After we announced last September that we are launching a campus in Columbia we have seen God open incredible doors and an outpouring of excitement from our church body.
The doors God has opened....
1) The Funding /// we knew it would cost us $326,000 to plant the campus with cash. From our giving within the church and an amazing $210,000 grant from a church in Franklin, God has provided every dollar needed to plant the Columbia Campus!
2) The Facilities /// because of its prime location we reached out to Central High School to see if we would be able to rent space from them to launch the new campus. God worked it out better than we could've ever imagined. Central is currently building an 870+ seat Creative Arts Theater with fixed seating, a stage, and AVL already set up for us. The Columbia Campus worship center will be larger and nicer space than the one we are currently in! We also got this amazing space UNDER budget!
3) The People /// we currently have OVER 500 people who are actively involved at The Bridge that live in Columbia and surrounding towns. We also had several hundred people already fill out the interest form letting us know they want to know more about what it means to be a part of our Launch Team (more on this later)! We are excited because we believe we can launch Columbia with over 500 people from the beginning!
4) The Leadership /// after an 11 month Campus Pastor search process we found several great candidates, but the Lord continued to not give us a peace and affirmation. In the last few months, as we continued to pray, seek the Lord, and learn from churches who have done this effectively God has led us in a different direction. As we look to multiply X10 we know our first campus plant has to go amazing. For that to happen we knew it had to have the best leadership, someone who can replicate the culture and vision of The Bridge inside and out, and someone who has excelled in everything we have put under them...
We could not be more excited to share that Matt Svoboda will be moving into the role of Executive Pastor of Campus Development, and spearheading our Columbia Campus launch for the first 1-2 years.
This means Pastor Matt will be in Columbia on Sundays, hiring-developing-and leading the Columbia staff until he slowly hands things off to the long term Campus Pastor and team. Our long term vision for Matt is for him to oversee the development of all our campuses, overseeing campus pastors, and ensuring the health and culture at each campus. This move will make sure the Columbia launch goes as well as possible and gives Matt all the visibility he will need moving forward as we launch more campuses!
A couple more notes on leadership...
- Chris Hollomon has moved into the Campus Pastor role in Spring Hill and has absorbed several responsibilities of Matt so he can lead Columbia. Chris has shown himself to me an amazing leader and has fit in perfectly here at The Bridge. He is still leading our Community Groups and is also overseeing our Ministries staff at the Spring Hill Campus.
- We will begin looking for our Associate Campus Pastor immediately to launch the campus with Pastor Matt. We will also be hiring a part time Kids Director, and a dedicated Tech and Worship leader for the campus.
What comes next?
1) Launch Team. We are now ready to officially build our launch team! We are looking for 400 adults to commit to being a part of the Columbia launch team for one year, and with so many people being from Columbia and the surrounding area we believe we can hit this number. We also know we have a lot of people in Spring Hill and Thompson's Station that have a heart for church planting and are ready to make the missional sacrifice of calling the Columbia campus their home for a year to help the mission of Jesus move forward.
If you know you want to commit to the Columbia launch team for one year please fill out this form and let us know!
2) Timeline. The facility we have secured opens at the beginning of 2018. We will have access to the space starting in February and will spend a month getting everything prepared so we can launch the Columbia Campus at the beginning of March. The next 6 months will be us intensely and intentionally building our ministry teams so we can launch a healthy, thriving campus from day one!