Acts 29 Network

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The Acts 29 Network is a church networking organization dedicated to the activity of church planting (i.e. establishing new local congregations). It derives its name from the Book of Acts in the New Testament, which has 28 chapters, making Acts 29 the "next chapter" in the history of the church.[1] A number of other Christian organisations also use the phrase "Acts 29" in their name.[examples needed]


The Acts 29 Network was founded in 1998 by Mark Driscoll[2][3] and David Nicholas.[4] Beginning Sep 17, 2007 with the Raleigh Boot Camp, Acts 29 began using Great Commission Ministries as its mission agency for fundraising and leadership training.[5][6] Driscoll chose Matt Chandler to become the president of Acts 29 Network in 2012.[7] Chandler announced plans to keep the network's objectives intact while reorganizing to address the worldwide scope of the organization. He also intends to keep Driscoll on the Board of Directors.[8] The offices and leadership of Acts 29 moved from Mars Hill Church in Seattle to The Village Church in Texas in March 2012.[7][8][9]

Other figures active in the early days of the Acts 29 Network included Dr. David Nicholas of Spanish River Church, Boca Raton, Florida;[10] Rick McKinley of Imago Dei Community; and several other non-denominational and Presbyterian church planters.


The network calls itself a "trans-denominational peer to peer network of missional church planting churches" and describes itself as "first Christians, second Evangelicals, third Missional, and fourth Reformed."[11]

The Acts 29 Network has been described as part of the emerging church.[2][12][13] However Darrin Patrick, Vice President of Acts 29 has pointed out "bad things" in the emerging church such as "the fascination with deconstructing almost everything while building almost nothing," and "ugly things" such as "conversing about God's Word [the Bible] to the neglect of obeying it, deviating from historical orthodoxy and the lack of clarity regarding issues of theology and sexuality."[14]

In August 2012, the network included 422 churches on six continents.[8][15][16] A number of churches within the network belong to a denomination as well. For example, Christ the King Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, North Carolina is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America,[17] while The Village Church is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention.[18]


Steve Lemke of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary cited interactions with Acts 29 instead of local Baptist churches on the part of Pleasant Valley Community Church in Owensboro, Kentucky as a reason they were denied acceptance into the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association, saying, "those who want to be accepted should make themselves acceptable."[19] Roger Moran, a former member of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee and head of the Missouri Baptist Layman’s Association has criticized Acts 29 on matters of doctrine, vulgarity and drinking. In his view, Acts 29 and other emerging church movements have become a "dangerous and deceptive infiltration of Baptist life".[20][21] Christian Piatt of the Huffington Post has criticized the network for disguising the traditional evangelical agenda of conformity and conversion behind the veneer of the new missional church movement. He also criticizes the emphasis on male leadership, saying, "no penis, no dice."[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Evans, Lyndsey. "Acts 29 Network brings micro-churches to Fort Worth neighborhoods". The 109. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Henard, William D.; Greenway, Adam W. (2009). Evangelicals Engaging Emergent: A Discussion of the Emergent Church Movement. B&H Publishing Group. pp. 8, 245. ISBN 0-8054-4739-3. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  3. ^ Thomas, Scott. "Happy Birthday and Happy 15th Anniversary, Mark Driscoll". Acts 29 Network. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Stetzer, Ed; Bird, Warren (2010). Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters Become Movement Makers. John Wiley & Sons. p. 89. ISBN 0-47055045-7. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  5. ^ "Annual Ministry Report". Great Commission Ministries. 2007. Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Fund Raising – Great Commission Ministries". Acts 29. Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "A Change of Leadership at Acts 29 Network". Outreach Magazine. Mar 28, 2012. Retrieved Jan 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Murashko, Alex (Apr 11, 2012). "No 'Vision Shift' After Mark Driscoll Leaves Acts 29 Leadership". The Christian Post. Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. 
  9. ^ Driscoll, Mark (March 28, 2012). "A Note on Some Transitions". Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ Challies, Tim. "Meet the Ministries: Acts 29". Informing the Reforming. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "About Acts 29". Acts 29 Network. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  12. ^ Jameson, Norman (21 March 2011). "SBC Pastors’ Conference slate raises ire". Associated Baptist Press. Retrieved 11 November 13. 
  13. ^ Palmeri, Allen (28 January 2008). "Theology committee tackles Emerging Church". The Pathway (Missouri Baptist Convention). Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  14. ^ Patrick, Darrin. "Emerging Church - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". Acts 29 Network. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Churches". Acts 29 Network. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  16. ^ Murashko, Alex (29 March 2012). "Mark Driscoll Steps Down as Leader of Acts 29; Resigns From Gospel Coalition". Christian Post. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Why We Do It". Christ the King Presbyterian Church. Retrieved 7 April 2011. [dead link]
  18. ^ "What is Our Denominational Affiliation?". The Village Church. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  19. ^ Lemke, Steve (Nov 4, 2011). "Thoughts on the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association Decision about Pleasant Valley Community Church Part 2: Reflections on the Significance of What Happened". SBC Today. Southern Baptist Convention. Retrieved Jan 12, 2012. 
  20. ^ Kaylor, Brian (June 24, 2009). "SBC Agencies Asked to Investigate ‘Cussing Pastor’". Ethics Daily. Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. "As messengers to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention walked into the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, they were handed a copy of Missouri layman Roger Moran’s nearly 50-page Viewpoint document attacking the ‘Emerging Church Movement’ and the church-planting Acts 29 Network." 
  21. ^ Miller, Norm (Mar 20, 2007). "Alcohol, Acts 29 and the SBC". The Baptist Press. Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. "Moran addressed the Executive Committee Feb. 20 regarding his concerns relative to Acts 29, saying in part, ‘One of the most dangerous and deceptive movements to infiltrate the ranks of Southern Baptist life has been the emerging/emergent church movement. Not since the stealth tactics of the CBF (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) have we seen a movement operate so successfully below the radar of rank and file Southern Baptists.’" 
  22. ^ Piatt, Christian (Mar 1, 2012). "Evangelical 2.0: The Deception of Driscoll's Acts 29 Network". The Huffington Post. Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. "I'm all for congregational and denominational change. But when it's the same old white guys preaching largely the same old agenda, it smacks more of a desperate power grab than a genuine longing to better know and connect with the world around us." 

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