Austin Stone Vision Series – For the City
Starting back in September, our church went through a Vision Series focused on what it would look like for a church to seek the holistic peace and renewal of a city. It involved weekly prayer meetings, hundreds of small groups, a building campaign unlike any I have ever heard of and it truly led us to take more concern for our city and be more broken for the people we live near.
Check out more here:
This is a cheesy name from a cheesy pastor that I love (Stew). 297 is for Jeremiah 29:7 which says “Seek the welfare(shalom) of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.” Welfare or shalom is the idea of holistic peace. This is a pilot missionary training program at our church, The Austin Stone Community Church, to train global, urban, and church planting missionaries.
We are blessed to be a part of the Church Planting track as we seek the Lord to see if that is where He is leading us in the future. We are 1 of 5 couples who have grown closer over the past 3 months. It’s been challenging, at times exhausting, but extremely beneficial for Amber and I. I’ll tell you more about it another time.
CCDA Conference – Christian Community Development Association
I attended this conference with about 10 other Austin Stone people in October and it was an amazing opportunity to learn about seeking the peace of the city through urban ministry from people who have given their lives to do it. I learned a ton, the top things were understanding redistribution (different than you may think), immigration, building a community to be self-sustaining, and the need for racial reconciliation. It was amazing.
The end of Group-K
This past September, we got booted…er, I mean “graduated” from the discipleship group that the Lord has blessed us with for the last 3 years with Kevin Peck. My life is forever changed by high bar of holiness, passion for God, and challenge that Kevin laid out for our lives. The community that developed among these guys and our families will never end, but our Thursdays in Manor did. We miss it.
College Ministry at ASCC
Amber and I continue to be involved with college ministry at the Stone and we love it. Our involvement continues to change, my role is Community Director for the college ministry, which means I lead our coaches, who lead our small group leaders. We’ve been going through Church Planting Movements and I am grateful for the leaders the Lord has provided for us. Amber and I also disciple a handful of college students and we love those times with them.
We guarded our Saturdays more these past 4 months than we ever have before and feel like we’ve reaped the benefits of not working or doing anything for the responsibilities that we have outside of family. It was really refreshing and we hope it continues.
These were the highlights of the year and they are likely incomplete, but hopefully it gives you more insight into our 2008.