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Finally: Let’s Say What We Think About the Bible! (Tonight and Tomorrow)

October 10th, 2017

Chris Morton

What have Christians ALWAYS believed about the Bible?

If you are from “ChurchWorld” you probably have one of two responses to this question:

(A) I love the Bible. It’s God’s word.
(B) I’m not sure I think about the Bible…but I don’t know where I can talk about that.

On top of that, there are a lot of people who want to tell you what the Bible is—or what it isn’t.

As John mentioned on Sunday, many people talk about the Bible using words like “inspired,” “authoritative” and “inerrant.”

What do these words even mean? Does the Bible describe itself that way?

Others want to tell you that the Bible is ancient, useless and self-contradictive. Since Christians have always relied on the Bible, we should be able to answer why!

Do you have a deep love for studying the Bible you want to share? Are you unsure about the Bible and afraid to bring that up?

Good news!

Now is your chance to honestly reveal what you think about the scriptures.

This week’s Catechesis Discussion is all about the Bible. The purpose of the Catechesis series is to discuss how our shared life is birthed out of what the Church has always believed. We can’t have a Catechesis Discussion without the Bible.

So let’s have a discussion.

How to Participate this Week

  1. Download the Community Group Discussion Guide. Before you go to your group, you’ll want to take time to read through it. You may want to pray about the questions and journal through them.
  2. Visit or join a Community Group. You can see a full list here.

What is Belief? Cutting Room Floor (Catechesis Bonus Podcast Week 1)

October 7th, 2017

Chris Morton

During our nine-week Catechesis discussion, we’ll have a bonus episode in addition to our weekly sermon podcast. In this episode, Chris digs a little further into why Christian Beliefs are reasonable…at least they can be. He also waxes about a two of his favorite books.

Play

What if We Had Women and Men Leading Together?

October 5th, 2017

April Karli

Growing up, my church experience, except for Sunday school, was all male led.

I watched my dad prepare and deliver sermons every Sunday. Another man led the hymn singing during the worship service. Regularly, my dad met with a team of all male elders. When missionary families visited, the husband would preach and share about their work overseas.

There was no question that men were the leaders of our church. Women’s voices were valued, but only in certain places like the children’s or women’s ministry, or organizing VBS, a potluck, or an outreach project.

What if Women…

Many capable, gifted women leaders were present in my home church, including my own mother, and I wonder how our community might have been different had those women been empowered and free to lead alongside the men.

If women had been invited to preach, lead worship, or asked to shepherd the church community as elders, I think we all would have had a richer, more full experience of God and what the family of God is meant to look like.

Certainly, as a little girl, it would have had a huge impact on me as well as the other children—girls and boys—to have seen women and men leading together.

Leading Together

These experiences for women aren’t limited to the church. There are still many venues where women’s voices aren’t welcomed or held in as high esteem as men’s. But the church can and should be leading the way when it comes to changing how men and women lead together.

SheLeads is a one-day event on October 28 where we can learn, discuss, and imagine together God’s vision for shared leadership in the church and ministry. Last year, many of the women who attended our Austin viewing party were transformed by the experience and began to understand their own God-given gifts and purpose in a whole new way. We heard lots of encouraging stories of how the speakers, panelists, and table discussions impacted the participants.

This year Austin, Texas is one of several regional venues for SheLeads. We are partnering with other churches in Austin to bring the event to town.

If you are a…

  • Woman leader looking to be encouraged or encourage other women
  • Woman unsure of her leadership potential but curious to explore it more
  • Man who wants to empower and support the women leaders around him
  • Man or woman who loves Jesus and desires to see his church more fully embody the gospel

SheLeads is for you.

Email me to let us know by SATURDAY, OCT 7 to receive the group discount.

Registration prices go up Sunday! We hope to see lots of you there!

Here is Your Perfect Moment to Step into Community

September 25th, 2017

Chris Morton

Name calling matters.

This past summer, we spent hours in our Leadership Team and with past Midweek Groups leaders at Austin Mustard Seed asking the question:

What words best capture the experience we hope people have in our the smaller groups at our Church?

We landed on the term “Community Groups.”

Seven Traits of Austin Mustard Seed Community Groups

Yes, we know that the term “Community” can be overused, especially in churchworld. This is how we got there:

We asked the question “what common traits do all our groups have?” Even though each group is different, what do we hope they will all experience?

