mish mash update from somewhere southward

When even your dad thinks you’re 2 states away from where you actually are, it’s probably time for an update! So, some random notes from the road.

(I wrote the title before getting to the post, not knowing when I’d actually get the chance to write. It looks like Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, is where I’m going to start this.)

I left Atlanta early mornin’ on Sunday to go to church over in SC. There are a couple of major influential churches thataway – Seacoast and NewSpring – and with a bit of multi-site sleight-of-hand, I got to attend both. And three more churches this weekend to round it out, of course.

Visiting Seacoast’s Greenville campus was, as far as I remember, my first visit to a church’s campus that wasn’t in the same area as the “mother ship.” While I’d been to multi-site churches’ “additional” campuses (Harvest Bible Chapel was my first) and even two campuses of the same church in the same day (at Community Christian Church), this was the first visit to a campus across the state from the church’s main campus.

Multi-site churchin’ is all the rage these days, so it’s been an interesting exploration.

Seacoast and NewSpring also means I’ve attended weekend services at thirty of America’s 50 Most Influential Churches since last August.

And not only have I seen weekend services, of course, but I’ve tried to learn about their college ministries (if they have ’em), as well as attending many of their Collegiate activities. It’s not that these churches are “better” with college ministry than others, but it’s important for me to examine how these influential, nationally-known churches handle this “out-of-the-limelight” area of ministry.

[To see the full list of churches I’ve visited for a weekend service, click here, and the whole Itinerary – all my explorations – can be found here.]

Continuing… I left South Carolina last night to make my way to Monroe, Louisiana, by 1pm today for a gathering of Southern Baptist college ministers. It should be a great few days brainstorming together and swapping ideas – one of my favorite things to do.

After spending the night in Tuscaloosa, I briefly explored Millsaps (for the second time on this trip); they were having Orientation, which always fires me up. After that, I continued on to the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where I am now. I’ll stay here through tomorrow, it looks like, then head back out.

Where next?

Well, I hope to see several more regions in the rest of the summer. It looks specifically like Louisville/Lexington, Nashville, Missouri, Oklahoma, Lubbock, Denver/C. Springs, and Phoenix/Tucson are all in the mix of possible locations… yep, in the next 6 weeks or so. Maybe not all, and maybe not in that order. And God may add some new spots, too.

But in any case, giddy-up. Last Chapter starts now.

…or Wednesday. Whatever.

Posted from the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at the University of Louisiana at Monroe

2 Comments

  1. Hey Benson,

    I noticed you said you may be coming to the phoenix area in the next six weeks. I would love to get together with you and buy you a cup of coffee, or a meal if you like. I just took a position in the last couple months as a college pastor at Central Christian Church of the East Valley. (another multi-siter!) We have not had much here in the way of success in college ministry for a number of years now, and I would love to hear your thoughts on the ideas you have seen work or not work. We also have Jamie Tworkowski of, TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS coming Aug 2/3, that would be an incredible week to visit if you have never heard Jamie speak. Thanks for your insights on the road. keep up the good work!

  2. Hey Ben,

    What is your impression of multi-site churches? I’ve had several discussions about it, haven’t seen it in action myself, but there are some theological implications good and bad from my point of view.

    Emphasis tends to be on “professional, celeb preacher” rather than on raising up others who can go and plant a church in another location.

    It also seems like catering to popular culture. Watching a program on a screen rather than engaging with a pastor and his family. (I know they usually have a “pastor” for the different churches but I’m not sure how all of that works.

    On the positive, they can quickly set up a new gathering place in a new location if there is enough interest. On the other hand, it seems like a lot of money sunk into technology when Jesus’ model was very relational and one-on-one.

    Anyway, this doesn’t exhaust my thought on the subject, I just wanted to voice a few positives and negatives. What are your impressions from the ones you’ve attended.

    nathancreitz

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