Why the town of Nolensville for a new regional campus?
Our planning for new regional campuses involves many steps. Among those are seeking God’s direction in prayer, assessing the need for the gospel in a particular community, considering its distance from existing Brentwood Baptist campuses, relating with other churches in the vicinity, reviewing the demographics and future growth potential, noting the existence of Brentwood Baptist members in the area who could be the basis for a launch team, and determining whether our particular approach to ministry (Brentwood Baptist DNA) would resonate with that community.
Specifically, for Nolensville, many of these things came together in a way that indicated to us that this would be a wise and strategic decision. In particular, we were moved to this decision based on discernment through prayer, the rapid future growth projected for the area, and the chance for our church to connect with people not only in Nolensville but also eastward (Smyrna, etc.).
What about the other churches already serving the area?
There are other gospel-centered, evangelical churches in Nolensville, and we are grateful for those ministries. As previously mentioned, current church presence is a consideration when choosing locations. We consider the following questions:
- There are other churches, even other Baptist churches, but is there another church that does things similar in form and function to the way Brentwood Baptist does? Or, would our presence there effectively deliver the gospel to some people not currently connected to a local church?
- Do we believe that a new church would allow for existing churches AND the new church to connect with more people, since a new church’s presence in a community can energize ministry efforts for other local churches, too?
- Is the community so oversaturated by healthy local churches that our presence there would create competition for “transfer growth” of those already saved? This is what we do not want to happen. Or, would our presence there engage the lost and searching in the community in a unique way?
- How can we serve other churches by encouraging them in their disciple-making efforts and partnering together in the community?
In some cases, coming alongside an existing church is a fruitful and comprehensive way to ensure effective ministry and gospel saturation in an area. We have done this previously and currently with many churches in Middle Tennessee. In Nolensville, we spent a period of months considering this with one church in the area that we were a part of starting nearly 15 years ago. In this case, we believe two churches is better than one. They are healthy, and we’ve offered to see if we can be of assistance in strengthening them further.
Perhaps the best example of two churches working in close proximity to reach their community is our Brentwood campus which shares an access road with another evangelical mega church next door. Both churches have thrived together side by side for many years. We have seen that God has chosen to work through different churches in the same community, allowing each to evangelize and disciple in their own unique ways.
What is the timeline and next step?
2017 will be a year of preparing. Preparing by holding several Prayer Gatherings throughout the year. Preparing by working to encourage and strengthen the Brentwood Baptist LIFE Groups already existing in the Nolensville community. Preparing people by equipping disciples of Jesus to make disciples with Jesus where we live, work, and play. Preparing people to be called and equipped to serve as a Launch Team,* and preparing by engaging in service to the community in the specific need areas of healthcare, education, and poverty.
Does our church have the capacity for another campus?
We currently have a regional campus “playbook” that helps us to sustainably plan for the expansion of new campuses. We do not want to be spread too thin and or fail to steward well what God has already given us. At the same time, we want to be responsible for what we have and ready for God to move us beyond that.
When will we build on the land the church purchased?
That’s not yet determined. The land was purchased because land prices are rising, and we believe the land we found is in a strategic location for a church. We didn’t want to miss an opportunity. We are exploring various options for space in Nolensville where the campus could meet when it launches. We anticipate that it will grow, but we would build only if we cannot find suitable places for our congregation to meet.
Do we have a campus and teaching pastor determined?
No, we do not have that determined. We have a process for staffing for our campuses, and we will follow that plan as we get closer to the launch of the campus. We do hope to have a campus and teaching pastor in place by the midpoint of the development of the Launch Team.
If I live in the area how can I get involved?
Prepare yourself spiritually. Launching a campus in a community is hard work. And for Launch Team members, know there are sacrifices. As we prepare in 2017, we suggest three things:
- Ask God what He wants from you related to a church in Nolensville
- Whether remaining at your current location or even joining the Launch Team, take advantage of extra discipling and training opportunities we’ll provide to help you live sent in your community. If you’re not involved in a small group in the area, “LIFE groups,” we have several off-campus groups and beginning to build relationships with others in Nolensville will be important (see below for ‘who to contact’)
- Be on the lookout for communication opportunities related to this endeavor
*Launch Team: A group of individuals and/or families who covenant together (launch team covenant attached) to commit their time, talent, and treasure for a minimum commitment of 1-3 years in order to be equipped to launch/establish a new work (church start, regional campus, church renewal) as their primary expression of local church involvement.
Who do I contact for next steps or ongoing communication related to a Nolensville campus?
If you want to be put on a list to be used to update our church family on our steps in Nolensville, please email:
[email protected] in our Church Multiplication office with a subject line: Nolensville info list.
If you want to express an interest in being involved in the Nolensville campus strategy or perhaps even the launch team, email our Multiplication Minister Jason Dukes at [email protected].
If you want to find out about off-campus LIFE groups meeting in Nolensville, email our Adult Minister for Groups, Jay Fennell at [email protected].