What's After Austin 2020
Like the old joke says, “There are two things we all have in common: Death and Taxes.”
In our modern age of medicine one in twenty-five people have been pronounced clinically dead and yet were resuscitated. More intriguing is what these “after-death-experiences” reveal about the next life. It’s a global phenomenon with an increasing volume of scientific research validating the existence of life after life.
Austin’s appetite for the “weird” and specifically for spirituality continues to grow. Among the most popular booths at SXSW 2019 was the new Amazon Prime series “Good Omen” featuring angels and demons. Austin’s own John Burke has added his own NYT best-selling book Imagine Heaven to the mix. We are now preparing to help Greater Austin imagine Heaven in 2020.
What if every Christ-follower prioritized engaging in spiritual conversations with people throughout our city in a unified way?
What if these conversations were taking place during a heightened time of spiritual attention, either coordinated by church leaders or prompted by some other event?
What if we could bring the spiritually prepared into conversations with the spiritually curious?
During the past six years we launched two city-wide campaigns—Explore God and Love Where You Live. Each campaign saw hundreds of churches join by customizing goals for their congregation while receiving training and support from CTGA. Then we covered the city with advertising during a 6-8 week period designed to stoke curiosity and create opportunities for Christ-followers to engage in Gospel conversations.
Why such a massive effort? Aren’t churches training and sending their people in evangelism efforts? Yes, but as well as we’re doing in some areas, Austin has not seen a reduction in lostness. In fact, the opposite is true. Campaigns are an opportunity to do something no church could do alone—blanket the entire metro area with marketing and calling churches to unify in their focus to embrace the lost culture with the Gospel!
Pastors and Atheists:
An Open Discussion
In the spring of 2013, several pastors from Austin and several notable Atheist Leaders sat down to ask – and answer – some tough questions, and came away with a better understanding where each other comes from. This was not an attempt to pretend that we agree on everything – nor was it an attempt to “win over” the other in one night. That’s what made this evening so special: both sides were seeking to clarify positions so that there can be an open line for conversation in the future. Engaging the people of God to have conversations about the person of God in a unified effort.