By Andy Hale
If you were to predict seven years down the road where you’d be, what it would like, or how successful you were, do you think you’d be accurate?
What if you were stepping out in faith to start a new faith community, could you predict what that will look like seven years later?
There used to be a day in the church’s history when the future seemed predictable…purchasing land, building a sanctuary, and adding on educations space. And then there came the day of, “Ooh let’s add a gym and then we’ll shoot for our satellite campus.”
Times have changed. Culture has shifted. The way that people interact with the church community is in a far different place than it was even 10 years ago.
No matter how unpredictable the future of a church start can be, what if you could promise yourself within the first seven years of this new church start’s existence that you would stay true why you were doing what you were doing—authentic community built, a safe space for all to abide, needs being met, and lives transformed—would you be okay with this kind of outcome?
To discuss the process of church starting eight and nine years later, we interviewed Susan Rogers, pastor of The Well at Springfield in Jacksonville, Florida, as well as Carrie and Nathan Dean, co-pastors of Edgewood Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
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CBF’s podcasts launched in early 2016 to share the stories of CBF church starters from across the Fellowship and interviews of people partnering to do groundbreaking work in renewing God’s world. The vision is to share ideas, stories, and innovations from church starters, pastors, and practitioners.
Andy Hale leads Church Starts Initiative of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Hale is a CBF church starter who serves pastor of Mosaic of Clayton in Clayton, N.C.