“Centered on the Gospel, we desire to advance the mission of Jesus through obediently planting church-planting churches.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? And well it should. Representative of the mission of Acts29, it reflects a similar priority to what we often hear at Exodus. As part of the Acts29 Network, Exodus seeks to advance this mission of God by doing our part to plant and support others in planting gospel-centered churches in our region and around the world.
Not only is Exodus a part of the Network, but through Brian Lowe’s leadership in the Network, we have a close connection to other A29 churches and their pastors, especially in the Carolinas. Brian serves as the Carolinas Director for the Network and as such, is responsible for what happens through Acts 29 in the Carolinas, where the goal is to see a gospel-centered church planted in every county of the Carolinas. The role is really an extension of Brian’s ministry at Exodus.
Of course, leaders are key to planting churches. Acts 29 identifies, assesses, and develops church planters. As Network pastors rub shoulders with other pastors in their region, men surface who have a gift and calling toward church planting. The Acts 29 assessment process has essentially two aspects—a series of questionnaires and relationship building that help to measure a pastor’s potential for success as a church planter. Acts 29 conferences around the world give potential church planters a chance to listen to and learn from other church planters; pastors of all levels of experience have the opportunity to develop the competencies it takes to be a church planter.
Both these elements were critical to Brian’s preparation for planting Exodus Church. “Assessment was huge for me,” Brian says. “Having experienced planters speak into my life and journey was pivotal for my development as a man and as a pastor/planter.” Since becoming part of the Network, Brian has also experienced the benefits of coaching—both being coached and coaching others. This experience has shaped the priority of investing in other men at Exodus, encouraging men to become better husbands, fathers, and leaders.
Brian identifies “community” and “mission” as key benefits that Acts 29 offers to church planters. Most pastors don’t have pastors. They are often lonely, distant, and isolated from others, as if no one understands their responsibility and struggles. The community of pastors is a brotherhood for which Brian is especially grateful. “Knowing that there are men close by who love me, who ‘get me’ and will do whatever they can for me, is a huge blessing. Right now, one of our men is walking through difficult times as his wife is dealing with cancer. Watching our men come around him and care for him has been special.”
The idea of community flows into mission, just as it does at Exodus. Within our church, and through the Acts 29 Network, we can accomplish more together than we can separately. For example, most churches couldn’t assess, coach, and train as many church planters as the Network does. Being part of the Network allows us to see what is possible when we all work together for the glory of God.
Pray for our pastors this week especially as they are in Dallas for the Acts 29 National Conference.