Church Planting

Acts 29 Assessment

Acts 29 Assessment

As Rachel and I plant Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville, we have sought to be a part of the Acts 29 Network. This network of churches is united in several core convictions (gospel-centrality, reformed theology, complementarian leadership, empowered by the Spirit, commitment to church planting) and serves to train, equip, and encourage men and their families as they undertake the impossible task of church planting. Our home church, Redeemer Fellowship, is part of this network, as are Redeemer’s other two church plants (The Church of Dekalb and Ransom City).a29 pic

My assessment with Acts 29 Network began with a lengthy written application, which took over 30 hours to complete. The application covered areas of ministry experience, theology, personal holiness, and overall fit for church planting. After passing the written application stage, I had two hour phone interview with someone from the Network.  The interview provided followup on areas from the written application. After I passed the phone interview, we were invited an in person interview with 3 regional Acts 29 pastors.

The group interview was the most intimidating and difficult aspect of our assessment.  Rachel and I were asked questions and pressed on our answers for a good part of the two hour segment.  The interviewers asked us about our marriage, our walk with the Lord, and our calling to church planting and ministry.  At the end of our time we did not know whether or not we passed, and we were forced to trust the Lord with the results.  We knew that ultimately God was sovereign and was going to use the process for our good and for His glory.  This was a very sanctifying experience and exposed areas of unbelief, idolatry, and pride in our hearts.  Yet God was gracious in helping us to repent and rest in His grace.

A couple weeks later we heard the official results: we passed!  This was a huge encouragement and affirmation for us that God is calling us to plant a church in Naperville. The assessors gave us a detailed report which listed our strengths and weaknesses and also provided a helpful plan for moving forward to plant a church. Overall, we were really encouraged that we passed our assessment and are excited to partner with the Acts 29 Network.  We have much to learn about church planting and are eager to learn from others who have gone before us.

God is raising up a new generation of church planters to proclaim His gospel in our increasingly post-Christian country. If you’re a church planter, I encourage you to consider joining the Acts 29 Network and be assessed.  God will use the process for your sanctification and for His glory.

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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