Last night during the Wednesday night service Jim Smyrl and Mac Brunson revealed the strategy for extending the First Baptist Church Jacksonville brand into St. John's County. Mac's vision that he unveiled in February 2007 included satellite churches, and last night how this will be accomplished was laid out to the church.
The FBC Jacksonville brand extension into St. John's county will be accomplished by recruiting church members to start "in home bible studies" in strategic locations. These in home bible studies will run from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Sunday nights, and will be limited to only 6 FBC Jax members in attendance. The goal of these FBC Jax members will be to invite unchurched members to come their homes on Sunday nights for "home church". Child care will be provided in the home as well.
Jim Smyrl gave a presentation on the three demographic categories of unchurched people we will try to reach, using information I believe was from Lifeway.
Mac Brunson emphasized that these are NOT going to be church "cell groups" where church members get together; these are specifically designed to reach unchurched people. Jim Smyrl added that church members that expressed a desire to attend one of these home churches out of convenience would be told "NO" that they are only for the unchurched.
Some unique aspects of this strategy:
- the members who volunteer will be trained, and all bible study materials will come from the church so that the church knows what is being taught, and any and all church members who are involved in hosting will undergo the same background checks as we have in place at church for those caring for children.
- the homes of these members will be visited and inspected by church staff, particularly making sure they are places suitable for the home church, paying particular attention to safety issues for children who may come to the home church.
- they will meet every Sunday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, functioning like an "extended Sunday School class" allowing for fellowship time, and bible teaching including the gospel.
Then at some point in 2009, the "converts" from this strategy and the church home points will come together for a celebration service at a new satellite site in the geographic area. This will not be a church plant, but an integral part of the FBC Jacksonville church.
At the conclusion Mac declared that there would be no vote on this strategy, saying "the day we take a vote on whether to do evangelism will be the day Homer Lindsay, Jr. comes out of the grave"....I have no idea the infatuation that he has with Homer rolling around in the grave or coming out of the grave.
If you're interested in being a part of this new, unique strategy of brand extension evangelism, contact Jim Smyrl.