Jubilee Church is ready to open the doors for their fourth location in Kirkwood, MO this Sunday, September 13th. The first official service will be held at 10am at Nipher Middle School. But before we get to Sunday, today I chat with Jubilee’s Lead Pastor, Bryan Mowrey, about church planting, and the new location.
Some pastors like the multi-site model; others have chosen to stick with the traditional “one-location” model. You’ve gone with the former. Why?
Models are not the foundation of the house and shouldn’t be treated as such; therefore, I hold multi-site somewhat loosely. But what I hold with a firm grip is doing whatever seems best for gospel advancement. As of now, in 2015 in St. Louis, MO, I feel as though the gospel is better served by reproducing church communities throughout the metro in such a way that best takes advantage of the gifts and resources that God has given us to steward. That for us means the multi-site model.
One of your jobs as a pastor is to identify men who are called to plant churches. What are some characteristics that you look for in prospective church leaders?
There are a lot of things that come to mind. Strong character (1 Tim 3), strong verbal communication, a love of learning, a relational connector, has a good reputation, intuitive and hard-working are all very key qualities. The indispensable characteristic, however, for a prospective church leader, is a man who has a shepherd’s heart. I’m looking for men who, like the Good Shepherd, demonstrate the willingness to lay down their life for the sheep.
With that behind us, your church is starting a new location in Kirkwood, MO this fall. The perception is that there’s already enough churches in the suburbs. Why another one?
Two reasons: 1) Cities and towns always needs new churches because there are always more people to reach, and different kinds of churches reach different kinds of people. Many of the local pastors in Kirkwood agree and have welcomed us with open arms as they want more of their city to know about Jesus. 2) We feel like this is what God wants us to do. Even if this church isn’t “successful,” I will never regret it because I feel — if nothing else — it’s an act of obedience.
What is your hope for the city of Kirkwood as Jubilee Church starts this new location?
I want Kirkwood and the surrounding communities to be glad that we’re there. I want Jubilee to help make this area a better place to be and difficult to not hear and witness the gospel.
I noticed the theme of the first Sunday is “Coming Home,” and you are preaching from a famous text in Luke 15, the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Why this theme and this text?
Because I believe the largest segment of our population is not churched or even unchurched, but dechurched. It would be hard to find someone in St. Louis who doesn’t have some experience of church, but it wouldn’t be hard to find someone with a bad experience of church. This has kept people away from God, but what hasn’t gone away is that gnawing inside of them that there has to be more than this material world. I myself was once apart of that dechurched crowd, and as a result, I feel stirred to extend a hand of love and grace and let them know that there is absolutely something more. And the answer is Jesus and His church.
Finally, what can a new guest expect if they showed up to the new location this Sunday?
My chief hope is that they would experience Jesus. Practically that means warmth, grace, a welcoming atmosphere, passion, love, care (for adults and children) and generosity. . . Oh yeah, and food trucks. There will be free food trucks.
The first service will begin at 10am on Sunday, September 13th. Attendees can expect 25-30 minutes of contemporary music and 30-40 minutes of Bible teaching presented in a compelling and applicable way. “You don’t have time to go to a fake religious ceremony, neither do we,” adds Mowrey. “All teaching is from the Bible and applicable to real life. We don’t need gimmicks or hype, we need the truth of Jesus Christ.”
Immediately following the service, Jubilee will be providing food trucks for everyone to enjoy lunch and celebrate the new location together. For more information, please visit www.jubileestl.org/kirkwood, or call their offices at 314-832-9033.
Will you be there on Sunday?
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