Maybe you’re asking yourself, why come to the Round Rock-Austin area and start a new church?
Well, it all starts with our conviction and passion for planting new churches. Here are a few reasons we feel so strongly about the necessity of church planting:
1) We want to fulfill the great commission
We believe that our church is called to bear witness to the gospel both in our community and beyond. We want to respond to the call of the Lord to give ourselves to his gracious plan of making disciples that will live for his glory until his return. We want to express trust in his absolute authority to provide for all that we need and his assurance that he will be with us even as we give our lives away in his commission.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:18-19
2) We want to follow the biblical pattern
The book of Acts and the subsequent Epistles present an overwhelmingly unified description of the method with which the early church carried out the mission they received from the Lord. This mission centers around the proclamation of the gospel, results in the establishment of churches, and produces disciples that grow in the grace of God and invest themselves back into the continuing gospel mission.
“Friends, the sort of church-centered ministry where you go out and evangelize, but you do it specifically with the hope and trust and understanding that God intends to bring these Christians back together in local churches, is what this book of Acts is full of…The New Testament shows the Great Commission being fulfilled by church planting.” –Mark Dever
3) We want to join the growing chorus of Evangelical churches that are committed to church planting
We rejoice to see such strong support for church planting in the broader evangelical community. Church planting is not considered an obscure method for fulfilling the Great commission and living by Kingdom priorities. Rather, it is becoming the widely celebrated way of following the Biblical pattern and fulfilling our calling as witnessing communities responding to the sending commission of the Lord. We rejoice that this passion for church planting has been present in our family of churches for decades and are grateful that many others are confirming the Biblical wisdom of this strategy as well.
“The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else–not crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, growing mega-churches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes–will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting. This is an eyebrow raising statement. But to those who have done any study at all, it is not even controversial.” –Tim Keller
4) We Want to be good stewards of God’s generosity
God has been so generous with Sovereign Grace Gilbert (our sending church)! Deepening relationships, Biblical ministry, and profound spiritual impact takes place within our church membership every week. God has given us spiritual pillars in the form of our ministry leaders as well as a number of young men who desire to be evaluated for pastoral ministry. God has blessed us with financial resources and material resources. He has given a team full of men called to pastoral ministry who function together in fellowship and plurality. God has been very generous with us. We desire to invest some of these resources into the work of the Kingdom outside the ministries of our church. We want to sow toward the kingdom and give our lives away for his glory. We also want to experience God’s promise that as we sow toward his purposes he will provide for all that we need. We trust that God has made us for a bigger purpose than ourselves.
Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. Luke 12:48
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Luke 10:2
5) We want to see revival in our country and around the world, until the return of our Lord.
We believe that God is completely sovereign over the particular move of his Spirit at different ages in history. We don’t know what his mind has planned for our generation or what his power will accomplish. But we do see an amazing and glorious surge of gospel-centrality in the evangelical church, grounded in Biblical preaching in the context of local churches. We believe that prayer for revival should find its companion in faith filled investment and sacrificial proclamation of the gospel through church planting. We want to participate in God’s plan to bring unbelievers into his kingdom, so that those who now curse God will soon be singing the praises of his saving grace.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. John 12:24-26
We’re passionate about planting new churches. That’s why our church plant team members are relocating to the Greater Round Rock-Austin area. But you might ask, “Why Austin?” Here are a few reasons:
- Austin is a growing city. While we celebrate the presence of gospel preaching churches in Round Rock and Austin, the anticipation of more than 70% growth over the next 15 years invites the potential for new churches to evangelize and serve the new people moving to the city. Currently the city has a population of around 1.7 million people. If a 70% growth prediction is accurate, then over a million people will be moving to Austin over the next 15 years.
- Austin is the capital of Texas and is also the location of the University of Texas—the flagship of the UT system. Both of these realities render Austin a city with massive potential cultural impact. Planting a church in this city has great potential to send believers into a community as salt and light whose influence can be felt worldwide.
- Austin is centrally located in the Texas Triangle. With this location, Austin presents a regional opportunity for future church plants and church impact. Austin is less than four hours drive from Dallas, Houston, and San-Antonio—all massive cities (The Dallas and Houston metropolitan areas are each over 5 million people). This area, known as the Texas Triangle, holds more than 70% of the population of Texas (which is the second most populated state in the nation.) Austin is also surrounded by many mid-sized towns that present potential church planting possibilities for the future. The vision of impacting this massive population center with a vision of a gospel-centered, community-enriched, Spirit-filled local church is exciting!
- Austin is about a 3.5 hour drive from Grace Church Frisco (NE Dallas) led by Craig Cabaniss. Craig has been very encouraging and excited about us planting a church in this region. The potential to partner with the Frisco church and receive care and support is a very encouraging prospect for Jon (and any future pastors in Austin) as well as for the church plant team. Partnering with regional churches is an important part of every church’s life, but this partnership is particularly valuable in the vulnerable church planting season.
- Austin has an excellent job market. The city has claimed high marks in recent years for its job attractiveness and low unemployment. Though a job market is not an indicator of greater or lesser spiritual need, it does present a helpful opportunity for church plant team members who will need to find a new job. Since this church plant team will primarily come from outside the city, a healthy job market seems very beneficial.
- The Greater Austin area has a diverse mix of cultures—everything from middle class conservative suburbs, to governmental and business urban sectors, to lower income areas, to a strong liberal and artistic downtown area, to a significant hispanic percentage of the population—presenting an excellent opportunity for a church centered around the gospel to impact many segments of the culture. This culture also reminds us of Phoenix—making the cultural transition more realistic for a team coming from Sovereign Grace Church in Gilbert, AZ.