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Hope #3

by Matt Chandler, President

One of the great joys I’ve had as a pastor and a leader is learning from other pastors and leaders.  That learning has taken place in a multitude of ways. I’ve learned from men who differ from me in theology and practice and I’ve learned from those who differ in philosophy and culture. The friends the Lord has graciously gifted to me over these past 10 years are staggering and I’m grateful for each and every one of them. No where have I learned more than when I am with men of a different ethnicity who share the same doctrinal understandings that I do. When I have sat down and had a meal or a cup of coffee with Eric Mason in Philadelphia, Doug Logan in Camden, Bryan Loritts in Memphis, Bryan Carter in Dallas, Leonce Crump in Atlanta or Lorenzo Elizando in Oak Cliff, I find the Spirit of God churning my heart to see more of his glory in and through a bold ethnic harmony that reveals God’s glory and the power of the gospel in a visual and captivating way. My third hope for Acts 29 is that we might boldly and unapologetically become a radically diverse crowd over the next few years.

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"...that we might boldly and unapologetically
become a radically diverse crowd
over the next few years."

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Why? Ethnic harmony/diversity is core to being explicitly Christian. The scriptures would teach that there are two races, the race of the first Adam and the race of the second. It’s only in Christ that we are able to find our core identity. Our different cultures carry history, traditions and legacies but the gospel transcends all that and makes us a new people, a family. We continue to value what is good and right in our cultures but submit gladly to the new family as adopted sons and co-heirs of Christ.

The cross of Calvary isn’t theoretical — it changes how we view ourselves and others. It alone can heal wounds and create brotherly affections and direction. It destroys the walls of hostility. Producing homogenous churches can be done with relative ease and a total lack of dependence on the Spirit. That’s not what I’m hopeful for. The production of diverse churches and ultimately a diverse network, that is not simply an assembly of multi-raced but assimilated people's, can only be done through God's grace and the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what my heart is hungry for. I’m praying the Spirit of God would guide our steps as we seek to better display his love for all man.

Christ is All,

Matt

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"Hope #1" : Plant Churches that Plant Churches
"Hope #2" : Be Known for Holiness and Humility
"Hope #4" : Be Serious about Evangelism and Conversions

3 Comments

Reid S Monaghan

on May 30, 2012 :: 3:16 pm

So stoked to read this Matt

Derwin L. Gray

on May 30, 2012 :: 6:13 pm

Pastor Matt,

this is awesome and biblical! I'd love to connect with you.

I'm the lead pastor of Transformation Church, we are a multi-ethnic, missional church. www.transformationchurch.tc

We'd love to help you and Acts 29 achieve this biblical goal.

Pastor Derwin

John Fooshee

on Jun 22, 2012 :: 2:00 pm

I have loved my 5 years in A29. Simply put, it is family. And speaking of family, we have adopted a bi-racial child last year. My heart has been brokered over my narrow-minded understanding of the Gospel and lack of social engagement. In a sermon I was preaching on the subject, God radically convicted me of my hypocrisy & opened my heart and showed me how critical racial diversity is to the body of Christ and pursuing reconciliation between races is God-glorifying.

Pumped!

Name:


Matt serves as Lead Pastor of Teaching at The Village Church in the Dallas Fort Worth area. He has served in that role since December 2002 and describes his tenure at The Village as a re-planting effort where he was involved in changing the theological and philosophical culture of the congregation. The church has witnessed a tremendous response growing from 160 people to over 11,000 with campuses in Flower Mound, Dallas and Denton.

Alongside his current role as lead pastor, Matt is involved in church planting efforts both locally and internationally through The Village and various strategic partnerships. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministry for over 10 years where he spoke to thousands of people in America and abroad about the glory of God and beauty of Jesus. His greatest joy outside of Jesus is being married to Lauren and being a dad to their three children, Audrey, Reid and Norah.

Recently, Matt was named president of Acts 29, a worldwide church-planting organization. Over the last 10 years, Acts 29 has emerged from a small band of brothers to over 400 churches in the United States and networks of churches in multiple countries.

Matt speaks at conferences throughout the world and has written a book, The Explicit Gospel, published in April 2012, his second book Creature of the Word, will be released in October 2012.