Six years ago, Matt Chandler initiated a conversation with Beau Hughes about transitioning The Village’s Denton campus into an autonomous church. Months later, Josh Patterson, not knowing about Matt’s conversation, also brought the idea to Beau and encouraged him to consider it.
“There was so much going on at our campus, and Kimberly and I became parents to three children within three years. The idea of a transition wasn’t immediately compelling for me,” said Beau.
As more voices were added to the conversation, the Lord seemed to be stirring momentum around the idea. After years of discussions, meetings and prayers, the elders of The Village, including Beau, felt confident in moving that direction. “Much like my initial calling into ministry, I eventually came to affirm what they had sensed and seen all along,” said Beau.
In January 2014, the vision for transitioning the Denton campus into an autonomous church was shared with the entire church body. By May, the Covenant Members in Denton had voted 96% in favor of the transition.
“The way that the church, in unity and faith, has embraced the transition has been beautiful,” Beau said. “Our body has pressed into God and one another more deeply during this season.”
In becoming an autonomous church, the Denton campus will have more flexibility to contextualize ministry to their neighbors and the needs of their city. “Obviously, this starts with the preaching, but I believe it will be felt in more and more aspects of our church’s ministry moving forward,” said Beau. Additionally, Denton’s members have the opportunity to take on more leadership and ownership in the responsibilities of the church.
“There are a myriad of opportunities for us to continue to mature and grow together as an autonomous church,” said Beau. “This includes everything from serving to giving to evangelism to doing justice in our city.”
From day one, the Denton campus has desired to be a city of God’s people within Denton, expressing and extending their faith to their neighbors. As an autonomous church, the hope is that the body’s love and good works will flourish all the more and will be used by God to draw the lost and the broken to Himself.
“God has bound our hearts together and compelled our church, including our elders and deacons, to embrace a deeper level of responsibility and commitment to one another and the mission,” said Beau. “It’s truly been incredible.”