Pastor Jason Brown serves as an assistant pastor at Calvary Knoxville. In this article we’ll look at some key “lessons learned” from his experience with beginning and ending a church plant.
Pastor Jason Brown first felt a calling to ministry in his senior year of college. Jason grew up in the Methodist church, and after graduating from seminary he began serving in the Methodist church he grew up in, located in Knoxville, Tennessee. He first heard of Calvary Chapel’s through the local radio station of Calvary Knoxville. Soon after, Jason left the Methodist church to begin attending Calvary Knoxville.
After six months of attending Calvary Knoxville, Jason and his wife felt called to plant a church in Blount County, Tennessee. Calvary Chapel Blount started in January of 2006 with fifteen people and began meeting in a local school. Over the years, the church grew to about forty-five people. Yet, many of those who called CC Blount their church home began moving out of the area, Pastor Jason and his wife felt the Lord stirring their hearts to close the church.
However, Pastor Jason wrestled with feeling that if he stopped the church, then he would be failing. Pastor Mark had even offered Jason a staff position with Calvary Knoxville, yet Jason could not let go. Six months after Jason knew God was calling him to lay down the church, he realized that he was trying to keep the church alive in his own strength. In January of 2014 Pastor Jason officially closed the church, and the remaining members merged with Calvary Knoxville.
CCPN: “What are some of the key “lessons learned” that you would like to pass on to current or prospective church planters?”
Be one who is SENT out, not one who just WENT out
“If I had to go back and do it over, I would have stayed longer, got more plugged into CC Knoxville, and received more training before planting. It would have been better to build that a better relationship with CC Knoxville. Because before there wasn’t too much connection. We jumped in and planted. I think there will be a lot more fruit if you wait to be SENT out instead of just GOING out.”
Hold What God Gives You With OPEN Hands
“I’d say, hold onto the ministry that God gives you lightly. Just because He gave it to you doesn’t mean it’s yours. If He wants you to lay it back down you need to do that. We are called to Jesus first and it’s not about what we can do for Him but being with Him.”
Don’t Give Authority To Others Too Quickly
“One mistake I made was giving too much authority too quickly when someone asked for it. I gave it b/c I felt like I needed it, not because God was calling this person to leadership. So, don’t just give out of need.”
Pastor Jason Brown lives in Knoxville, TN with his wife and three children. He serves as an Assistant Pastor to Pastor Mark Kirk of Calvary Knoxville. Find out more about the work God is doing in Knoxville by visiting calvaryknoxville.org.