West Franklin Planted. . . Brentwood Watered. . . God Grows
April 08, 2015
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 1 Corinthians 3:6
Monday I wrote about how members at West Franklin Baptist Church died to themselves, faced reality by becoming The Church at West Franklin, and just experienced over a 100% increase in Easter attendance in just one year. Had they not fallen into the ground and died (like a grain of wheat), they would have remained only a single seed. God likes to resurrect dead things for His purposes.
But there is another side to this "resurrection story." Had another church not sacrificially given to something "blindly," The Church at West Franklin would just be a different name for the same church. The seed in the ground would have never received water.
Somehow she had to become an entirely different church. God did it, and He did it by resurrecting that which chose to die. But, as He so often does, He did it through believers obediently giving to something they could not see.
Let me ask you something: What would you do if your pastor challenged you to give, sacrificially, so another church you didn't know existed - could grow and thrive?
What would you do if your pastor challenged you to give, sacrificially, so another church you didn't know existed - could grow and thrive?
Think about that for just a second: What would go on in your mind and in the conversation with your spouse in the car on the way home if your pastor dared to ask you to give to such a thing? Here are a couple of thoughts that come to my mind:
- Another church? Don't we already have too much going on to pay for ourselves?!?!?!
- It's not my fault that church isn't reaching people!
- I give my tithe. . . can you believe that pastor wants me to give MORE!?!?!
- Our pastor is crazy! The reason I am at this church is because I don't like those other churches!
See what I mean? It would be crazy for a pastor to do that. Even crazier if the church actually DID it!
That's exactly what Mike Glenn did and precisely what the membership of Brentwood Baptist did. Pastor Mike presented a God-given burden (called MTI). The leadership team put together a plan to make it happen (called NEXT), and West Franklin Baptist Church became The Church at West Franklin - a Regional Campus of Brentwood Baptist Church.
What happened at The Church at West Franklin on Easter Sunday (and what I believe is the beginning of a major kingdom impact) was/is the result of a church dying to itself for the sake of Gospel advance. But it wasn't just that church. Without Brentwood Baptist having the vision and faith to participate in something they could not yet see - The Church at West Franklin would only be a "seed" of a good idea.
West Franklin Baptist put the seed in the ground.
Brentwood Baptist watered it.
God is making The Church at West Franklin, or rather, His kingdom grow.