we all go all in on something

June 2, 2024

We All Go All In On Something (All Bible verses from the Gospel of Luke)We all go all in on something. The list is endless I suppose. Careers, relationships, games, degrees, pleasures, guys, gals, success, cell phones, hobbies, vacations, clothes, sports, fandom, shopping, houses...God created us with deep passions, so going all in is not wrong, but it comes with a camouflaged potential for grave danger.

Religious and political leaders were teaching things contrary to Jesus’ message. Naturally, this led to confusion, prompting Jesus to clarify the truth. His life was nearing the end, and He was preparing His followers to go all in with things that mattered. He unraveled the secrets of being blessed (6:20-22), the radical concept of loving enemies (6:27), the promise of the greatest rewards (6:35), the imperative of non-judgment (6:37), the endurance required in trials (7:23), the transformative power of associating with sinful people (7:36), the essence of saving faith (7:50), understanding the Kingdom of God (8:10), placing unwavering trust in Him (8:25), overcoming fear (8:50), the call to follow Him (9:23), embracing humility (9:48), living on mission (10:1), prioritizing the eternal over the temporal (10:20), embodying goodness as a neighbor (10:36), the significance of prayer (11:1), and going public with faith (11:33).

Wow, Jesus unpacked a lot. Yet, even after all this, something was off. Enough people were missing something critically important, so Jesus zeroed in. Luke 12:15-21“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’” Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

I don’t think they missed it this time. Go all in with things that matter. Eternal over temporal. Guard your heart against money and possessions. You were created for more than making and saving good crops. Jesus doesn’t want us to miss it. Everyone goes All In on something, so be wise with your choices.

worship-danny

may 5, 2024

So many times in life, we feel like we are on the defensive. We feel like we are only respondingto whatever happens to us. Sometimes we respond well, but many times we feel we could havedone so much better. Life can feel like chaos and we feel powerless to make any changes.Thismakes me think of something that Paul said in the book of Romans.Romans 8:37-3937 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I amconvinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor thefuture, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be ableto separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.So many times we feel defeated and not like a conqueror. However this scripture calls believers“more than conquerors''. Not only do we survive trials, but we take the trial and use it to ouradvantage in Christ.We are in a spiritual battle and God has given us weapons. One of those important weapons isworship.Specifically here, I am talking about times we have set apart for engaging with God throughmusic and singing. This is where we talk to God, meditate on Him and His words, we thank Him,we pour our heart out to Him, claim promises He’s spoken, proclaim what He has done, and askHim to act on our behalfs. These are powerful and special times where God meets with us.Worship is a place where we can be on the offensive! Worship brings victory! As we worship, werealize more of who God is and who we are in Him. We find that believers are not powerlessbecause the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the grave is inside of us. Our situations canchange supernaturally and God is still in the business of doing miracles! However, many timesWE are changed in our situations. We gain a new perspective and God changes our heart.When inevitable surprises still arise and we are forced to respond; our reactions become moreChristlike because of the time we have spent with Him. We are comforted so that we cancomfort others and our trials are a springboard for future victories both for us and others aroundus. We look forward to these specific times of worship at BCC every week.One thing I have always appreciated about BCC is that we are frugal and also wise andobedient with our finances. We want resources to go to the area where it is needed most. Weare very resourceful and we get the most out of our equipment. However, I have never felt likewe had to go without something that we needed. This is due to the generosity of the people atBCC. With the auditorium changes on the horizon and much of our equipment needing updates,the need for more equipment will be needed now more than ever. However, I know that God willprovide through the generosity of His people. I just want to thank BCC for always “Loving Godand Loving People”. I am reminded that we are “more than conquerors” through Christ and thatis why we are “All In” for Him. We are truly blessed to be a part of what God is doing. - Danny

groups

april 21, 2024

contagious

march 25, 2024

contagious

 /kənˈtājəs/ 

spread from one person to another by direct or indirect contact.


Picture this: a church where the invitation is as wide open as the sky and as warm as a summer breeze. You've probably heard it before, or maybe you've even said it yourself: "Just come check us out one time." And guess what? When you do, there's no need to fret about the what-ifs.

What if no one greets them at the door? What if the worship band is having a bit of a funky day? What if the pastor goes off on a tangent? And hey, what if the coffee machine decides to take a day off and the donuts are a no-show? Oh, and let's not forget the classic, "Where on earth do I park?" But fear not, because at our church, these worries are mere myths.

