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Mission (2017.09.24 Sermon)

September 25th, 2017

John Chandler

John Chandler finished our mini-series on our hope to be a people formed into mission through community.

Resource mentioned:
Becoming “Homemakers” in Our Sacred Neighborhoods – Missio Alliance

Questions to consider:

  • How is God already flowing into the places I inhabit?
  • What would it look like for this place to be restored to what God intended it to be?
  • What might it look like for us to live our shared life among our neighbors?

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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

Formation (2017.09.17 Sermon)

September 18th, 2017

John Chandler

John Chandler continued our mini-series on our hope to be a people formed through community.

Quotes and resources mentioned:

  • “Spiritual formation” in the Christian tradition is a process of increasingly being possessed and permeated by such character traits as we walk in the easy yoke of discipleship with Jesus our teacher. From the inward character the deeds of love then naturally–but supernaturally–and transparently flow. — Dallas Willard
  • “Even if we were blessed with parents who developed well our capacity to trust, we still must learn to place our trust in the triune God. This is why God provided the community of faith. In it we learn what it means to trust as we experience the church trusting God and each other.” — Richard Plass & James Cofield, The Relational Soul

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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


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.


Community (2017.09.10 Sermon)

September 10th, 2017

John Chandler

John Chandler began a mini-series on our call to be formed into mission through community.

Quotes and resources mentioned:

  • But, I can’t read the Bible without seeing the idea of “community” everywhere, page after page. There must be thousands of verses for community to every one verse about the afterlife. — Scot McKnight
  • Engagement with others in depth is always difficult within the church, which is probably why so few try it and why there is so little genuine Christian community in the world.  In other groupings we choose those we want to be close to and those whom we want to hold at a distance, which means that any relationship in depth is on the basis of human affinity and the standards set for friendship.  The church is the only place where this does not happen. A person is not received into the membership of the church because she is a certain type or because he has arrived at a certain place in life, but because he is following Christ. We do not do the calling. Christ does the calling, and this very threatening because the people he calls are the people with whom we are to have intimate belonging. This gives us a strange assortment of people to be with. — Elizabeth O’Conner
  • And that also clarifies the goal of all Christian community: they meet one another as bringers of the message of salvation. — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The One Another’s
Wash one another’s feet
Be at peace with each other
Love one another
Be devoted to one another
Honor one another above yourselves
Live in harmony with one another
Stop passing judgment on one another
Accept one another
Be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith
Instruct one another
When you come together to eat, wait for each other
Greet one another with a holy kiss
Have equal concern for each other
Agree with one another
Serve one another in love
Bearing with one another in love
Be kind and compassionate to one another
Carry each other’s burdens
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
Do not lie to each other
Submit to one another
Bear with each other
Forgive one another
Spur one another on toward love and good deeds
Teach and admonish one another
Encourage one another
Build each other up
Try to be kind to each other and everyone else
Do not slander one another
Don’t grumble against each other
Live in harmony with one another
Confess your sins to each other
Pray for each other
Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins

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Liturgy canceled for August 27

August 27th, 2017

John Chandler

Liturgy is canceled for today, August 27, due to the weather. Stay home. Stay safe. Check on your neighbors. Join us in prayer for those in dire situations due to Harvey.

See you next Sunday…and throughout the week.

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.

Be the Bridge (2017.08.20 Sermon)

August 21st, 2017

John Chandler

Latasha Morrison, the founder of Be the Bridge, joined us to talk about the Gospel nature of racial reconciliation.

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