Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in America. Over the last 10 years, the greater Austin area has grown by 50,000 people every year. Additionally, the 2000 U.S. Census indicated that Austin only has 4.75 churches for every 10,000 people (far below the national average of 12 churches for every 10,000 people). So, in order to simply maintain the same ratio of churches tothe population, we need to plant almost 23 churches per year, and continually staff the already planted churches. Where are these trained pastors going to come from?
It is with this need in mind that Redeemer Seminary providentially came to Austin in 2010. With a seminary like Redeemer in Austin, pastoral church planting candidates have anopportunity to receive training for ministry within the very context where they plan to and currently minister. Thus, we hope to see the number of candidates for church planting grow and the number of gospel preaching churches in Austin increase. It is therefore vital for each congregation to support and sustain her mission to the city by raising up the next generation of leaders from within her own midst. With this type of partnership between the church and the seminary, future pastors are allowed to stay where they are while preparing for ministry and tolearn how to love and serve the place where they already live through their already established relationships. It allows churches to better evaluate candidates for ministry, test their gifts and stay connected to them during their years of training. And it allows for churches to replace outgoing pastors and recruit church planters with people that they already know, love and trust.
In a city like Austin, the need for the church to creatively, aggressively and faithfully engage in mission is great. What makes Austin so unique, in addition to its rapidly growing population, is its transient and international population as well. As the early church missionally targeted particular cities with an inflow and outflow of citizens that allowed them to spread the gospel message with strategic help, it is similarly our desire to be and grow in a strategic city like Austin. As a servant of the church, Redeemer Seminary, is committed to training the nextgeneration of church leaders in Austin for the sake of the advancement of the gospel here andaround the world, and it is with this need and mission in mind that we are excited to be in Austin serving alongside of the local church and organizations like PlantR.