Meet the Leadership Team

July 26th, 2016 | John Chandler

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We said in January that 2016 would be an important year in the life of Austin Mustard Seed. As we mature as a community, we are stepping out from the care of those who helped us get started. Two important processes are helping us take that step:

  1. We’ve spent much of the first half of this year forming our own leadership team to help us move forward. (More on that below!)
  2. We’ll spend much of the rest of this year, with the help of the Leadership Team, shaping our Common Life. This will be our shared way of understanding what it means to participate in the life of our church community. We’ll begin to explore that more this fall.

We’re making progress, and I’m excited to introduce our leadership team to you! These four, alongside Chris and John, will begin gathering next month. We will pray, imagine, and ache together as we help aMS grow in maturity, size and presence in our city. (Next year, we’ll add two more to this team of six which will form a team that rotates two members every three years.)

Here are each of the new Leadership Team members, along with some of the hopes they have expressed for our church community as they have gone through the discernment process:

Shane Blackshear:
Shane longs to see us become more diverse: “I’ve become convicted that homogeneity is, at best, unhealthy for a church. AMS could stand to diversify racially, economically, and generationally.”

Ashley Blackwell:
“I appreciate the value placed on rhythms and practices and a shared life for our community. I believe this is done as a means of encouraging intimacy with God and one another rather than a checklist.” Ashley hopes that our shared life will give us “the opportunity for our faith to not just be a compartment of our life but really encourages an awareness of it being the foundation of our lives.”

Kevin Jordan:
Kevin is excited to see us stretch in new directions: “Becoming a church that plants other churches; developing a strategy for leadership development and adult theological education and praxis.”

April Karli:
“Discipleship excites me. I think that this is the most neglected thing happening in the Western church today, and I’m thrilled that we’re already making some attempts at it. … I get excited when I see someone shift in how they think about themselves and their identity as God’s children and begin to grow up.”

Thanks to all who offered your voice to this process. We’re excited to see what is to come in this new season of Austin Mustard Seed.