The Power of Adaptability
“You never go to the World Series on one pitch…”
The old sports adage reminds us that success in any arena of life requires a certain amount of adaptability. Different situations require different responses. One approach to any problem won’t work in every situation.
The same holds true in starting churches to reach people in Middle Tennessee. There are many types of people and varied opportunities, and each moment will require a particular response for a successful engagement.
That’s why, in the Middle Tennessee Initiative, we’ll be working with three expressions of new churches:
- The first one involves starting regional campuses. Station Hill is a regional campus and an example of what this process involves. In those places where we find people who would attend Brentwood Baptist, but don’t because of distance and other convenience factors, we’ll start a church that’s more comfortable to attend. For the most part, everything in the regional campus will be just like you’d find here on the Brentwood Campus of Brentwood Baptist Church.
- What happens if we find a group of people who don’t like the way we do church at Brentwood Baptist? We’ll start a church they will like. This might involve different people groups, language or ethnic groups, socio-economic groups—any number of things could define them. In these cases, we’ll find a pastor/church planter who’s called to reach this people group and help get a church planted. There’s a reason Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors of ice cream. Churches, like ice cream, have different flavors. The goal is to help every person find Christ in a way that’s most effective for them.
- The third way is by working with churches in transition. Most of the time, these churches have had remarkable days of ministry, but now the circumstances around their church have changed. To meet the new needs of the community, different strategies have to be employed. In some cases, this church may not have the resources needed to implement this new strategy. So, we’ll engage with them in some kind of formal relationship and look for ways to share the Good News of Jesus in new ways to a new people.
As you can imagine, this is going to take a lot of people. One of our major challenges right now is identifying and training the leaders we’ll need for these new congregations. Here’s where I need to give you a major heads up: not every leader is going to be hired.
Some of us will be sent to these new congregations. Some—in fact most—of our “new” leaders will come from our “old” members. (There’s another blog coming with more on this).
Across Middle Tennessee, we’ll be assessing challenges and opportunities to discern which method will best reach people for Christ in each area. This calls for a lot of wisdom and discernment. And this means a lot of prayer—from all of us.