Our secret sauce? Well, it's a mix of strategic planning, countless smiling faces, and a whole lot of heart. We're not just any church – we're the kind that wraps you in a big ol' hug and whispers, "Welcome home."

But here's the kicker: it's not just about the fancy programs or the perfectly brewed coffee. It's about creating a space where everyone, from the tiniest tot to the seasoned saint, feels like they belong. And you know what ties it all together? It's the fact that we're all in this together.

That's right, we're talking about a community that's not afraid to dive headfirst into faith, love, and all the messy bits in between. Whether you've been here for years or you're just dipping your toes in the water, being "All In" is the name of the game. Because let's be real, life's too short for halfway commitments.

And here's the magic part: when you surround yourself with people who are all in, it's contagious. Suddenly, you find yourself diving deeper, loving harder, and laughing louder than you ever thought possible. Trust me, I've been there, and let me tell you, it's a game-changer.

So here's to being "All In" – to taking those next faith steps, to finding warmth, healing, and a whole lot of practical progress along the way. Because when we're all in, anything is possible. And hey, who knows? Maybe it'll change your life too.


- Steven

Building Update - Gina

march 19, 2024

new day - pastor kenny

march 5, 2024


vol-entine's day

febuary 25, 2024

Every single week, we celebrate the many volunteers who show up on Sundays to make kids ministry possible. But once a year, we go all in to celebrate them… a holiday we now call Volentine's Day. A favorite tradition with our team is Volentine’s Day Room Service. The week before we celebrate, each team member fills out their order so we can treat them to their favorite snacks. This card caught my eye this year.

 

I noticed that for location, this volunteer wrote “closet.” As it turned out, she wasn’t the only one who filled out the card that way. Three different volunteers listed “closet” as their serving location. For the purpose of this post, we’ll call these Vols Alvin, Simon, and Theodore.

 

If you’ve visited BCCKids on Sunday AM, you know kids are everywhere. There’s little to no room to work. Every classroom is packed, so yes, the location where they work is actually a closet. That is where these students serve every week...a closet.

 

Alvin, Simon, and Theodore don’t hold babies. They’re not on the stage leading games or dancing. They don’t even get a chair. Not because they don’t deserve one, there’s just isn’t room. Instead, they sit on the closet floor, prep the props to teach Bible Stories, cut out shapes for Preschool activities, or create send-home treats for our kids. Most recently, they tied 200 color-changing spoons to cereal boxes to wish our kids a CEREAL-SLY Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

Alvin, Simon, and Theodore aren’t dreaming of a workroom, they are good.

 

BUT BCCKID’S LEADERS ARE !

 

I can’t wait for the day we have a space where they can continue to support the mission of BCC to love kids. Possibly it will have a window, or at least a chair. They are thankful to have their closet, but I know they will be more effective with a little room and work table. 

 

They are all in, and we’re better for it. And if you ask me why I am all in? You can add Alvin, Simon, and Theodore to my list.


a wild ride
february 9, 2024

If you were in service in mid-October, you heard Jeff talk about getting a midnight (a slight exaggeration) phone call from “Bubba.” Well, that’s me and I really am “ALL IN” with Blount Community Church! But, more importantly, I’m “ALL IN” with Jesus.Being “ALL IN” with Jesus has looked different throughout my faith journey. As a college kid, being “ALL IN” looked like answering the call to ministry with Young Life. I had a hard time wrapping my head around how Jesus planned to use me in the lives of high school girls when I was just a few years out of high school myself. Early in my career, being “ALL IN” looked like answering an invitation to interview for a teaching position at Maryville High School. I felt woefully inadequate to put my name in at such a reputable school!Early in our marriage, being “ALL IN” looked like trusting God’s timing during our infertility struggle. “ALL IN” has always insinuated “action” to me, but I have learned that’s not always the case. Sometimes God wants to use the waiting to prepare us for what’s coming.After having children, “ALL IN” looked very much like “NOT ALL IN” at all, haha. During this time, I had to take a supporting role to my husband in organized ministry because my ministry was being a mom to 3 little boys. During the pandemic, “ALL IN” looked like our family taking a faith step for Bartley to leave teaching and go on staff with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Read…leave a salaried position and take on the task of fundraising 100% of his salary. Did I mention this was during a world pandemic?Most recently, “ALL IN” looks like accepting the job as the BCC Preschool Director! When SarahBeth approached me, my initial response was “that doesn’t sound like me.” However, as I learned more about the job and I spent more time with Jesus, I realized that the job requires several of my gifts and skills, but packaged in a way I never expected. How cool is that? I’ve spent the last several years of my life thinking that God would use my leadership skills, patience, organization, empathy, and discernment as an educational leader in a school setting. Nope. He wants me to use those exact same gifts and skills to love on preschoolers and parents at Blount Community Church. What a surprise blessing! Of everything I’ve learned about being “ALL IN” with Jesus, my favorite part is that it’s never boring. If you’re truly “ALL IN,” be prepared for a wild ride! Natasha