We agreed on seven key traits:

  1. Growing in the Way of Jesus—Groups are united by a desire to better understand who Jesus is, what he taught, and what it means to live those teachings out today
  2. Commitment to the Group—Participating in a Community Group requires a willingness to dedicate time, energy and resources to meeting regularly, communicating consistently and investing in the lives of other group members.
  3. Space for Vulnerability—Groups are hospitable places where individuals can feel seen, known and welcome, no matter where they are in their personal journey and in their faith.
  4. Joining God’s Mission—Groups are driven by God’s Mission and seek ways to join God in making all things new.
  5. Dialogical—Groups focus on honest conversation about each other’s lives, hopes, questions and opinions.
  6. Prayer—Groups regularly pray for each other and for outsiders. They also help individuals grow in their own practice of prayer.
  7. Hospitality—Groups are dedicated to welcoming passionate believers, hopeful skeptics, adults, children, families and the unmarried, no matter what their stage in life or faith.

When we tried to sum these traits up, we couldn’t come up with a better word than “Community”.

What to Expect this Week (9.24—9.30)

This is one of the best possible weeks to join a group.

You can see a list of our current groups HERE.

The goal of Community Groups this week is to articulate a “covenant”. A covenant is a relational agreement between people before God.

Community Group Covenants help set the expectations of each group on how to participate and what to expect.

By helping form these covenants, you will help shape the nature and values of the group.

Are you looking for a group where you can be honest? Put that in the covenant.

Are you looking for a group where you can have fun? Put that in the covenant.

Are you looking for a group that will help you experience a deeper spiritual life? Put that in the covenant.

Led by the Holy Spirit, you are forming these groups together.

What will your group focus on?

Click HERE for the Community Group Covenant Worksheet.

 

Community Groups: What to Expect for the Week of September 17

September 18th, 2017

Chris Morton

This good boy is lonely and needs community.

Community Groups are finally here!

For the first two weeks, we’ll focus on connecting and reconnecting, as well as answering the question “what will our Community Group be like?”

The First Week

Here’s what to do during your first get together:

  • Touch base online. If you’ve been a part of a group in the past or have expressed interest, you’ll get an email about your group. If you need help, contact Chris.
  • Eat a meal. Reply all and plan your shared meal.
  • Connect or reconnect. If this is your first group, or you haven’t met in awhile, you’ll want to spend some time connecting. Everyone should take a moment to talk and catch each other up. For instance, you might ask the question “What was the high point of your summer? What was the low point?”
  • Read through the document called “What is a Community Group? As a group, take a few minutes to dream about what your group can be.
  • Commission a Group Guide and Apprentice Guide. Take a moment to look over the Community Group Guide Job Description. As a group, decide who will be your group guide and apprentice. Pray over this person.
  • Close with prayer. Take a moment to pray for your hopes and dreams for the group. If individuals in the group have specific needs within the group, you can take a moment to pray for them as well.

The most important thing you will do this week is assigned a Group Guide and Apprentice. Have that person contact Chris Morton this week.

What to Expect in the Weeks to Come

Next week, we’ll focus on creating a Community Group Covenant. It’s an agreement between the members of the group before God. You’ll take the ideas in the “What is a Community Group?” and articulate what it looks like for you.

This fall, our entire church will talk about “Catechesis,” the core beliefs that have defined the Church for two thousand years. Each Sunday, we’ll tackle a basic article of faith. Group Guides will receive a one-page lesson summary and discussion guide to help you dive further.

If you still have questions or feedback, contact Chris Morton.

Important Documents

Community Group Kick-off Week Begins NOW!

September 18th, 2017

Chris Morton

We all want deeper community—even if that’s not the word we use for it.

We want friends to hang out with.

We want places where we can be ourselves.

We want to people around us who challenge us to grow.

Austin Mustard Seed Community Groups are your opportunity to help build this kind of community.

Groups kick off this week throughout the city. This Fall, we hope to see these new groups grow into “families on mission.”

These groups are the starting point for relationships that push us up to grow in our relationship with God, in to grow closer together and out to serve the world.

If you have never been in a group, or you are looking for a new one, this is the perfect week to start!

***NOTE*** These times and locations are valid only for the week on 9.17-23. Additional information will be available soon.  

