Archives For Austin Mustard Seed

There’s nothing quite like the sadness of being a part of a dying church.

There’s the burden of maintaining a big, empty and often very dated looking building. There’s the ghost of happier days that seem constantly to haunt their memories and gatherings. There are the aging saints who struggle to make it out on Sundays, who seldom find friendship or support throughout the week.

Many churches feel stuck. This can be due to a lack of ideas or energized leadership. Sadly, it is often due to specific individuals, committed to maintaining their power or preferences.

Why do we sit around asking “why is my church dying?”

We need to remember that we serve a God of resurrection! If we are willing to die to ourselves, including our fond memories of the church that used to be, we can be resurrected to become something new.

Here’s are six bold moves I’ve seen or studied that  can be used by God to resurrect your church.


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Over 10 years ago, I decided that church planting was where the action was. I joined a young church, read books, listened to podcasts and hung out with planters.

Six months ago, we launched Austin Mustard Seed. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting. This isn’t it.

It’s better.


An encyclopedia could be written about the difficulties of church planting. What gets lost is the unexpected joys along the way. Such as:

1. People who “Get it”

Recently I heard the term “church planter” defined as “the people who are willing to go where no one else wants to go and do what no one else wants to do.” It’s shockingly true. When we were recruiting for our launch team, it seemed like we heard an endless stream of “go, be warm and well fed.” Continue Reading…

Thanks to Zach Hoag, for publishing an article I wrote about our new church community, Austin Mustard Seed.

There’s a hip saying, often attributed to St. Francis, that goes something like “preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words.” This sounds really spiritual, but I’m not sure it really works. My reason for this goes back to another overused pithy saying: “words make worlds.”

Check out the whole article at The Antioch Session.

Becoming a missionary often means getting a theological degree and learning a new language. As Christendom takes hold in the west, we’re learning that all Christians must be missionaries, and all churches must be missionary churches.

Over the last six months, I have been helping to gather a new church community we’re calling Austin Mustard Seed. As we learn whom we are, I am thankful for the twisted paths of preparation we have all taken to get here.

You want to be a Missionary? Here are nine lessons I learned from preparing the hard way.

1. Learn the Story of the Bible (and the Church)

The word “missionary” has some blood on its hands. For centuries, people in power used it to enforce their way of life on others.

The true word for this is imperialism, not mission. Imperialist use the “God card” to enforce their own way of life, and usually increase their wallets at the same time.

The cure to imperialism? Deep study of the entire Bible, from beginning to end. Continue Reading…

Less than a week ago, a small band of friends and strangers gathered for the first ever Sunday Liturgy of Austin Mustard Seed. In a part of the country known for religiosity why would you possibly need another church?

1. Austin is growing like crazy.

It feels like 2/3rds of the current Austin skyline was not here when I moved to town in 2006. According to Forbes, Austin will grow at a rate of 6.1% between now and 2016. There’s just no way the existing churches can handle that alone.

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