By the mid-2000s, officials at the Rio Texas Annual Conference saw only two options — deep change or slow death — and proposed planting a young congregation at Asbury to revitalize the place. Members, many of whom had built Asbury 60 years earlier, faced a question steeped in resurrection theology: Would they be willing to let their church die in order to have new life?
With the conference’s encouragement, Asbury members in 2010 invited Servant Church, a small group of 20- and 30-somethings, to worship in the fellowship hall. Over the next six years, as the new congregation thrived and the old one withered, Asbury began letting go, eventually relinquishing the entire church to Servant. The transition was fraught with resentment and grief but also buoyed by faith and hope. Asbury found an unexpected legacy, and Servant made the church new again.
If your church closed tomorrow, what legacy would it leave?
Today, Servant Church (link is external) is a lively, seeker-friendly congregation intently focused on the neighborhood and surrounding community. With a casual and imaginative worship that appeals to Austin’s creative types, Servant Church may not look or feel like Asbury. But at its core, in its own way, it is re-enacting the same story of a young church just starting out.Read here the full story