Our church is looking toward our tenth anniversary this August. It’s hard for me to believe it’s been a decade. And I can’t imagine having taken this church-planting journey—with all its ups and downs and glories and challenges—without being part of Acts 29.
Our church-planting network has certainly grown over the past decade. We’ve grown in number of churches, global reach, diversity, and maturity. Almost 700 churches worldwide enjoy membership in our diverse, global community of healthy, multiplying churches.
There’s simply no substitute for the rich perspective that comes when you have church planters and leaders from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and ministry settings who all share the same heartbeat. We labor together to make and teach disciples of Jesus Christ. Our church in DC has much to glean from churches in Europe, South Africa, Australia, and West Virginia. Acts 29 unites us in our razor-sharp focus on seeing the gospel spread through planting healthy, multiplying churches.
Being part of a global church-planting movement gives our church members a big vision for God’s work worldwide.
If you’re a church planter, there are invaluable resources available when you’re part of the network. We are for you and your church. We want to see both thrive for God’s glory. We often use the acronym ACTS to help clarify the four primary ways Acts 29 can help you plant your church well.
A – Assessing
Not every church planter submits themselves to a process as rigorous as the Acts 29 Assessment. Assessment is not a mere test to pass; it’s an invitation for new planters—and their wives—to look under the hood of their life, marriage, ministry experience, and sense of calling. It’s a careful evaluation of their plans, strategies, structures, and dreams for the new church plant. There were hard elements of my own assessment, but I’m still in touch with some of my assessors today and have benefited from their loving investment. And as an assessor, I see the powerful work God does through planters who demonstrate the humility and teachability needed to take full advantage of the Assessment process.
C – Collaborating
The New Testament is filled with examples of the importance of meaningful connectivity as God’s Word spread across regions and churches were planted. We don’t need to do this work on our own, and church planters won’t be most effective if isolated. Acts 29 helps build connections with other church planters at various stages who rally together for greater kingdom impact. We have systems for collaboration for church planters and pastors within geographic areas and cohorts based on the stage and size of churches. Planters that are part of our network also form meaningful global partnerships with other planters making disciples in different contexts.
T – Training
Every church plant hits rough patches. We all encounter unanticipated roadblocks. Having others alongside you and myriad resources to guide you through dry spiritual seasons, governance structures, running meetings, developing policy documents, navigating church discipline, and more is invaluable. Grimkè Seminary is a partner of Acts 29 and has been a massive help for training our vocational pastors. Besides coaching cohorts and regional and global conferences, we regularly publish blog articles, podcast episodes, books, and other resources to encourage and equip you and your team to be effective in mission.
S – Supporting
Acts 29 is not just a church-planting machine; we want to plant healthy, multiplying churches. That means we take care of our people. We’re serious about pastoral care, and we’re providing opportunities for connection and support for pastors’ wives, too. We also offer annual pastors and wives retreats. All of this is to help planters, their families, and their churches be as healthy as possible. We want you to make it for the long haul, and none of us can do it alone.
Not Just for New Planters
The benefits of Acts 29 aren’t limited to new church plants because we aren’t just a church-launching network. We’re an excellent fit for established churches, too. Our church has transitioned from a new church plant to a self-sustaining church, and now to a more established church-planting church. And being part of Acts 29 maximizes our opportunity for kingdom impact because it opens pathways for us to be part of disciple-making in ways that far exceed what we could accomplish on our own. Being part of a global church-planting movement gives our church members a big vision for God’s work worldwide.
Being part of Acts 29 maximizes our opportunity for kingdom impact because it opens pathways for us to be part of disciple-making in ways that far exceed what we could accomplish on our own.
The most important reason you ought to consider leading your existing church to join Acts 29 is to participate more effectively in planting new churches. Not every church has fully formed residency programs or sends out planters to plant daughter churches. Whether it’s through financial partnership, sharing resources and insights, or planting directly from your church, being part of Acts 29 can help infuse church-planting DNA into the bloodstream of your church.
There is a deep bond that gets forged with other pastors and church leaders as we work hard in the trenches together. If you’re aligned with Acts 29’s distinctives and share the same missional heartbeat, join us so we can plant more churches together. God’s Spirit continues to move in power as God’s Word increases and spreads (Acts 6:7; 12:24; 19:20). And as gospel seeds are planted and tended, by God’s grace, we see churches grow for his glory (1 Cor. 3:6). This is what it means to be part of Acts 29. The story continues . . ..