A new friend recently contacted me via the Austin Mustard Seed website. What he read about our church community resonated with his own hopes, so he asked to hear more of our story. It was meaningful and motivating for me to recapture it. While pieces of my story have been shared on this blog, I’m not sure I’ve ever put it all together, so I thought I’d offer my response to him here as well.… Read more
In my church planting journey, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in at least four different church planting boot camps. They were put on by four different organizations, so I feel like I’ve been around the block a little.
This morning I finished listening to Spirit-Led Ecclesiology: Following the Spirit Through Church Planting.… Read more
Last week, I posted a simple job description for myself based on a description of Paul’s work. I’ve finished the job description I’m going to turn in to the IRS. I could have thrown something together, or even just copied someone else’s for the purpose of the IRS. But, I decided this would be a good opportunity to work through my primary functions for this season of Austin Mustard Seed.… Read more
The idea that one can or could at any time separate out by some process of distillation a pure gospel unadulterated by any cultural accretions is an illusion. It is, in fact, an abandonment of the gospel, for the gospel is about the word made flesh. Every statement of the gospel in words is conditioned by the culture of which those words are a part, and every style of life that claims to embody the truth of the gospel is a culturally conditioned style of life.… Read more
Jonathan Dodson is a church planter in Austin who I am thankful to call a friend. Today, he blogged about the stages of organic growth as they experienced them at Austin City Life. It was encouraging to read. Much of what Jonathan describes is similar to how I pray these early stages of Austin Mustard Seed might look.… Read more
“You should really connect with Kester Smith.”
I’m not sure how many times I heard that phrase in the last few months as we have transitioned to Austin. Kester and I have a number of mutual friends (but maybe that is because Kester has about 340973 friends on Facebook). I can think of at least six people who had told me to connect with him.… Read more
While on my very very very very long drive from Seattle to Austin last week, I was reminded of the first time I went rappelling…
Early in the morning, we parked our church vans full of students near the base of the cliffs. After our guides went over some safety precautions and got it all set up, we got started.… Read more
A few months ago, I blogged about mustard plants. (Never mind that that post was supposed to be the intro to a series. The ideas have continued to flow, they just never made it to the blog!)
Some of that thinking has really helped form some ideas about the initial stages of what our church community might look like.… Read more
I have tagged a number of blog posts in the last few weeks that my heart was in tune with. Each of these somehow captures pieces of what I am hoping for in a new church community:
- The Consuming Christian and the Consuming Church (Todd Hiestand) – Todd is a good friend, and my initial connection into the Ecclesia Network.
I can’t seem to stop thinking about mustard.
A few weeks ago in class, we looked at these words of Jesus from Mark 4:30-31:
… Read more
Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground.
In addition to the bits I posted here last week, I have posted some more indepth reflection on our time in Austin on the Hodos Project blog.
A few have wondered aloud why I am maintaining a separate blog for the Hodos Project. The Hodos Project blog is streamlined and focuses on updates for those praying for and supporting us the church plant in Austin.… Read more
Belong. Believe. Become.
I think it was first in The Divine Conspiracy that I read the words above. Since then, I have heard the concept developed in many books, presentations, and discussions.
The core idea is that this is a healthy way for one to move into the community of those who follow Jesus — the church.… Read more
This morning, I begin my last week as a pastor at Pathways Church. Next Sunday morning, I will teach in our morning service and then watch the Super Bowl as the first former staff member of Pathways.
We have been blessed in our time at Pathways — from helping to shape some of the earliest dreams, to connecting with people in the community, to our first Sunday gathering and on.… Read more
On the one hand, whenever I dialogue with him, I come away really respecting and appreciating him. I admire his passion to keep Mars Hill Church focused on mission, the way he values study of both theology and culture and how to intersect them, and his overall insight and ingenuity.… Read more