One Year Ago (Almost)

It was a year ago that we officially launched The Church at Avenue South. Well, technically, it was a year ago tomorrow (if you want to be all nit-picky and exact). On September 7, 2015, a group of 115 stepped out in faith based on a vision they had of reaching those in the Berry Hill/Melrose area.

In some ways, it seems like only yesterday, yet at the same time, it seems much longer. So much has happened since then in the life of this growing congregation. We’ve seen both kids and adults give their lives to Christ. It’s been an amazing ride so far.

We’ve run into a good problem. We’re running out of space (again). It looks like at some point we may have to add a third service.

I don’t know why, but I’m still amazed at what God can do with mustard-sized faith. Even with the tiniest amount of consent, God can move those mountains of stone and turn those hearts of stone into hearts of flesh that beat in synchronicity with His own heartbeat.

Who knows what the next five years will bring? Or the next ten?

I’m grateful that I’ve been a part of it from the (almost) very beginning. I saw the building when it was a gutted shell. I look around now and I see a fully-functioning church building that serves the community and becomes a place where God takes on human hands and feet to serve those in need.

I keep thinking about what Jesus said in John 14. After all His ministry and miracles, He said that whoever believed in Him would not only do these works that He did but even greater ones. That seriously boggles my mind.

I’m not sure I completely understand what He meant by that, but I do know that we only limit ourselves by limiting God. God is more able to do incredible things than we are to believe that He can do these things.

I for one can’t wait to see what the next 12 months will bring to The Church at Avenue South.


Being on the Ground Floor


Today at my church, there were few–if any– empty chairs. That might not sound like much until you consider that this church has only officially been in existence since July of last year (with the official launch in September).

I’ve always said that I wanted to be on the ground floor of a church plant and here I am.

My role may not be a big one, but I am playing a small part. I am a greeter on most Sunday mornings and once every month or so I run the graphics, which includes song lyrics and other slides related to the Sunday morning service.

I enjoy it. I really love the fact that we as the local body of Christ are making an impact on the neighborhood in which God has placed us. People driving by can’t help but notice the sign that reads “The Church at Avenue South– a regional campus of Brentwood Baptist Church.” Jesus has moved into the neighborhood and we are His visible body here on earth.

I can’t wait to see what happens in the year ahead. I pray that we won’t be content to maintain status quo but instead seek ways to think outside that proverbial box and truly become all things to all people, just as Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 9:22.

In fact, my prayer is for all the churches in Nashville to do the same. I really do hope that we can get away from the competitive spirit and learn to work together as the Church. After all, Jesus prayed that we would be one as He and His Father are one.

More than that, I pray the churches in Nashville will stick to the Gospel that Paul preached, no matter what. That’s what saves people and that’s what people are dying to hear, both figuratively and literally.


The Next Step


I heard something that stuck with me. People always talk about how there are a lot of churches in Nashville. That’s not true. We have a lot of church BUILDINGS, but not nearly as many vibrant communities of faith. Some are dying out, some have lost their mission and sold out for an “I’m okay, you’re okay” theology. Some are too inwardly focused to notice that there’s a world out there dying to find a better way to live.

I’ve been a part of a new regional campus/church plant for a few months. Today, we got to take the next step. We held our first service in our new location on 2510 Franklin Pike in the old Acuff-Rose Building, adding to a building already rich in history and legacy.

I think a lot of people in Nashville might say they are Christians. They might even go to church. But not many in Nashville know Jesus.

They know about Jesus. They know facts and figures, Bible verses, and what they’ve been taught about Him. But they don’t know Jesus.

I hope The Church at Avenue South will be a place where people can meet Jesus. I hope this will be a place where people can come and find out people care about them, not just their spiritual destination, but their here-and-now lives. That there are people who will love them no matter what, even if they say no to this Jesus.

At times, the outlook seems bleak. It feels like bringing a plastic knife to a gun fight. There are so many false Messiahs and false messages out there, confusing and deceiving people. There’s only a few people who know the real Truth and their voice at times seems so small and hard to hear.

But I still believe that Jesus has promised that we will prevail. We will overcome. Ours will be the last word. No, I take that back. Jesus will have the last word and it will be at His name that every tongue confesses and every knee bows to the fact that He is Lord.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

New Beginnings


It happens in two weeks. Three at the most.

What am I talking about?

It’s a new satellite campus of Brentwood Baptist Church, called The Church at Avenue South.

Two weeks from now (hopefully), the church meets at its new location on Franklin Pike in the old Acuff-Rose building. It’s gonna be awesome.

I’ve been a part of this new congregation for a few months, not as long as some, but long enough to sense that something great is about to happen.

I’ve always wanted to be a part of the ground-floor movement of a church plant. Now I get to. I believe the neighborhood around this new church location will be different and better because we’ve been there. Or better yet, because Jesus will have been there.

I imagine it feels like when Paul went to a new city and started a church there. I realize that Nashville is the buckle of the Bible belt, but there are plenty of unchurched people living in this city. In fact, the vast majority of people don’t attend church at all.

Our job isn’t to fill seats with seats. Our job is to love these people around us, whether they respond favorably to our gospel or not. Our job is to love them the same way God once loved us– and still does– unconditionally.

I’m still not sure what my part will be in all this, but I feel very fortunate and blessed to even be a miniscule part of what is obviously a work of God. I know one day I’ll look back and say, “I was there when it all started.”

I still remember what I learned from Experiencing God, a Henry Blackaby Bible study. He said the key is to find out where God is already at work and join Him there. That’s what I’m doing.

Pray for this new church. Pray for the leadership for protection from moral failings and for wisdom and discernment. Pray that people will be irresistibly compelled to come through the doors at 2510 Franklin Pike to see what it’s all about. Pray that we as members will live in such a way that people ask about the difference in our lives.

More to come later.