I am in the process of preparing to plant a church in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Lord willing, I will plant a church that is in the Acts 29 network. People have asked me a few times, why I want to be connected with this particular network.
There are a few reasons, but the main one that stood out the most yesterday while attending an Acts 29 Boot Camp is, their passion for Jesus. These guys love Jesus and want to see more and more people come to love, saved and transformed by Jesus. They are passionate about Truth and training up men to lead the church and family in Biblically sound ways that puts Jesus in the center of everything. These men understand that church planting isn’t about growing big, fun, and laser light show like churches, instead they talk about the true foundation of planting being Jesus, making disciples of Jesus that obey Jesus and go and tell other people about Jesus.
We live in a culture, especially a Christian one, where if we have the right sound system, have the “relevant” message, and are able to do semi-decent covers of radio hits we will have a “successful” church. We will grow, we will have to add services, build more buildings preferably with coffee shops and fully functional gyms. Sadly I have noticed this growth usually is at the expense of smaller, not as flashy, but still faithful churches. Usually (not always) growth is nothing other than Christian transfer growth.
I am not saying that some Acts 29 churches are not attractional, and have some of these characteristics, but what I do see in these men is that they want to train up disciples, they want to challenge men to lead, they want to stand firmly on Truth found in God’s inerrant Word.
I have seen at this boot camp men breakdown in tears over the war that planting is. I have heard men passionately call us who are planting to not do it if we are not passionate about studying God’s Word and reaching non-believers. I have seen men joyfully talk about seeing lives being transformed by the power of God’s Word. I have learned much from men who pastor churches that are not Mega, or even semi-mega, about faithfulness, and love for the flock God has given.
Acts 29 is a band of brothers who are in a war, not to build God’s church, Jesus will and has been doing that, but to proclaim the gospel and training up men and women to do the same and seeking the good (gospel transformation) of the city we are in.
These are the band of brothers I hope to be part of one day. As we land and deploy in Rio Rancho.