Missouri Baptists axe Acts 29

Scott Lamb lets the word out on a decision by the Missouri Baptist Convention’s Executive Board that establishes “a ‘no-partnership with Acts 29’ rule for MBC church plants.” Scott is not privy to all of the details, yet, but has enough information to know that churches that affiliate with Acts 29 will be judged unworthy of support from MBC church planting funds. This hardly seems like a kingdom focus regarding church planting, does it?

Recently I read research from Ed Stetzer done for the North American Mission Board that indicated that only 68% of church plants are still in existence after 4 years. I wonder what that rate is for Acts 29 network churches?

Perhaps the MBC Exec Board has good, theological reasons for rejecting the Acts 29 network of churches in toto. If so, then I wish they would show me, and not simply resort to the tired and hackneyed response of “trust us, we know what is best for you.” Missouri Baptists should not let this decision go unexamined. Neither should they settle for superficial rationales. At a time when we need to become more aggressive and purposeful in planting gospel churches throughout our land, this type of action seems more provincial than evangelical.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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