Promised Land

September 24,2023

The only land we’ve ever really talked about around here was the easement with our driveway on it that links Lamar Alexander Parkway (321) to BCC’s property. Yes, we have a road on it, but we don’t have a sign on it. We don’t have a sign because the city code does not permit a sign on any property not owned outright. So, until we own it, no sign. 

 

No sign on 321 is not an issue for those who know where we are, it’s problematic for guests and emergency responders though. We have stories to back it up. We’ve talked about this easementwith each other and God (in case He doesn’t know we need it 😊). This is the property I prayed about. Like the land promised to Israel, I hope we possess it someday. 

 

That’s why I was surprised one afternoon, a good while ago, when Gary pointed to the property directly in front of our church building in the Industrial Park and told me why that property was the most valuable to BCC. Just to be clear, he told me, “We need it!”

 

He wasn’t wrong. It’s 50 steps from our front doors and adjacent. I just wasn’t sure if he knew why that property wasn’t an option, so I told him.

 

Nine years ago, while standing on the land with the property owner and her contractor, I saw the architectural plans to develop that property. The owner agreed to meet there to calculate if we could run a water line for BCC and not impede their masterplan. This is the day I realized our front-door neighbor would be a manufacturer.

 

She never went through with her plan, then we heard she sold the property. Two years ago, the new owner developed another set of plans, hired a contractor, and had a long-term lease from a local business to rent the facility upon completion.

 

So, tongue in cheek, I told Gary he’d better pray hard. Then we saw the large sign go up.

 


“INDUSTRIAL WAREHOUSE Coming March 2023”

 


I thought Gary was a better pray-er than that, but I didn’t say anything.

 

With our new neighbor inevitable, conversations turned to the sight and sounds of a business on top of us. How close would it be? What if they manufacture on Sunday? When should we plant BIG trees? Should we add a privacy fence? When they excavate, maybe we can convince them to work on the unsightly bank and create a barrier? Will we hear annoying beeps of heavy equipment backing up?

 

Turns out, I was right, Gary was a better pray-er, but I didn’t say anything. 

 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. An unknown man rings the front door intercom.

 

“Hi, my name is Jay. I own the property right there (pointing to the land just up the bank with the Industrial Warehouse Sign on it just like Gary did long before). Would the church be interested in buying it? I’d love for a church to own that property.”

 

If you heard Gina’s land announcement, now you know the rest of the story.

 

If you didn’t hear Gina’s land announcement, watch the service on September 24th.

 

Pastor Jeff

the wow factor

august 29, 2023

A few weeks ago, I was asked by some church members from a Knoxville congregation to come take a tour of our building.  You see, they had heard someone say that our building was designed to be multifunctional, and they wanted to see it for themselves.  This group of people are getting ready to build a facility and wanted ideas for their project.


What I wasn’t prepared for, and never will get used to, is the wow factor when people walk through our doors.  So many times, I get comments of how amazing our church building is.  How roomy it feels from the inside yet how it doesn’t seem to look that large from the outside.  


It made me start thinking about how blessed we truly are as a church to be able to come to our church building each week, have such a crowd on Sunday’s, host small groups, ministry groups such as student’s and college, have event after event, all in a facility that God has seen fit for us to use.  It’s His, we all know, but man, what a great feeling for us to get to utilize it week after week, month after month and year after year.  


It's not lost on me, that after 7 years of having a place to meet and not set up each week, we are truly blessed.  Not just blessed but a God size blessing that never loses its WOW factor.  The Lord truly is good.  


As we start focusing on our “Next Phase” of our building, I am positive that God has another blessing in store for us.  He has used this building to reach people, to tell others about Him, to love others to Him and we are just getting started.  Are we getting a little “snug” in our kids’ hallway, in our gathering area…does our auditorium seem to be filling up more and more each week.  Yes, yes it does.  We wouldn’t want it any other way.  Right!!


