david nicholas

David Nicholas and Acts 29

In regards to this morning’s Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast, yes I got a few mentions. Thanks Rick.

Glad to see David Nicholas honored. He was a great man. He often turned up at our Young Leader events on the search for potential church planters.

2 memories of David stand out.

  1. At an early Acts 29 event (1998) at Spanish River Church, when he asked me up to the platform with him, David spent a good 3 minutes making fun of me for wearing leather suspenders which he was convinced were NOT cool.
  2. My family were traveling USA in a tent at the time and I felt impressed by God that I should ask him if a motorhome had been donated to the church for us. He was the only person I asked. 3 months later we were playing golf together in Colorado Springs and I asked him if he had got my motorhome yet. He said “You knew, didn’t you?” He confessed that a Winnebago had been donated a few months earlier but he did not mention it because the timing of the gift was so close to my request that he assumed I had heard of it. I had not. And so I returned to Boca Raton to pick up our Winnebago that we drove around the country twice with our 4 kids. A lovely man and a generous church

Ok a bit more to the story.

  • At that 1998 Acts 29 event in Boca Raton, one of the main speakers was Sally Morgenthaller whose book “Worship Evangelism” had been recently published. Obviously, Acts 29 found its way into a more patriarchal flavor but that blokes-only “Masculine Christianity” was not there when David was in charge. He gave Sally special honor. Or maybe that was the 1999 event?
  • David Nicolas got the shaft from the Driscoll dominated Acts 29 that had since shifted its base to Seattle. Many of you know about that horrible phone call which was devastating for David, in which he was shown the back door to the organization he started, and is pretty easy to find on the internet.
  • I met David N. in 97 when I was working for the California-Peninsular Association of the Southern Baptist Church. A few years later I was working for the Baptist General Convention of Texas (also SBC) as part of the Church Multiplication Center, training organic church planters and starting small churches in coffee shops, etc. By 2005 the Southern Baptists were so enamored with Acts 29 and the new-reformed movement that they decided to shut down our project. They wanted big impressive churches that tithed back into the system and not really our movements of house church/ organic church/ etc and I think it was the way those guys preached loudly with that double karate chop action that looked really definitive. Our team were all made redundant but most of us on that team found other outlets. Shannon Hopkins went on to develop missional social enterprise training that is being used by Baylor and Harvard. David Crowder went on to do more stuff with music. I was picked up by the Anglicans in UK. I never could figure out how to do that hand gesture but I remember seeing advertising for those Neo-Cal New-Reformed preachfest events with images of dozens of men all doing the same double-handed gesture. So funny. ? Not sure what they were trying to say. Maybe . .. “Mine is bigger!” [My church . . . that is ?]
  • When I went to pick up my 14 year old Winnebago, it had been sitting in the parking lot at Spanish River Church for many months and was disintegrating. The church insisted on putting $1200 into it to bring it up to standard and filled it with gas and gave me a little gift to go along with it. I learned a lot about the spiritual art of gift-giving from that encounter and even today I try to emulate their generosity.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.

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