November 23, 2009

Church Experiment #47: Oaks Community Church

If my relationship with the Acts 29 movement were represented on Facebook, it would be listed as, “It’s Complicated.” [Nice 2009 reference.]

I used to listen to Mark Driscoll’s podcasts. Driscoll is smart and he likes to tell people about it. Our core beliefs (somewhat) align, but his perceived arrogance pushed me away. Matt Chandler was another Christian leader I admired. Again, an intelligent dude. Less arrogant than Driscoll, but Chandler likes to yell at his congregation … a lot. Someone never learned to use his inside voice. (By the way, as I write these words, Matt Chandler is still recovering from surgery that removed a tumor from his brain. Please pray for Matt and his family as he continues the recovery process.) [And as I write these words, Matt is doing well and now leads the Acts 29 organization.]

I am a huge fan of Tim Keller. He’s not part of the Acts 29 network, but most of the Acts 29 guys worship Keller. Their beliefs mirror one another, but Keller is a very humble man. Most people aren’t the smartest person in the room, but they want you to think they are. That’s Driscoll. Keller actually is the smartest person in the room, but he doesn’t advertise it.

There aren’t many Acts 29 churches in the Cincinnati area. I knew Middletown was home to The Oaks Community Church (, led by Kevin Jamison at the time of my visit. I had never met Kevin in person, but we hung around each other’s blogs a couple of years ago. I had heard many good things about Kevin, and I was hoping he leaned more toward Keller than Driscoll.

To finish reading about this experience or any of the reflections from my 52 visits, please purchase the full book here.