I can hardly wait to see what is in store for us.  I can hardly wait to see how God will continue to bless Blount Community Church.  I can hardly wait to see the new parts of this plan come together to make more room, to give us more space, and space we don’t even know we need yet.  I can hardly wait!


I hope you too are as excited about the future as I am.  I hope you are looking forward to the many blessings we will see and witness through this place.  I hope you will be ALL IN with me and our church to see this through to bigger and brighter days with more space to fill up loving on people who need Jesus.  Let’s get ready to see the amazing things happen that only God can orchestrate.  Let’s get ready to be wowed once again.


Blessings,


Gina

A Message from Pastor kenny

August 13, 2023

a big ask for little people

august 6, 2023

I love our building. I love its versatility. I love that with a little creativity and lots of  balloons, our Gathering Area can beautifully host a fancy Next Steps Baby Dedication reception or transform into the hub for a rained-out Easter Jam “Chick-or-Treat” experience. And before you ask…No, we usually don’t allow farm animals inside. That was a big ask, but for the sake of celebrating that Jesus is Alive….rain or shine, our staff made an exception. 


But do you know what’s not an exception? Family Game Night. It’s the best Christmas tradition and one of my favorite events of the whole year. If you’ve never been, you’ve never seen the Gathering Area look like this, but every year, we move out everything and decorate for a night of family fun to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. We have games and crafts and snacks and usually someone has to drink maple syrup. 


Next week, we’ll all help move hundreds of chairs out of the auditorium to make space for the Rise Against Hunger tables. This is a BCC favorite event that is bringing people together from all over the community. You might love it because it’s fun to serve together. I love it because it’s the first taste of serving that some of our kids will have. Without our building (and the hard workers who will spend all Sunday setting up), this event might not be possible. It takes money and hard work and time, but I think an event like Rise is exactly what Jesus wants us to do with His building. 


I love our classrooms— right now we have 8. You’ve probably heard us worshiping, but if you didn’t know we have an absolutely beautiful Large Group Room that is dedicated just to kid’s worship. I'm not joking, if you have not seen this with your own eyes email me and we will set up a visit for you. Watching our kids worship is the very best, but that’s just one part of our kid’s ministry. Our team creates amazing spaces for Promotion Sunday and Cinco de Mayo and countless other events all within our hallway. It’s amazing. 


Now don’t get me wrong, I love our hallway. It’s my favorite hallway in the world. But these days, it’s starting to feel limiting. We’re simply out of space. We have small groups meeting on the floor and had to bust a hole in Mr. Gary’s closet just for a spot to put a Check-In printer. I have big dreams. I want a room that is designed for kids who have special needs and might not otherwise have a space to learn about Jesus. I want a space where volunteers can come in and help prepare the materials needed for our small groups. I want a few more small group rooms so when people invite their friends to church we actually have a seat for them. I’d like a room where kids can learn to serve at a young age, but don’t worry, I am good at sharing spaces and will also host volunteer meetings there too. We need a space where our Preschool leaders can bring kids who need a quiet moment, but we also need a space where we can shoot more confetti. That's the best way to celebrate life change in our kids. 


Are these big asks? Maybe, but I am getting pretty good at asking for big things… remember I’ve already asked about about Chick-or-Treat so I don’t think anyone will be surprised at this point. Is this going to take a lot of hard work? Definitely, but we’ve been working hard for years, so I am not afraid of that either. I don’t know what Phase 2 might look like, but I do know it will mean a bigger and more efficient space for our dynamic, God-honoring, and often messy kid’s ministry…So yah, I’m all in. 


Sarah Beth

a message from pastor dave

july 13, 2023

a message from pastor kenny

june 15, 2023

All in - bcc's story

June 8, 2023

Initially, I wasn't all in on All In.


Several of us were discussing BCC's future, which included the facility and overcrowding. We were on the same page because God already made it clear to begin working toward Phase 2. What was open for discussion was a theme, a rallying cry to keep us focused.


Solid ideas around legacy and finishing what was started were pitched. They were good. I was leaning toward legacy. All In was then pitched. I immediately assigned it last place on my list. And I was vocal about it. 


"All in is a poker term!" Not that I know much about poker. "We've done All In in the past!" Eleven years ago. Easter 2012. You remember, don't you? If not, I'll post a promotional mailer at the end to prove it. "All in...small in! Can't we be more original?"


