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A Brief Overview of Acts 29: Part 1

By Scott Thomas, Acts 29 Director

 

1. How and when did Acts 29 begin?

Acts 29 was founded in 2000 with Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle when it was about 200 in attendance and David Nicholas, a Presbyterian pastor (now retired) of a large church in Boca Raton, Florida. They formed the network to plant qualified, entrepreneurial men who held to a reformed soteriology (salvation) and were willing to engage urban cities with the gospel.

 

2. Why does Acts 29 exist? What are its chief goals and key emphases?

Acts 29 exists to make gospel-transformed disciples by planting church-planting churches.

 

Gospel Message: The major emphasis of Acts 29 is the gospel. The gospel is the power of God for salvation and sadly many churches are ashamed of proclaiming it (Rom. 1:16). As a result we may not be experiencing the fruit of transformation in our churches that is normally associated with the gospel (Col. 1:4-6; 2 Peter 1:3-9). God has given us His Word to proclaim to all nations in the power of the Spirit. Gospel transformation occurs with gospel proclamation.


The gospel can be (cautiously) summarized in the following manner: Jesus Christ, God’s promised rescuer and ruler lived our life, died our death and rose again in triumphant evidence as the first-fruits of the new creation to bring forgiven sinners together by the Holy Spirit to live under his gracious reign as His Kingdom people. Our full doctrinal statement can be found here.

 

Gospel Men: Our church planters are assessed on the basis of their qualification as elders, according to Scripture and their character as examined in an extensive review of their life and doctrine (1 Tim. 4:16). This includes a thorough examination of a man’s leadership in his home. A man’s family is his first congregation and his wife and children are his first disciples. We are looking for men who have been transformed by the gospel and are captured by the grace of Jesus and are following His mission to make disciples.

 

Gospel Mission: We believe church planting is the best way to take the gospel to the community it desires to serve. We believe new churches are the best means for Spirit-led followers of Jesus to make disciples of all people groups (Matthew 28:19–20). We believe church planting is the central process of evangelism in the Book of Acts, but also that doing so can spread the Gospel to every people or group, large or small, in every corner of the world. Throughout the Book of Acts we read narratives of the Gospel being planted in city after city. The book ends abruptly in Acts 28. Our mission with Acts 29 therefore is to carry on the discipleship making, church planting in the culture where God has sovereignly placed us (Acts 17:26-27).

 

3. Who are the key leaders within the ministry?

Mark Driscoll, President and Founder; Scott Thomas, Chairman and Director; Darrin Patrick, First Vice President; Jeff Vanderstelt, Second Vice President; Board members: Matt Chandler, Chan Kilgore, Eric Mason and church planting strategist, Tyler Powell. Other regional leaders are Brian Howard, David Fairchild, Russ McKendry, Daniel Montgomery, Tyler Jones and Ed Marcelle.

 

Tune in tomorrow for Scott's answers to: How is Acts 29 reaching out internationally? What distinguishes Acts 29 from a denomination?, Do all Acts 29 churches follow a prescribed method or model?, How do you expect Acts 29 will be different in 10 years?, and What are some of the ways Acts 29 has seen evidence of God's hand of blessing?

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Scott Thomas has served as the President of Acts 29 Network and a Pastor at Mars Hill Church. Scott has been a pastor for 30 years—first as a youth pastor and then as a lead pastor and church planter/church replanter for 16 years.