What I Learned at the Seattle A29 Boot Camp

Last week I spent a fun couple of days in Seattle for the Acts29 National Bootcamp. It was packed with lots of teaching (almost too much), many great conversations, and the opportunity to help assess a number of potential church planters. Here are a number of the key lessons from this experience that might be worth sharing:

  • “Your calling as a church planter / leader is mostly tested in your emotional life” (Darrin Patrick).
  • “Whatever meaningful help people receive they will use to help others” (Tim Lane). This is why helping people with the gospel in the context of the local church is so effective. If people are helped, they will help others.
  • “You don’t really know how somebody is growing as a disciple until you pray with them” (Jeff Vanderstelt).
  • “GL + RR + GC = MI” (Patrick). In other words, Gospeled Life (owning sin but basking in acceptance) + Relational Rent (paying relational price with people) + Gospel Clarity (articulating the gospel) = Missional Impact.
  • “If thou dost call me to resign / What most I prize never was mine / I only yield Thee what is Thine / Thy will be done” (from the song “My God, My Father”)
  • “Most marriages are not set up for a 50-year run. The most important day of your marriage isn’t your wedding day — it’s your last day” (Mark Driscoll)
  • “When you stop repenting, you stop calling others to repent” (Driscoll)
  • “Men shouldn’t make their wives carry their curse” (Driscoll). Here he was talking about the need for men to provide for their families rather than make their wives carry the toil and burden of provision.
  • “Jesus isn’t to blame for the church’s sin, but he takes responsibility for it. That’s what it means to be the head of the family” (Driscoll).
  • “Is your wife flourishing?” (Driscoll)

Another significant lesson for me was that men who want to plant healthy, gospel-centered churches would be wise to spend time IN a healthy, gospel-centered church first. I met a number of men who were in bad church situations and had a vision for something different — but they’ve never seen it first hand. As a result, they really don’t know what it looks like to participate in a healthy church, let alone lead one. This made me so thankful for the amazing years I was able to spend at East Valley Bible Church participating in ministry and serving alongside healthy, godly leaders. I can’t imagine what church planting and leadership would be like without those men and without that experience.

Which of those lessons stand out to you? Any of them need clarification?

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  1. #1 by Rochelle on October 4, 2010 - 3:52 pm

    Your comment about men who want to plant a church but have never been IN a healthy church made me think about how that applies to other relationships as well -Specifically marriage relationships. Unless we see healthy marriages we won’t know how to live one…..nor will our kids. It has a generational impact!

  2. #2 by Matthew Formica on October 4, 2010 - 8:34 pm

    I really like this quote:

    “Jesus isn’t to blame for the church’s sin, but he takes responsibility for it. That’s what it means to be the head of the family” (Driscoll).

    I like the connection between Jesus/church and husbands/family. This is partly why I think male eldership in the church is such a fundamental issue – it goes to one’s view of Jesus’ relationship to the church, to husbands and their families, etc. I also have never heard a distinction between blame and responsibility before. It seems true in Jesus’ case. I want to think more about how the definitions actually differ, as well as any other implications for marriage/family.

  3. #3 by Luke Simmons on October 5, 2010 - 9:09 am

    @Rochelle, I think you’re right. There are probably many areas of life as disciples where we could really use some good modeling and “re-parenting”

    @Matthew, I agree that this is an important area related to church and family leadership. Let me know what other lessons you pull from it.

  4. #4 by Troy Blakemore on October 5, 2010 - 10:24 am

    I don’t know where to start…..so many good lessons. This one struck me hardest: “When you stop repenting, you stop calling others to repent” (Driscoll)
    You said last week–God already knows, why do we need to repent?–we think it’s old-fashioned and unnecessary. Grace is all we need. At least I operate that way most of the time. Good reminder. Thanks for sharing your notes!

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