How Did The Church Start?

In the creation story, the Spirit of God broods over creation, shaping the formless void of earth into the form willed by the Creator Father. Since Pentecost, the Spirit has been brooding over the church in the same way. The church was first born in that upper room in Jerusalem and has now spread across the world. Today, the church is continually being shaped into the likeness of Christ. The Spirit hovers, shapes, rounds off edges, and pulls the church into the form of the Father’s ultimate and eternal destiny. This is where we draw our vision as a church, based off of that which the Holy Spirit has said.

The story has repeated itself a million times over and over. Someone will start a Bible study in their home—perhaps in Corinth, maybe Ephesus, or even in Franklin, Tennessee. And slowly, over weeks and months, the small group of believers continues to transform into the body of Christ that we call a church. With their own lives changed and being changed, they go into their neighborhoods and communities, and the people in those places are also changed. From city to city, country to country, from one place to another, the Spirit guides the church until the whole world is reached.

 

What is Our Role?

Today, that same Spirit hovers over all of the campuses of Brentwood Baptist Church, shaping us into the body of Christ within our neighborhoods, towns, and cities. In that process, the Spirit gives us the same heart for the world that Christ Himself has for the world. That is the heart of the Shepherd who leaves the 99 and searches for the one sheep that is lost.

While working in the church, the Spirit also works in the world, drawing people to Christ. The Spirit creates hunger in the lives of people who begin searching for something that is missing in their lives. They begin to look for answers. The Macedonian call continues to repeat over and over, and the church hears it time after time. The Spirit then stirs a response within the church who now, suddenly, can’t leave this evangelistic task undone. Members, who were fine one moment, suddenly can’t sit still. They’ll pack up and go to the nearest community. From there, they’ll start a Bible study that will one day transform into a church. It’s happened this way for thousands of years. And we’re praying that it’s happening again.

 

What are Our Vision and Values?

At BBC, we’re committed to “engaging the whole person with the whole gospel of Jesus Christ anytime, anywhere, with anybody.” This means we’re actively engaging our friends and neighbors with gospel conversations and starting wherever the Lord opens the door. If they need a friend, we’ll be that friend. If they’re hungry, we’ll bring food. We’ll love them the same way Jesus loves us—anytime, anywhere, regardless of who they are.

Over the years, we’ve found some central themes that stick out. We’ve put these themes into our value statements. They are: gospel first and always, uniquely called, intentionally innovative, crossing cultures, and multiplication matters.

The Spirit is still brooding over the creation of God. He’s not finished yet, and neither are we.