April 2014 Update

Winter has given way to spring and the new season has brought many changes. Everything is turning green and bright with color, allergies have returned with a vengeance, and people are coming out of the hibernation that contained them through the winter. The turning of this particular season has been nothing short of a metaphor for the life of the church God has called us to plant in Franklin, TN. 

Some of you may have heard the story by now, but it is likely that many of you haven’t. Over the past two months, we have been seeking the Lord and wisdom in regards to the name we had given to our church planting journey here in Franklin. After being known as Covenant Community Church upon legal incorporation and in our initial gatherings in our neighborhood, we have decided to change the name moving forward. For more of the story, you can read an update from March here. Beginning today, we will officially be know as Sojourn Church. There were many long conversations and brainstorming sessions over church names, but we continued to return to the concept of Sojourn. The concept is derived from Scripture and we believe that it translates well into our current context. So many have moved here seeking something other than what they already have. The Nashville area is often thought of as a place where people move to chase a dream or to take a step up the corporate ladder. Our city is a stepping stone, a point along the journey for many. This is much like our walk with Christ. As Christ followers, our careers, houses, possessions, are not a destination, rather a piece of the journey. This world is not our home. We are sojourners, aliens in a foreign land. Sojourn speaks to a long journey or a temporary dwelling place. Sojourn speaks to redemption and deliverance from bondage or slavery. Life is a journey and we want ours to be marked by the hope we have in Christ, the new life he has given, and to reflect to the world the grace that he has shown each of us. For these reasons, and many more, we happy to announce the birth of Sojourn Church in Franklin, TN! Stay tuned as we will be releasing a new website in the weeks to come, along with new social media accounts. 

One of the foundations of the Christian faith is what we celebrate on Easter. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, defeating sin and death for those who follow him, changed everything. It changed the face of history. And it changed our individual history. We were so blessed to celebrate this momentus occasion with friends and neighbors. The Lord opened the door for us to host a Resurrection celebration for our community, held on the lawn behind the Resident’s Center. We were able to promote this through the weekly community email twice, as well as two Facebook posts to the neighborhood page. People responded in an amazing way and we saw God’s grace displayed before us. After hearing from about 30 people that they would be attending, we borrowed 55 chairs from a church in Nashville. It didn’t take long for us to run out of those chairs and several rocking chairs and pool chairs. The Lord moved in a mighty way and more than 130 people joined us to the celebrate the risen Savior. Several people asked that we make this a yearly tradition, while several others mentioned that we should do this every week! Just a few days before Easter I shared with our team that we were doing all we could and that God was going to have to move for us to see the community respond. And that he did! We cannot take any credit for what happened. All the credit is His and all the glory is God’s!

We are incredibly excited for this coming weekend. Several weeks back we decided to help plan and throw a Kentucky Derby party for our neighborhood. Others have since joined the charge and we are very excited about the opportunity to get dressed up and meet some new neighbors this weekend. Please pray that the Lord would give us the opportunity to meet new people and that we would be able to continue to build relationships that have already begun. In addition to this, we are excited to spend the weekend with a couple who is considering joining us on mission here in Franklin. The husband and I worked together and also served together in ministry for two and half years. He has been a great friend to us, one we consider family. We are incredibly humbled that the Lord would answer our prayers for workers to join us, but even more so that it would be such a good friend, who is incredibly gifted. Please pray that the Lord would direct our paths as we discuss the possibility of them joining us.

In closing, please commit these things to prayer on our behalf:

  • Jana and the baby, who is dues on June 3rd. Pray for healthy, strength, and rest.

  • Favor in the community.

  • Our follow-up conversations with those interested in being a part of Sojourn Church.

  • Monthly worship gatherings. We are planning to host monthly worship services throughout the summer. 

  • Workers to join us! The harvest is plentiful, the workers are few.

  • Finances. Pray for our upcoming fundraising and for provision through new people joining our team.

I look forward to sharing many exciting things with you very soon! 

In His Grace,

Chris