Church Impact

Small Town America is one of the toughest mission fields on earth. After all, it is the largest mission field in the United States. The United States are defined by their small towns, and the culture of those towns. It’s churches in those small towns that often have the power to impact and change culture. Historically in the United States the Church has been the center of culture, social gathering and service in Small Town USA. And, while the larger cities no longer reflect this, Small Town USA can still be impacted greatly by its Churches and their leaders. In fact, most churches in Small Town USA impact, effect and influence the lives of 10-20% of the population of smaller towns in the United States. This percentage of impact has the potential and power to change culture, shape the future and grow God’s Kingdom beyond belief. It was these small towns that made the United States great, and we can see that impact continue.

Likewise, small town churches in big cities carry a big influence as well. After all, they speak to the grassroots movements that made America great. They mirror the life of families, remind us of the old neighborhood and give us a safety zone in the midst of a busy world. Their potential is often untappedand ignored.

So many of the churches in America struggle to have such any measurable impact on their communities. So many of churches are struggling just to stay alive. The evidence is overwhelming. Most churches struggle to average over eighty people each Sunday and conversions and baptisms are sporadic at best. In many cases, pastors come and go like high school sweethearts, which  makes it incredibly hard on both the church and the pastor. Our objective is to help churches make an impact in ANY size town across America. We have identified eight concepts that we believe (from personal experience) are imperative for churches to embrace in order create a gospel influence in their city, town, or community.

CLICK HERE to find out more & get a FREE eBook "How to Have BIG Impact in ANY Size Town"

Be Uncommon With Us....

The last 14 months at Uncommon Church have been INCREDIBLE beyond words.

They have been filled with victories, adventures, journeys, struggles, heartaches, celebrations, challenges and more! We have seen dozens of people discover Jesus, 39 to be exact!!! We have seen families overcome impossible hurdles. We have seen marriages restored. We have seen God bring healing to so many. We have seen people overcome addictions. We have seen our city join us for many events. We have had tons of great new people join our Uncommon family and movement. And, we have seen God provide over and over again. 

We have had great events over the 14 months. We hosted Brian “Head” Welch from KORN. That was an excellent event where many folks discovered Jesus and we had some kickin’ new people join our mission as a result. We hosted The Great Porn Debate downtown at The Paramount Theater. That was a HUGE success. We had hundreds of non-church people come and join our conversation of grace and love, and once again we had folks choose to follow Jesus!

So many of you have been a part of our story. You invested in us with your time, your talent, your resources, your finances and your prayers. You have been a very crucial part of this journey.

So much has happened, and so much has changed since October of 2012. But one thing remains the same.... our vision. Uncommon Church exists to Meet People Where They Are and Lead Them to Life In Christ. 

As a pastor I cannot tell you how much I believe in what God has called me to Austin to to champion. God wants to build a church in this city, and He has called us to be part. He has called me and my family to lead the way. And, I promise that no matter what, we will stay the course and stand firm in that calling. We have faced the attacks of the enemy these last 14 months. We have lost some crucial funding, and God has restored it. We have lost loved ones, God has carried us through. We have faced adoption woes as a family, and we remain strong. We have have faced a miscarriage, and are awaiting the birth of our 5th child. We have faced some of the most serious health issues you can imagine, yet we stand healthy. We have had our cars stolen, and God restored! Bottom line, we know that if we remain faithful to our calling, God will provide. God will prevail against all odds. And, God will do all as He has promised. And, in the end, I and my family stand stronger and with more resolve to lead Uncommon than ever before. 

Uncommon has finally found it’s very first 24/7 home at 2600 McHale Ct Suite 100 in Austin. It will be our hub for serving this city. It will be our hub for seeing lives changed. It will be our hub for preparing and releasing leaders into our city. It will be our hub to see lives restored, families healed, missions accomplished and forgiveness made real. It will be a place where unconditional love and grace will pour out in excess. It will be the place where Uncommon sees God’s greatest miracles.

We are going to raise $35,000 to renovate and open up our new home together. This is your chance to invest and be part of the miracle of changed lives. This is your chance to be part of something BIG, something greater than we can ask or imagine. This is your chance to Be Uncommon and share in the transformation of the City of Austin.

Will you prayerfully consider how much God would have you give and invest in the vision and mission of Uncommon Church. Will you go above and beyond to invest in seeing this new location become a place where God moves in our church and our community.

All of your gifts are 100% tax deductible. And 100% of your gifts are being used to serve people and give life to those who are hurting. 100% of your gifts are used to advance the Kingdom of Heaven and make to make Jesus famous in Austin, Texas!

Thanks for being part of this journey. Thanks for choosing to Be Uncommon! I love this church and cannot wait to see what the future holds!

Pastor Michael

You can give online now by CLICKING HERE

The Real World

Can I have your permission to be very blunt and honest? I'm not asking to "tell you my thoughts or feelings" but to be unfiltered and raw! This is the Real World....

If you answered no, then now is the time to stop reading! If you said yes, you could possibly find this refreshing amidst the tension. But, I have learned that being vulnerable and fully transparent is something most people crave from leaders, pastors and the people in their lives. 

Lately I have not enjoyed where life has had me. In fact, I have spent lots of time dreaming of a different life. I am certainly not referring to my family. I wouldn't trade my wife and kids for anything in this world. If it were not for my family, I would have gone insane a LONG time ago. My wife is my best friend, and my partner, and she is the reason I have so much resolve. She keeps on cheering me on! My kids are the greatest gift I have ever been given. God has blessed me beyond words. I never planned on a BIG family, but now I wouldn't want anything less. 

