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The Threshold of Non-Ignorability

“These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.”  Acts 17:6 In the days of the apostles, outsiders disparaged the church, but they couldn’t ignore the church. Today, here in the Bible Belt, our task is to re-create those conditions. We want to be a force for wonderful gospel upheaval. How? By planting so many gospel-centered churches that the blessing of God cannot be ignored. Being spoken against, as ones who turn the world upside down, is not a problem. Being ignored is, because this isn’t about us. It’s about Jesus. In the corporate psychology of every city there is a threshold of non-ignorability. Here in Nashville, many things can be ignored. But the Tennessee Titans football team cannot be ignored, country music cannot ...

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Lessons in Church Planting: Create a Dictionary

In every society among the many things shared in common is language. Go to Spain and hear Spanish, in Russia you’ll find Russian, in China Chinese…you get the idea. Along with a particular language a people group shares are phrases or sayings which carry meanings other people groups wouldn’t catch. We have them in America. For example, terms and phrases like “home run”, “crying alligator tears”, “sawing logs last night” and, from my West Texan roots, “being in high cotton” are readily understood by native audiences without any need for translation. The reason is because these words and phrases were birthed in the communities (or groups of communities – i.e., nations) where they are used. Culture became the womb ...

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Lessons In Church Planting: A Word to Church Planters on Naming Your Church

I’m a kid of the 1980’s. I remember when I thought I’d never wear bell-bottom jeans. I’d mock photos of my parents wearing them and made a blood covenant with myself that I’d rather die than do the same. So uncool. So outdated. So unfashionable. No thanks. I was good with jeans adorned with rolled up cuffs that could cut off a mouse’s circulation. I was hip. I was “in.” I believed I knew the culture (and wore it well). That was until a decade or so passed and then what happened? I found myself wearing pants that tended to flare out a bit at the bottom. Why not? They looked cool with my flip flops or boots. They technically weren’t bell-bottoms but they also weren’t rolled up cuff pants either. What happened to them? They went ...

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Lessons in Church Planting: The Two Sticky Rule

Acts 29 is a diverse, global network of church-planting churches characterized by theological clarity, cultural engagement, and missional innovation.  Lessons in Church Planting: Preface can be found here. Lessons in Church Planting: Part I can be found here. Lessons in Church Planting: Part II can be found here. One of the values we’ve cherished through our church’s lifetime is sanity. Most planters know all too well the slippery slope of doing way too much in too many areas for far too long. Do you see heavy rotation of “too” here? Often what is true of you is true of the volunteers in your young church. It’s not uncommon to see a sold-out parishioner move chairs and set up the coffee table on Sunday morning, lead music for the student ...

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The Acts 29 Podcast: Interviewing Justin Holcomb

In this podcast, Pastor Alex Early interviews Dr. Justin Holcomb and discusses the importance of knowing the creeds and heretics. Subscribe to the #A29podcast and get another deep drink of incomprehensible grace of God. 3:15 — Why should Acts 29 care about the creeds and councils? 7:28 — Why should liturgy be important to us? 15:40 — How do you define the grace of God? Who gets it? And how?29:00 — Talking brokenness, grace, and the church planter. The Acts 29 podcast hosted by Alex Early, pastor of Teaching & Theology at Living Stones Churches in Reno, Nevada. He is also the Director of the Acts 29 West Academy. Acts 29 is a diverse, global network of church-planting churches characterized by ...

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