In Episode 4 of Practical Multiplication: A Pastor’s Guide to Accelerating Multiplication, Ralph Moore and Myron Pierce interviewed Chuck Barber and Andrew Slack to talk about the practicalities of living in a disciple-making world. Chuck, the Discipleship Pastor at Hill Country Bible Church, has spent the last three years discipling Andrew, a firefighter in his 20s, along with his wife, Kat.
Andrew regularly stressed his normalcy. No Bible degree. No formal training. And it prompted this thesis from Pierce:
“There are faceless, normal Christians who will take the gospel further than before. They obey the Great Commission.”
It is a perfect summary as to the “What” of a Heromaker. Barber and Slack’s relationship explains the “How”.
It Starts With Vision
Barber has vision. Clear vision. Andrew and his wife were hungry for God and drawn to that vision.
Barber’s focus is narrow and deep. He has gotten more focused in time. He repeatedly said he had “passion for discipling young, married couples” in living a missional life. Barber was implicitly adamant at his demographic.
However, the more narrow the focus, the harder it is to find leaders…right?
“Where do you find leaders like Andrew to mentor?” one interviewer asked as Barber reiterated his laser-focused demographic. And his response is simple, but paramount:
“I am always on the lookout for leaders.”
Simple. Barber told the other three that he goes to church with one eye searching for hungry, young couples that will be the next generation of leaders. He is always looking. And God led him to Andrew.
The Other Side of the Coin
Andrew’s insight was equally pivotal in this conversation. Hearing mentor and mentee go back and forth in the same space about what worked and what didn’t was insightful. For Andrew, Barber’s offer to disciple was both humbling and honoring.
“I’d never had someone come along side and be intentional.” Andrew stated with pride.
But in the same breath, he noted how humbling it is to meet with Barber and others. “I always have a notebook ready” Andrew gladly admitted. It’s being in these humbling circumstances with older men that really spurs on growth and character for him.
In their three years together, Andrew and Kat have been a part of Barber’s micro-church, a term that’s set to gain traction in our post-COVID world. In addition to that, Andrew and a couple others have met with Barber an additional morning every week. In Barber’s words, they’ve spent “gobs of time” together…and that’s why this works.
Something else strange has happened in that time; they’ve become friends. Barber was thrilled in reporting that despite a large age and experience gap, there was a genuine friendship that had formed. And Andrew agreed.
Barber explained it plainly, “When you’re on mission together, you develop a friendship.”
Friendship is a wonderful by product, but discipleship is the goal. And discipleship is not a microwave game, but a long-haul strategy. And this slow process is starting to really pick up.
Andrew had led a missional small group after a short time with Barber. And that has progressed to a digital church in their apartment complex with neighbors. And there is now vision for a sustaining church in their apartment complex and/or at Andrew’s firehouse.
This low and slow process in Austin is starting to curve upwards. And it’s breathing fresh wind into Andrew, Kat, Chuck Barber, and the rest of Hill Country Bible Church.
One Heromaker can be an inflection point in any community. Andrew and Kat are living that simple reality.
Watch the replay here featuring Chuck Barber, Ralph Moore, and Myron Pierce.