Things Your Pastor Wants You to Know Recap - Part 2
July 27, 2015
The last 3 Sundays have been needed, exciting, yet heavy days for The Church at West Franklin. I felt it necessary to take some time and talk about the future and critical adjustments needing to happen to set us up for long-term, healthy, Gospel success.
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow - I want to recap for us what I (tried!) to communicate during these Sundays. They have been "Things Your Pastor Wants You to Know" . . .
On Sunday, July 19th, we talked about Boot Camp coming this Fall. If you missed the sermon, please go here and listen.
After walking us through where we've been (and where we are) as a congregation/campus (see John 12:24), and laying out where we are headed as a campus (see Luke 13:18-19), I closed the message by talking - specifically - about how we are going to get from here to there (see Luke 15:2).
In short, in effort for us to move from where we are now to being a campus that influences our city with a strong Gospel presence, we are going to have to all be on the same page, agreeing together that chasing darkness will take spiritual and physical blood, sweat and tears. To get there, in other words, we need to endure Boot Camp.
Why Call It Boot Camp?
Boot Camp is a military term to describe Basic Training for military recruits. From what I hear and read, it is a very intense season of several weeks and months to prepare the serviceman or woman for battle and combat and war.
Several weeks ago I had lunch with Mike Glenn, the Lead and Senior Pastor for Brentwood Baptist Church. I asked him, “What does success at The Church at West Franklin look like for you?” I asked him to describe, for him, what it looks like for our campus to be winning. He said that our campus is the Forward Operating Base in Franklin, Tennessee. He said he considers Brentwood to be Base Camp and the campuses to be the Forward Operating Bases from that Base Camp. So, I went a looked up “Forward Operating Base” on the US Military website:
A forward operating base (FOB) is any secured forward military position, commonly a military base, that is used to support tactical* operations. FOBs are traditionally supported by Main Operating Bases (aka BBC) that are required to provide backup support to them. A FOB also improves reaction time to local areas as opposed to having all troops on the main operating base.
Get this now – because here is what Mike Glenn, our lead guy, is telling us we must do. We are here to engage the enemy, attack lostness, chase darkness, and see the Gospel transform lives right here in Franklin, Tennessee. We are here because we can do what Brentwood cannot. Brentwood can add support. Brentwood can bring in back up. Brentwood can help provide air cover. But we are here, as an extension of Brentwood, in order to clobber the enemy.
We are here, ultimately, not to grow a bigger church. If that were ultimate, we could stop and rest and be happy. But that’s not the ultimate goal. I am all about us bringing in more and more and more churched people. That’s fine. I hope God brings a bunch of people, who are moving to Franklin, looking for a church home. I hope they come here. But it’s not so we can grow in numbers of more churched people. It is so we can all be used to attack the enemy. So, I call it Boot Camp because it will be a 15 or so week, intense training, to get us ready and unified for the battle.
What is Boot Camp, West Franklin Style?
We are a Regional Campus of Brentwood. We are not West Franklin Baptist Church. We are a campus, an extension, a Forward Operating Base, of Base Camp – Brentwood Baptist. Thus, we must know what and how and why Brentwood does ministry. There is a certain flavor to Brentwood’s ministry philosophy. There is a certain DNA that Brentwood has. We all need to know what that is and what it looks like. This doesn’t mean we do everything exactly like Brentwood. We must contextualize. But it does mean we need to understand the philosophy, the why, the foundation to why Brentwood ministers the way it does.
And we need to be trained – intensively – on how we attack the enemy where we live, work, and play. We need to dream. We need to think. We need to strategize. We need to equip. We need to discover what an intentional life of evangelism looks like. We need to know what a life on mission looks like and what it looks like when all of us are on mission.
We need to agree what LIFE Groups are about.
We need to understand why we worship corporately the way we do.
We need to strategize how we are going to get the Gospel – not just to West Franklin – but to the nations.
Boot Camp, West Franklin style, means enduring an extensive season of education, training, strategizing, equipping, and dreaming about what God wants us to do here to see lives changed by the Gospel. Boot Camp is giving you understanding as to the how and why we are going to do things moving forward and to begin equipping you to be able to charge the hill with the Gospel.
When is Boot Camp?
West Franklin Boot Camp will officially begin on Wednesday night, August 19th, at 6 pm. It will last for 15 weeks, ending in a graduation type ceremony on Sunday morning, December 13th, 2015. The goal is to start afresh in January 2016.
For those of you who cannot make it on Wednesday nights, we are going to offer/provide two additional ways for you to participate and be trained. One, is on a Sunday night – 1x a month. Scattered throughout these 15 weeks, I will offer a time for you to attend a 2-3 hour session that will cover what all we have discussed up until that point. The third option is for those who participate in one of these, but have to miss a night. I understand that life happens. So the plan is to podcast these sessions and make them available for your listening pleasure.
We will post a firm schedule soon. But for now, know that the plan is to begin on Wednesday night, August 19th and – though a couple of breaks will be thrown in – it will go for 15 straight weeks, leading up to the commitment service on Sunday, December 13th.
What Happens If I Don't Participate?
A better question at this point, I think, is “Why would you NOT want to participate?” If you are called to this church and if you live in West Franklin and if you are a disciple of Jesus and have a desire to see lives changed by the Gospel – then why would you NOT want to be a part of this?
Moving forward, in January 2016, leadership and service will be led by those who have been through and committed to this training. In other words, if you haven’t been through Boot Camp, don’t expect or assume to be in any leadership role moving forward. Not participating in West Franklin Boot Camp and attempting to serve here in January will be a lot like attempting to be in the Army and wanting to go fight in Iraq, having refused to endure Basic Training. It just ain’t gonna happen.
I am not sure exactly what it will look like, but on Sunday, December 13th, I will ask all who have participated to commit to the way we operate as a campus. That may be by signing a covenant. It may be by raising a right hand or standing up. I am not sure. But it will be something to where you and I will be held accountable.
In other words, this is serious.
Not participating in Boot Camp doesn’t mean you can’t have a place at the table come January. You can come. But it means, as we move ahead, you won’t be asked to some of the same positions you have now or may aspire too later.
I. CANNOT. WAIT.
Now - what questions do YOU have for me? Let me know - firstname.lastname@example.org.