It’s true. Chris Tomlin announced today, in a partners/members meeting after the 9:30am service, that he is planning to leave the Austin Stone Community Church to pursue God’s calling to start up a new church with long time friend and partner Louie Giglio in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
And this doesn’t upset me one bit.
In fact, it’s probably some of the most exciting news I’ve heard recently. Chris is one of the world’s most recognizable and famous Christian singer/songwriters. Louie is an amazing man of God who has listened to the His Voice before and is being used by God to transform college students into Christ-worshiping followers. Knowing this, it means that God is moving… in amazingly large ways. We just need to keep our eyes and ears peeled as to what specifically He’s planning.
I also believe it’s probably one of the healthiest things that could happen to our church right now. Matt Carter, our pastor, mentioned that we’re going to be greatly challenged, both from the inside and out. It’s no secret that the church has been criticized by others that one of its major reasons for success has been the presence of Chris and his band. I believe the Word of God is being spoken strongly here, that spiritual relationships are being formed, and Christ is being lifted up. Those things have attracted the people. That’s the reason why my family stays. Certainly there’s an attraction to him, but it’s not a sustainable one. I think with Chris pursuing God’s calling elsewhere will help us, as a church, remember to focus on the real reasons we come to worship.
Thus, I’m very excited. It’ll be sad to see him leave, that’s for sure. But what we may lose Christ will gain as He begins to use Louie and Chris in fantastic ways in Atlanta. … Georgia has no idea what they just got!