic resources are being released as they are ready (I am trying to figure out how to upload my audio to wordpress). Mark Driscoll’s talk on the Mission and Vision of Acts 29 includes a clear and compelling vision for a church planting movement that keeps Christ at the center and takes the gospel to periphery of the world. My session was Spirit-led Ecclesiology: Following the Spirit thru Church Planting, which critically examined motives and methods of church planters that lean away from the Spirit-led center of church planting. This was followed by a brief biblical theology of the Spirit and practical reflections on how we can follow the Spirit through unplanned change, resistance and barriers. In short, it was a plea to not replace the Spirit with the gospel in church planting.
For now, here are the resources I have gathered:
Drew Goodmanson has posted the audio files from all of the plenary and breakout sessions from the Total Church Conference. This was a very good conference. Of all the sessions I attended, these talks stood out the most:
Taught our first Partners Class last night. Here is an overview and an outline of the class. Before jumping into things I shared three reasons why we are having a Partners Class. Then, inbetween coffee and brownies in the Schwedland’s living room, we all went around and shared something that has shaped our story and how we got connected with Austin City Life. That was the best part.
Why A Partners Class?
1. Why Partners not Members? Some churches do members classes; we have a Partners Class. There are some really good members classes out there, but there are also a lot of jacked up ideas of what it means to be a member of a church, especially for de-churched or unchurched people. So, we decided to go with “Partners class” to clearly communicate that the church is a partnership of Spirit-led disciples who follow Jesus. The church isn’t a country club bound by exclusive membership; it’s a missional community bound together by the gospel. Everyone is invited to be a partner. It’s about responsible partnership, not exclusive relationships.
2. Three Reasons for a Partners Class
o Cultivate Community: lets us get to know one another more intimately, ask questions. It also allows us to shepherd you more effectively, so you aren’t just some random person in a seat (1 Tim 5:9; 2 Cor 2:6-7).
o Clarify the Gospel: allows us to communicate clearly the gospel of Christ and what we consider essential and non-essential doctrines of the church.
o Communicate Mission: fosters sense of mission through ACL vision and explore how you can fit into that mission.
3. What to expect: In addition to Gospel, Community, & Mission, we will:
o Share the History and Vision of Austin City Life.
o Upon completion of the class we will not issue certificates. We will ask that your City Group Leader indicate your participation in the life and mission of your community. Your participation is evidence that you are, indeed, a partner in our mission.
In an effort to cultivate Missional Leaders, we have identified some key qualities and questions.
Qualities: Some of the qualities we are looking for are presupposed by the questionnaire below. However, here are a few, very practical questions to ask that will reveal missional leader readiness.
- Can they articulate both the Gospel and your vision?
- Are they embodying the gospel and mission in community?
- Have you known them long enough to trust their character and skill?
- Have you spent enough time with them to know whether or not they can say to their missional community, “Imitate me.”?
- Are they imitating you?
- Do they have an increased grocery bill from sharing meals with Christians and non-Christians (stole that from Mark Moore)?
- Do they demonstrate a willingness to be inconvenienced by community and mission?
Questions: We created a questionaire that I adapted from Drew Goodmanson. Each prospective City Group leader filled it out and then met with me to go over it. It has been very helpful in screening, cultivating, and shepherding leaders.