My First Impressions of Acts 29

[Written in 2006 at the San Diego A29 Bootcamp]

Some churches and leaders have really solid, strong, Reformed theology… but they are missionally constipated. “The frozen chosen.” Solid on the sovereignty of God, but with no passion or life or zeal for Jesus and His kingdom.

Other churches and leaders are zealous about evangelism and mission and reaching people… but their theology is weak and vapid and unsound. They can make converts, but not disciples, because they don’t have the doctrinal depth to sustain deep transformation.

When you find churches and leaders that are both theologically sharp and missionally engaged, you worship God, and you pray for their tribe to increase! So far, that is what I have found among the Acts 29 pastors I have connected with in San Diego. From a distance, A29 can seem to have an edge – no doubt driven by that maverick, prophetic, church-planting, missional spirit. But up close, these are humble, Christ-centered, deep-thinking men of God who are passionate about both good theology and good missiology. They are a beautiful rarity in American evangelicalism.

And it seems that God is granting them success. A29’s success rate in church planting is 100%. Read that again. Then realize that nationally, 80% of church plants fail. A29 has a zero failure rate so far. That should tell you something about the rigor of their assessment process. The numbers don’t lie. If we want to be a church that plants other churches and does it well… these guys definitely have some things to teach us.

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