The first day started out with Pastor Mark talking about the Holy Spirit and about how A29 is ReformedISH and CharismatISH; he did this by preaching through Luke and Acts. He talked about how unlike most networks or movements, A29 is looking to pull strengths from all over in order to be most biblical. They value people like John Piper, Don Carson, Tim Keller, Rick Warren, CJ Mahaney, etc. It was very encouraging. Then Wayne Grudem got up and told us to all "be strong and act like men." It was an awesome message that he shared with us.
That night we met up with our assessors and had dinner. We had some great men of God assessing us. It was both nerve racking and exciting all at the same time. The next day was all about mission and what it means to be a church on mission. Everyone talked a lot about training our congregations to understand that the are all Christ's ambassadors and missionaries in their culture. The speakers were great for that as well. Beth did the wives track that day too.
That night we went back to the hotel for a good night sleep to get ready for the assessment. We woke up and headed out. When we got there we sat in a room with the assessors. There were 2 guys and 1 church planting couple. They started right off with Beth. The asked her questions about our relationship and me as a husband and daddy. Then they asked me about my relationship with my father, my kids, and Beth. They asked some theology questions and things about our church vision.
In all I thought the assessment was a success. They were able to uncover some things that could be issues if we are not careful. They offered some great suggestions and in the end prayed for us. I think that it was a very confirming week. God really used the time to speak to Beth and I and confirm the calling. I felt that it the assessment was totally God. The team that assessed us did a great job in finding some areas of weakness and offered us some great encouragement. The areas that I think that they focused on were:
1. I probably am naive of the effects of being brought up in a broken home.
2. I need to better understand the narrative Gospel; not just the Theological Gospel.
3. The church gets my "Holy Leftovers" after my personal walk w/ Christ and my family.
4. Better understand Missiology.
Thank you for all who were praying for us during this. We definitely felt the Holy Spirit moving on our behalf. Thank you all and we love you.
Here are some more pics of some friends we made.
TJ and Jennifer from Florida
Will and Nerida from Austraila