It's been a while since I have given an official update on Uncommon Church. So, I figured I would take a little bit of time today to catch you up on the highlights......
The process of planting and growing Uncommon Church has no doubt been much tougher than I ever imagined....and that's a lesson every church planter learns. While it has been hard...It has been full of some amazing highlights and adventures to share.
We have been able to do some great stuff as a church, a team and in collaboration with other great churches. We were just Honored to host CrossPoint Church from Decatur, Alabama, for their mission trip. During their time we had the honor of serving one of the families in our core group who has had some rough times lately and needed some tangible love and service. We also had the chance to create care packages and spend time hanging with some of Austin's homeless. We had the chance to hear their stories, spend time with them and pray with them. And, we were able to host a great "hotdogs and brews" cookout in the park where we are going to launch Uncommon Church.
We have seen God grow our core team greatly in the recent months. We have added folks who are completely 100% bought into the vision of "meeting people where they are and leading them to life in Christ." We have added all ages, walks of life and backgrounds. We truly have a group of people who look 100% different from the outside, but on the inside have a deep passion to see people fall in love with Jesus!
In the past few months we have also come to a great realization. We have spent quite a few months concentrating our efforts in the suburbs. That time has been productive, but has not been the greatest fit for Uncommon. Why? Because our audience and tribe is truly an urban, eclectic and motley crew sort of folk. So we began to pray for God to open doors and show us the right area. In fact, our core team began fasting and praying together for this. As a result. God led us near the University of Texas in an area called Hyde Park. The favor, momentum and excitement that has built as a result of that shift in focus has been epic. We have seen more traction, more interest and more relationships build as a result of being in Hyde Park. So, we have begun to make preparation to launch Uncommon Church in Hyde Park.
Speaking on launching. For the last 10 months we have officially had a launch date of October 7th. That has been our target and our aspiration. However, often God has different plans that we do. About 6 weeks ago I started waking to the realization that we are not ready to launch. We could force the launch and the plan, but we would likely end up another statistic of failed church planting. That is not an acceptable outcome. After seeking counsel from great pastors and leaders such as Pastor Greg Surratt, Pastor Zak White and Pastor Mark Alt we made a shift in our planning. So we have decided to wait until January 2013 to Launch Uncommon Church.
Many have asked what factors have contributed to this decision....One primary factor is that I truly feel we need to add about 25 more committed adults to our core team. We want our team to be ready, prepared and strong. Additionally, I believe that God has been waiting to lead us into Hyde Park. One of the greatest factors is our finances. To date we have been able to raise about $25,000 in reserves for our launch. If you know anything about launching a church, portable or small permanent, you need no less than about $65,000 to get all of the materials and equipment necessary to launch. In addition you really need another $10,000 to $15,000 for marketing and community connections. So obviously, we are a ways off the mark in that department. But, we have seen God begin to build that momentum and provision. If you are interested in being part in anyway, feel free to give me a call. 512-660-7510
The reality is, as most venture capitalists and business owners will tell you, your first idea/plan is a landing strip to failure. But, if we are sure not to see failure as final, but a building block to success, we will do great things. In many ways Uncommon Church is on Plan E, F, G or maybe even H by now. But, the great part is, each time God makes a shift, the core gets stronger, the vision gets clearer and the momentum grows. I can see, feel and sense the groundswell that is underfoot. God is about to do BIG things at Uncommon Church. I am HONORED beyond words to be on this journey. God is building His church in Austin, Texas, and He has invited all of us at Uncommon Church to watch him do it!
You can learn more about Uncommon Church by going to http://www.uncommonaustin.com