They let me rant. Not much else to do when someone is popping off and refusing to listen. They didn't even remind me of messages I taught on James 1:19. Then we broke until the next time.


What I think happened after this meeting is they ganged up on me in prayer. I think this because All In naturally became the idea we all began to lean on. Even me and I didn't realize it was happening. 


God began reminding me of past BCC'ers who had gone all in to follow Him and start this church. BCC'ers who gave so much time, so much money, so much faith. There's no better way to describe what they did than All In.


God reminded me of the present. Current BCC'ers going all in with passion to Love Him and love others. Sacrificing what they want for the mission of Jesus. Many in this camp are old enough and thinking about legacy. I'm one of these.


And we know what's required to leave a legacy. Going All In


All In requires faith and sacrifice. These make God smile. Neither faith nor sacrifice hangs out with comfort, and I enjoy comfort. But I love to make God smile even more. I've learned I can't let comfort trump faith and obedience. When I do, I regret it. 


God demonstrated going All In, so it's no wonder that He expects the same. Complete commitment glorifies God. It also makes us more like Him. Since the disciples, there's always been Christians who gave their all. BCC joined this endangered species of Christ-followers years ago. It's our story. It took a minute, but I get it now. I'm all in on All In. 


Pastor Jeff

a message from students

june 4, 2023

aren't we big enough

june 2, 2023

It was the fall of 2006, about a year after we launched. I found myself asking the question, “Aren’t we big enough?” I remember because I was spending a lot of time alone in the outdoors, talking and listening to God. Initially, I asked myself. Then I asked God. 


I’ve often said my intent was not to lead a large church. Large is relative, but for me, large meant more than a couple hundred people. After two hundred or so, a church surpasses a simple, one-pastor, know-everybody kind of church.


Growth produces complexity. Complexity requires organized systems.

Organized Religious Systems - not what I wanted.


A church of 200 people can love God and love all kinds of people. Do mission work. Make a difference in the community. Baptize people. Have a lot of fun. And that’s precisely what was happening the first time I asked the “big enough” question. If the truth is told, I was trying to tell God we were big enough because of all the great things happening.


When a church is “big enough,” one thing that’s impossible to do is the very thing Jesus commanded - reach the next person for Jesus. A “big enough” church can’t follow Jesus’ directive to “make new disciples” or obey His words to leave ninety-nine believers and go all in searching for the lost one. Simply stated, a “big enough” church can’t be on God’s mission. 


After conviction and time, God changed my heart. The Lord made it clear that growth would happen as BCC reached those outside of our church family. Faltering on the mission was not an option. Some people left because we grew. Now, I’d leave if we stop growing because that means we’re unhealthy, off mission, and can’t right the ship. 


During this season of internal struggle, God helped me understand that I feared two things.


The first fear was I didn’t want to lose the “family feel” - the community felt by knowing just about everyone. The second fear was that growth required the hard work of change. And honestly, I had been working really hard to help make the systems needed for 200 people. Pretty selfish of me, I know. 


God helped me understand that “Aren’t we big enough?” is the wrong question for a church on mission. The right question is, “Are we healthy and fulfilling God’s mission?” If we are loving God, loving others by making new Christ-followers, and deepening the faith of existing disciples, we’ll be healthy; and healthy things will grow. Growing things require change, or they become unhealthy.


There was a time I didn’t want my daughters to grow up. I loved them small. But my wife and I worked to keep them healthy, and they grew on their own. Healthy things grow and change. My kids grew into adults. I was proud of who they became. Really proud. Then, I became a “Papa.”


Ironically, while I’m writing this in my home office, something just hit the window with a loud smash. I thought it was a bird. Standing up to figure out what the heck happened, I see water on the outside of the window. I look up. No rain clouds. I hear a squeal and look down to see my smiling grandson, super soaker water gun and water balloons in hand. What happened was he just challenged Papa to a water war.


I’ve got a decision to make. Will I keep the status quo and keep writing, or make room for his disruption and engage his challenge? As a younger man, I’d consider this a disruption and not make room. But I’m Papa now, and I want to torment my grandson with water. He won’t stay small for long. Growing up is bittersweet, but God didn’t design him to be small forever. 


I got to go. He thinks he’s the man with his super soaker, but I got a garden hose ready for such a time as this. 


God created healthy things to grow. My job is to focus on health. God does the growing for people and churches.


Pastor Jeff