Over 100 years ago, Charles Spurgeon proclaimed every Christian here is either a missionary or an imposter. Recollect that. You either try to spread abroad the Kingdom of Christ, or else you do not love Him at all. You are either doing good, or you are not good yourself.
That kind of challenge has been lost in our sincere efforts to lower the barriers to reach the unchurched. But Spurgeon’s passion is surfacing again.
Austin Stone is a missional church in Austin, TX which has grown to over 7,000 people in 8 short years. They are a partner in our Future Traveler effort to develop missional ministries from large church platforms. I was there recently and was stunned by how they’ve raised the bar as Spurgeon challenged. To become active in their ministry, you must sign and live by this 14-point partner agreement:
As a Partner at Austin Stone Church I Will:
- Habitually spend time with Christ through the reading of scripture and prayer
- Follow the example of Christ in my personal life
- Financially support the mission of the church, starting with a 10% tithe
- Be or have been baptized as a believer
- Participate in community with Austin Stone
Live in Community
- Actively pursue biblical community within The Austin Stone
- Be diligent to preserve the unity of the spirit
- Not gossip, but instead use my words to give grace
- Serve the body of Austin Stone
- Get trained for ministry with the Austin Stone
- Not teach beliefs contraty to our Affirmation of Faith
- Build disciple relationships with other believers
- Pursue intentional, transparent relationships with non-Christians
- Be involved in living out and sharing of the gospel both locally and globally
That is a high bar in any contemporary church today, yet over 1,500 have signed up. There is little room for imposters here. However, the more they raise the bar at “The Stone”, the more people show up the next weekend.
Are you an imposter?
Why do think more people keep showing up as they raise it higher?
What would happen at your church if they raised the bar this high?