Got questions? Contact Chris Morton.

Austin Mustard Seed Goes to Houston this Saturday

September 12th, 2017

shaneblackshear

Schedule for Saturday

6:50 am  – Meet at Walmart at 710 E Ben White Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

7:00 am  – Drive to Houston

9:30 am  – Arrive on sight and begin working

                – Break for lunch (bring your own)

6:00pm   – Dinner at Ecclesia West Side Campus (325 Piney Point Rd, Houston, TX 77024)

7:00pm   – Go Home


Some things to know

  1. Pretend you’re camping
    -Bring everything you’ll need: food, water, charged phone, extra batteries for phone (optional), anything else you’ll need.
  2. Dress to work
    -We’ll know more on Friday about what work we’ll be doing. But it will most likely be total cleanup, sheet rock removal, etc.
  3. Bring tools for demolition if you have them.
    -gloves, hammers, crowbars, flat head shovels, box cutters.
  4. Let me know if you can or can’t drive your car.
    -We’ll try to figure this out beforehand but we might have to decide the morning of who’s taking their own car and who can carpool depending on the final number of people traveling and the number of tools we’re bringing.
  5. There’s still time to sign up. We’d like to bring about 10 and there are still spaces left. If you or someone you know wants to go, sign up on the Facebook event page.


Any other questions, feel free to call or text me.

512-550-8765

Sign up For Dinner for Six, Fall 2017 Edition

August 22nd, 2017

John Chandler

Dinner for Six is a long, deep tradition in the short life of our church community.

Sign up to participate (or host!), and you’ll be placed in a group of six adults to share an evening of good food and casual conversation. If you are new to aMS, this is a great way to get to know others. And, of course, if you’ve been around awhile, it is a good way to experience even richer connection with those you are walking alongside. 

Groups are being formed now for the next three weeks or so. Fill out this form to sign up today.

Morrison: The Problem with Framing the Race Discussion within Politics

August 17th, 2017

Chris Morton

This Sunday, we’ll be joined by our friend Latasha Morrison.

Here’s a taste of what you can expect. Learn more, and RSVP for lunch with Latasha HERE.

Sunday: Build Bridges with Latasha Morrison

August 14th, 2017

Chris Morton

Jesus followers can’t ignore the deep racial divides in our city.

Jesus himself, in stark contrast to his deeply divided culture, offered teaching and healing across racial boundaries.

Here’s how Paul, one of the first missionaries, described Jesus’ work:

His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. (Ephesians 2:15)

Racial tension and reconciliation is the backstory behind many books of the Bible.

Reconciling believers of different races was the purpose of the first every church council.

In other words, this is an ancient problem—and one that the church has always been called to work against.

What does it look like in light of the racism we face in our country today? What does it look like in Austin?

We’re pleased to invite Latasha Morrison to Austin Mustard Seed to help us wrestle with this question.

Meet Latasha

Latasha Morrison is a bridge-builder, reconciler and a compelling voice in the fight for racial justice.

She previously served as Children’s and Next Gen Director and recently joined staff at Gateway Church Central in Austin, Texas as the Director of Operations.

In addition to her church positions, she has simultaneously cultivated Be the Bridge; a ministry to equip and provide tools for those who are actively involved in taking the next steps toward racial solidarity.

Be the Bridge exists solely to see the Church and its people become a credible witness for the glory of God. We desire to embody John 17, where Jesus prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one. Our unity is a witness that points people to Christ. Racial division and segregation have hindered the prayer that Jesus prayed for all believers.

Be the Bridge desires to create space and conversations that would begin to tear down racial barriers that have divided people – even God’s people. (Via beabridgebuilder.com)

Liturgy and Lunch with Latasha

On Sunday, August 20, Latasha will join Austin Mustard Seed for a day of learning about being a bridge builder.

Join us in The Orange Chapel at Rosedale Baptist Church (4400 Maybelle Ave.) for Liturgy at 10:30am, where Latasha will be preaching.

Or join us at lunch beginning at 12:30pm where Latasha will be speaking on the topic “Be the Bridge.”

Lunch is available for all with a suggested donation of $10.

Childcare is also available with a suggested donation.

You can learn more about Latasha and Be the Bridge at https://beabridgebuilder.com/