What I am referring to is the circumstances of life lately. Some folks call is coincidence, some call is chance…. But I believe it is something much greater. See, my family and I have walked through one of the toughest seasons of our entire lives. The last 2 years have been very hard… I am NOT sharing this to gain sympathy. I know that there are LOTS of folks who have had much tougher seasons in life. I know folks who live much harder lives than I ever will. I am almost sure that some of you who will read this, have experienced 10x this sort of struggle; and some of you are our closest friends! However, relative to our past and our context of life, this has been a tough season. 

In the last two years, since we moved to Austin to start Uncommon Church, the trials  and struggles have been constant. It began with an attempt at a domestic adoption that nearly wrecked our family. The cost emotionally and spiritually was dramatic. We fell in love with a little girl who was simply unable to stay with our family. Letting her go was excruciating. In the midst of that experience, Allison lost her dad abruptly to cancer. He was one of our biggest supporters, fans and encouragers. Losing David was something we never imagined would have happened during this season of our lives. Not long after our best friends, who moved to Austin with us, felt God calling them to serve a great church in Kentucky. While we know that is exactly what God wanted for them, we hated to see them go. They were one of the reasons we had the resolve to step out on faith and come to Austin. We miss them, but thankfully, they remain some of our greatest friends. Not long after that we lost our primary funding source for the church and our salary abruptly. It required us to move into a smaller home, and drastically reduce our lifestyle, not all bad pot course! But, that change forced me into working full time, while planting the church. It was a TOUGH transition for me. My pride and ego were bruised. But, it was a growth step God has used in my life to make me a better leader, father, husband and man. Yet, it has required more from me than I could imagine. During the following Spring Allison and I walked through a tragic miscarriage experience. We lost a child, and that was not easy! I know that was harder on my wife than I can imagine, and that's what hurts me the most. Fast forward a few months, during the Fall I became very ill. After much fighting and praying I went to the doctor and discovered I was in acute liver failure. The next 3 months were the roughest and toughest I have ever personally experienced. I lost over 35 lbs and was a nice shade of yellow for that time. The pain, discomfort, itching and fear was relentless. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. I have begun to heal, but the road to a clean bill of health is still a few months coming. Then in January Allison lost her grandmother. Her MawMaw was one of the greatest women on the planet. She was an inspiration. In fact, her story of trials in life would make my story here seem petty! Then, this last week, while I was in Haiti, my wife called to let me know that both, not one, both of our cars had been stolen from our driveway. I;m thousands of miles away and my wife and kids have had their security violated. Not to mention, they were stranded without transportation. I felt helpless and angry. It appears unlikely that we will recover our cars. And, only one of our cars was covered for theft. No fun. Oh, and did I mention that during ALL of this stuff I have been feverishly working on our adoption of Karis from Haiti; a never-ending process that has drug on for three years. It's been a TOUGH season in life. And, believe me there are some private battles along this road that have been excruciating, and to protect the people and our selves, I will spare you those stories!

The reason I am telling you all of this is to share something that is often mis-understood about God. 

See, Allison and I have been giving our lives to serve our calling and what we believe God has created us to do. We feel called to build and lead the church. We feel called to adopt. We feel called to have an open home to serve our community. We feel called to love unconditionally no matter the cost. We are living a "good" life and offering all we know how to give to live like Jesus. 

So often I hear people repeat one of the biggest lies on the planet…. I hear it said two ways. First, God will never give you more than you can handle. And second, If you're living how God wants, you will not face struggles. To both of those statements I say, and with strong intent, It's JUNK! They are both lies, and something the enemy has perpetuated to make us feel good. But, feeling good is not the point of following Jesus! If these lies were truth instead it would indicate two things. One, that God is not present in our lives in anyway. And second, that we are not really walking with Jesus. Both are simply NOT true!

I believe fully that God absolutely allows us to experience far more than we can handle. Why???? Because He uses it to build our faith and teach us to rely on Him fully. If we could handle it on our own, then what is the purpose of God and His grace? It is the tough places in life that teach us more about God's love and Gods provision. And, believing that walking with Jesus is safe and easy will be your fastest route to giving up on your faith! Both of these lies set us up for failure. And, they teach us to rely on self, and not on Jesus! 

This season has been incredibly tough for our family. I cannot tell you how many times I have fantasized about walking away, giving up and doing my own thing. I am tired, I am worn out and I am weary some days. That's my human side. I am not super-human. I get angry, sad, depressed, anxious and even fearful. I experience the pain and the disappointment of seeing things prove difficult. But, I cannot forsake or ignore God's call on my life. 

Amidst the struggles, I cannot imagine my life truly being any better. I LOVE WHAT GOD HAS CALLED ME TO DO. I love the people, the circumstances, the stories and the wild adventure this life has become. 

I imagine your life has been plagued with struggles too. I imagine you have experienced pain and disappointment that seems impossible to explain. And, I know you have had days where you want to give up! But here is what God's word has to say…. 

The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:12 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. It also says that nothing is impossible with God and that means that when we think we may not survive, we can. When it seems impossible that we will ever reach the other side of our trails, we will as long as we are with Jesus! 

Life will be full of struggles and trials. But we have a God who loves us, and will bring us through them all. We have a God who sees our struggles and desperately wants to love us through them. Ad, when it's all said an done He will restore and strengthen you!

Here's the promise from 1 Peter 5:6-10.... Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.