Things Your Pastor Wants You to Know Recap - Part 3
July 28, 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.
Monday, yesterday, and today 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 26th, we identified what makes The Church at West Franklin distinct from the other campuses. You can listen to the message here. All New Testament, conservative evangelical churches have the same purpose and goal: Make disciples of Jesus in all nations. But every church is also very unique and distinct from others. All Brentwood campuses have the same mission and vision: Connect others to Jesus through Worship, Service, and Discipleship. However, each Brentwood campus is very distinct from the others.
Here are 7 Distinctives of The Church at West Franklin:
#1. Diverse (2 Timothy 1:5; Revelation 5:9)
We are a people who are very diverse in age. God has gifted The Church at West Franklin with a healthly balance of older, more mature, members; as well as a good number of young families with young children. But we also aspire to be The Church at WEST FRANKLIN. In other words, we believe God has situated our campus in the middle of an area where the income levels, nationalities, and even college football loyalties are diverse.
#2. Family (1 Timothy 5:1-2; Ephesians 6:1-4)
God has seen fit that The Church at West Franklin feel like family. When you are here, if people don't know your name, they want to. There is a sense and feeling of warmth and care and love that comes from within a healthy family. The Church at West Franklin feels like a family. But we also aspire to value and equip families to be what God intended. We are a family, but we want to help the family at home be the primary place where spiritual maturity transpires.
#3. Fun (John 2:1-2; Luke 18:15-17)
The Church at West Franklin will "JUST SAY NO" to boring church! Life is too heavy and too hard and too difficult and too frustrating to be in a wad at church. Church people too often are pessimistic, angry, mad, weepy, and just plain ornery. While we recognize that there are times to weep and mourn and be serious, we will intentionally laugh and have a good time. We will be a church known as people who have fun. Children LOVED approaching Jesus! Why? Because He was fun. Jesus got invited to parties and went straight to Him when they ran out of wine. Why? Because He enjoyed life and having fun. So will we.
#4. Simple (Acts 15:19)
We will do everything possible to make connecting others to Jesus as simple as possible. Being a part of a large, megachurch (Brentwood) can often feel confusing and overwhelming. We will do everything we can to help communicate the Gospel in a simple way. We will work to help connect others to membership in a way that doesn't confuse or leave questions. We will offer simple ways to help maturing believers grow in their relationship with Jesus. The Church at West Franklin will be relentless in ensuring we don't cause difficulties for those who turn to God.
#5. Excellence (1 Corinthians 10:31)
The Church at West Franklin will leave you saying "Wow!" We will work to overly impress you with our parking lots, building, ease of navigation, warmth, worship music, preaching, and fellowship. Why? Because we believe we display the value of our God in how we interact in these areas on Sunday morning. We want those who have yet to trust Christ leaving our service saying, "I am not sure I understand Jesus yet, but I know those people think alot of Him!" No one who attends one of our worship services on a Sunday morning will have a better experience or be treated better at a restuarant. We will NOT let those selling food out serve us when it comes to the greatest news in the universe!
#6. Outward (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8)
We will refuse to believe that church is all about us. We will not rest or settle or relax until we are seeing men and women, boys and girls being baptized. And even then, we will strive to see more and more and more trust the Gospel of Jesus. We will seek to chase the darkness, not only here in West Franklin, but also in key areas around the world. Our default mode will not be what we prefer, but rather, what we can do to help others hear, understand, and respond to the Gospel.
#7 Relentless (Luke 9:51; Acts 4:20)
There is no plan B. We will be known as a church that is relentless in sharing the Gospel of Jesus. When we don't see people trusting in Jesus and growing in their faith, we will reexamine our practices and pray for divine help. Growing a church in number is not the goal. Rather, growing a church where disciples are being made who are being trained to make more disciples is. We will be relentless in our pursuit and in our efforts to individually and collectively make Jesus famous in West Franklin.
What are some of your thoughts about these distinctives? Do you have questions? Let me know - firstname.lastname@example.org.