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

BCC Kids - a Message from Sarah Beth

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