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August 17, 2023
May 21, 2024

Our 2030 Vision Narrative

What is the Joyfully Devoted Vision?

By 2030, by God’s grace and power, we pray the following is true of us:

We are joyfully devoted disciples of Jesus, glorifying God together as one church through firmly established congregations who love one another, bless Austin, send to the nations, and pursue multigenerational kingdom impact.

Our church expresses a genuine zeal for God that overflows into people who abide in His Word, are faithful in prayer, passionate in worship, sacrificial in obedience, and radical in generosity. As a unified body of elders, deacons, and partners we are resilient in hope, cooperative in mission, and bonded in doctrine. Each of our congregations are healthy, significantly demonstrating our four loves. We are authentic, familial, and hospitable communities of discipleship, known for love and truth, where the skeptic is welcomed and the believer is challenged. We are welcoming witnesses for the gospel of the kingdom. We value consistent and intentional Christian friendships served by caring and loving shepherds. We believe that every person has a role to play and is being awakened and deployed into their callings as equipped ambassadors, whether in the church, city, nations, home, or workplace. We entrust real ministry to many, by equipping ordinary people to participate in extraordinary works through recruiting, developing, deploying, and supporting leaders. We are impacting the city through sharing the gospel, extending mercy, and redeeming vocation. Our passion remains to see unreached peoples reached with the gospel through sustained church- planting movements for the worship of God among all peoples. We have endeavored to invest in all these things with future generations in mind and the long-term work of God in Austin in our hearts, and a passion to steward faithfully all that God has entrusted to us for His kingdom causes.

Why a New Vision Now?

While our ultimate mission has not changed, our city and context have. Austin has grown from a “big little city” in 2002 when The Austin Stone was planted into the tenth largest city in the United States in 2023.

Over the last 20 years, God, in His providence and kindness, has caused our city to flourish with diverse peoples and cultures, with industry and innovation, and with a reputation for the emerging and exciting. Individuals and families flock to Austin (as of October 2022, it was the second fastest-growing city in the U.S.2) for a variety of reasons, but like anyone seeking a new home and new opportunities, they come with the hope that this new Austin life will be better than what they had before.

Austin is known as a city filled with better job opportunities, better neighborhoods, better restaurants, and better culture. But what about a better spiritual hope? In this continuously changing city that often seems spiritually anemic or apathetic, what opportunities exist to share the gospel? Do people in Austin even want to know Jesus? You don’t have to live in Austin long to see there is deep brokenness under the shiny “best-of list” exterior. Lives are upended by difficult diagnoses, lay-offs, divorce, violence, displacement, and neglect. People are lonely. Socioeconomic and political gaps widen. Even a city like Austin—filled with endless opportunities— can become a breeding ground for despair and hopelessness. Our friends, neighbors, families, and coworkers desperately need the love and grace of Jesus.

God is bringing a whole new generation of people to our doorsteps, and our church must adapt and grow to better serve our context. Our Joyfully Devoted vision gives us direction and helps us prioritize our resources as we pursue gospel-centered, hope-filled ministry and mission. We will continue to strive inthe power of the Lord to see lives renewed and redeemed by the saving power of Jesus Christ as we love God, the church, the city, and the nations.

2030 Vision Narrative

An Invitation to Imagine

Let us reclaim creativity and imagination as essential, central, and necessary parts of our faith journey. Imagination is a gift given to us by the Creator to steward, a gift no other creature under heaven and earth (as far as I know) has been given. (Makoto Fujimura)

Spiritual imagination is at the heart of the Christian life.

Who can comprehend the width, length, height, and depth of Christ’s love (Ephesians 3:18) without using their spiritual imagination to examine those parameters? Who can dig deeply into the mystery of the Trinity or the meanings of Jesus’ parables without reflection and contemplation?

Cultivating a healthy spiritual imagination helps us visualize how we might set our own desires, gifts, and purposes within the vision God has given us to accomplish and steward. A healthy spiritual imagination gives us imagery of the solid rock of Christ that holds us firm when our hearts long to wander. It paints what it means to shelter in the peace of God’s wings while storms rage in our homes and workplaces. It fuels our hope for a future filled with joy and longings satisfied on the day when Christ finally returns. A healthy spiritual imagination reminds us that following Jesus is meant to be an adventure.

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