Nineteen years ago today Austin Christian Fellowship held its first Sunday Event at the Austin Community College Theater (the original Austin High School) on Rio Grande. And by God’s grace, 19 years later we’re still here!
1. It’s impossible to over pray. We’ve built ACF on and through prayer, and we still haven’t prayed enough. God used my experiences at ACF to teach me the principles I talk about in the Pray Big series. But even with those lessons learned, we’ve made some bone-headed calls simply because we let business and/or the tyranny of the urgent preempt our prayer times. Conversely, when we’ve done the hard work of prayer, God has both protected and blessed us.
Whatever initiative you’re involved in right now, I can promise you that you can always pray more for it.
2. God’s vision is always better than my vision. When we started ACF, I had a very clear picture in my mind of what I wanted ACF to become. Most of that vision was driven by my own flesh and by my limited experiences at the time. But as is always the case, God had different and better plans in mind. Today, ACF gives away 40% of our revenues (we’re on our way to 50%) and we have a missions ministry that reaches around the world. We also have two other ACF communities in the city with more on the way. None of that was on the radar 19 years ago. Not even close. But as we followed the Spirit’s leading we discovered a mission and vision that was far bigger and better than anything we could have ever dreamed up.
I can promise you that whatever your dreams and visions are for your life, God’s are even better!
3. Means Matter. In ministry, ends never justify means. How you get to your goals is everything to God. If I build a big church and yet burn my family, friends and teammates in the process, then my perceived “success” is muted by my failed methods. In ministry health, relationships and people are always more important that outcomes. Jesus had many opportunities to set himself up as a king, but he chose the cross as the route to his Kingdom. Had he just grabbed the perceived power of a Kingdom, the entire point of his life would have been missed.
Don’t cut corners relationally and personally on the way to your goals. Means matter.
Happy Birthday ACF!!!!! And to all of you who have been part of this ministry over the last two decades, thanks for all you’ve done. Yea God.