It is with great joy and excitement that I write this blog. On Sunday, September 16th, Ethos Church will be taking a bold next step as we seek to see more people come to know and love Jesus in our city. The purpose of this letter is to explain why we are taking this step, and how we as a church family can take this step together.
A Simple Mission
Our mission at Ethos has always been simple and straightforward. As a church, we exist to Love God, Love People, and Awaken the Movement that Jesus began.Over the last 4 years, it has been amazing to watch all that God has done as we have stayed committed to the mission He has given us. In just a few short years we have:
- Gone from 12 people in a living room to nearly 2,000 in the Cannery
- Grown from 1 house church to more than 75 house churches
- Multiplied from 1 Sunday Gathering to 4 Sunday Gatherings in Nashville
- Planted 2 new Ethos Churches and a school in India
- Supported 26 New Church plants through the Kairos Network
- Seen hundreds baptized, families restored, faith renewed, addictions broken, and the poor served.
- Provided more than 3 million meals in 3rd world countries, clean water for thousands, and have served hundreds of families in our own backyard
- Served thousands of hours in the community around us and have sent hundreds of people to share the gospel in more than 20 countries.
In the Book of Matthew, Jesus promises us that His Kingdom is forcefully advancing, and that He alone is responsible for building His church. As a church family, we have been eyewitnesses to Jesus’ faithfulness to that promise among us, and for that we celebrate.
Continuing to Grow
By God’s grace, the summer months have always been great to us at Ethos. Although our attendance is typically a bit smaller in the summer, due to many traveling and college students returning home, we have consistently grown by reaching new people each summer. This summer has been no exception. Over the last couple of months, we have seen lots of new people join us on mission at Ethos Church. We thank God for every new person, and now must think through how we continue to reach new people as we rapidly approach the fall marking the return to normal schedules for many of our people.
Room at the Dinner Table
One of the metaphors we often use at Ethos in regards to our Sunday Gatherings is the image of a dinner party. If we were to throw a dinner party for our friends, we would never invite them to eat with us in our homes if we didn’t have a seat for them at our dinner table. As a church, we want to continually create space around our dinner table (our Sunday Gatherings) so you can continue to invite people to join the party that Jesus is throwing.
The bottom line is quite simple. After Labor Day, it will be impossible for us to have a seat for everyone that is a part of our church currently, and for those we are trying to reach with the gospel as well--unless we make some changes. Over the last several months the Elder Board, Leadership Team, and Ethos staff began asking the Lord what the next step was for the Ethos family. By God’s grace, we believe He has given us an answer.
On Sunday, September 16th, we will step into new yet slightly familiar territory as we launch our 5th Sunday Worship Gathering. This will be quite familiar since we have launched 4 worship gatherings over the last few years, but will be new in the sense that for the first time the new Gathering will not be at the Cannery Ballroom.
This new worship gathering will meet at 10AM at Marathon Music Works, a bar/live music venue, just a few minutes away from the Cannery. Much like the Cannery, MMW is situated between two very different communities. On one side of the venue is government housing, and on the other side is an arts district and new residential housing development. This location will give us many great opportunities to share the love of Jesus in a very diverse neighborhood.
What Will This Look Like?
Although each of our current 4 worship gatherings are identical in content, they are also unique because of the people that are gathered. It will be the same for our new gathering as we reach into a different part of our city. At all 5 Gatherings, whether at the Cannery or MMW you can expect several constants:
- Faithful Bible preaching that points to Jesus taught by someone from our teaching team
- Faithful, Christ exalting worship led by someone by our worship team
- Adequate time and space to pray and share communion with friends and family
- Many new opportunities to serve our church and city
Ways You Can Help
September 16th will be here before we know it, and there are several important things we are asking everyone in our church family to do:
- 30 Days of Prayer : Join us for 30 Days of Prayer and Fasting (Download)
- Help Launch the New Gathering : We are asking 300 people to prayerfully consider committing to reach a new part of the city. If you would like to help launch the new gathering email and let us know. More info will follow shortly.
- Serve in a New Role at the Cannery : As we send out hundreds of people on mission to a new part of the city, there will be many needs to be filled at the Cannery. Contact to help proactively meet these needs.
- Give a special financial gift : With every new gathering there is significant start up cost. We need to raise $50,000 to cover one time start up costs. You can make a gift online to the Awaken a Movement Fund.
- Invite your friends to join us : As we launch into a new season of mission with Jesus and each other, we ask that you proactively invite your friends and family who don't know Jesus to join us on mission at Ethos Church (at the Cannery or MMW). New beginnings often serve as a very natural time for inviting new friends and extending an invitation to someone you have invited before.
It has been an exciting few years at Ethos. Each day I have this growing sense that we have only begun to see a fraction of what God desires to do in us and through us. Thank you for your faithful commitment to Jesus and our church family. Let’s continue to praise God for who He is and what He has done among us. I can’t wait to see what’s next as we seek to Love God, Love People, and Awaken a Movement.
I love you guys.
Vision & Teaching | Ethos Church