Navigating Outreach and Mission: A Journey with J.R. Briggs and Central

In recent sermons, we have heard lines and phrases such as:

  • Central is not a building but rather a community of people focused on Jesus.
  • We should be missionaries in our regular lives disguised as neighbors, lawyers, teachers, or a friend.
  • John the Baptist should be Central’s Patron Saint – Keeping the main thing the main thing (the Gospel).
  • We should build community by inviting people to “come and see”, no strings attached, not to see our church building, but rather how Jesus is working in it.

In the midst of all of this, we’ve heard a lot of references to someone named J.R. Briggs. Who is this person, and what does he have to do with this increased emphasis on outreach and missions?

J.R. Briggs is an author, leadership coach, and former pastor whose organization is committed to equipping Christians who are hungry to have a greater impact on God’s kingdom through leadership, coaching, consulting, speaking, and teaching.

We were introduced to him last March when he led the Breakthrough Conference here at Central. We were struck by how he was dialed into our culture. He understood where we thrive, where we struggle, and he shaped his message to us accordingly.

Out of that conference, there were several discussions with J.R. where we had the opportunity to give him a deeper debrief on where we are as a congregation, all while gaining a better understanding of how he works with church leaders.

As a result of those discussions, our leadership decided to engage him to work with us to do the following:

  • Look at our organizational structures to make sure they are organized to best support our vision and mission.
  • Be a resource during our leadership transition.
  • Help us to improve our efforts to equip our congregation for engagement in the community.
  • Help us to be a congregation moving forward when our new Senior Pastor arrives.

J.R’s commitment to our congregation is through June of 2024 and includes:

  • Coaching staff, lay leaders, and teams.
  • Meeting with the Session every other month.
  • Delivering an assessment report to us on January 24, 2024.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to meet J.R., you will get that opportunity on Sunday, November 12, when he will be preaching at Central. Be sure to attend the Lunch and Learn after the 11:00 a.m. service for a deeper dive and more equipping!

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