The Journey Church is in a new season. We have experienced incredible growth over the previous years. Our vision is clear: By 2022, we are asking God for 3,000 baptized, self-feeding, disciple-making followers of Jesus who are letting the gospel shape every sphere of their lives. We are making incredible strides towards this vision. Lost people are coming to faith. Large numbers of unchurched and dechurched are finding a home – some after decades of absence from churches – at TJC. Discipleship and spiritual growth is the focal point of our ministries. New leaders are being developed and stepping into significant roles as teachers, ministry leaders, deacons, gospel community leaders, and more. It is an exciting time in our church. A new phase of accomplishing our vision has arrived. We are going multisite. Since this is not a familiar concept for many, we compiled a series of Frequently Asked Questions to help explain and answer questions that could arise.

A multi-site church is one church that meets in multiple locations. The different campuses share vision, values, strategy, resources, budget, teaching, and even, at times, staff. The purpose of becoming a multi-site church is to make more and better disciples by bringing the church closer to where people are.
We have known for a while that the growth of the church would lead the church to go multi-site. It is more advantageous and strategic to plant campuses instead of adding more services or building a bigger building. There are several questions we work through when making decisions for the church, especially decisions of this magnitude. First, is it biblically and theologically sound? Second, does it help us accomplish the Great Commission Third, does it help us fulfill the vision God has given us? Lastly, is it wise? We believe the answer to each of these questions concerning planting a new campus is “YES”

  • Biblically and Theologically Sound: The essence of a New Testament church isa covenanted body that covenants to follow Jesus, practice the ordinances (baptism and communion), exercise discipline, and assemble. TJC, whether inone location in 5 services, or two locations in 7 services, is a covenanted body committed to those practices.
  • Accomplishing the Great Commission: The Great Commission is to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them. Planting a new campus is a Great Commission decision because it helps us reach the lost and unchurched in that location, bring them to faith, baptize them, teach them, and reorient their entire lives to Christ.
  • Fulfilling TJC’s Vision: In order to see 3,000 baptized, self-feeding, disciple-making disciples by 2022, we will need to multiply our efforts into new areas where we are already reaching people. Planting a campus helps us to accomplish this.
  • Wise: Planting a campus is much cheaper than building a new worship space. It provides us a greater reaching capacity by moving us into another city and increases the total number of seats available during optimal worship times.

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We are currently doing 5 services (2 on Saturdayand 3 on Sunday) per weekend at our existing campus. Adding more services willnot help us to reach more people because we would not be able to add the serviceat an optimal day and time (preferably Sunday morning). Additionally, we do notbelieve it is the best investment of energy for our worship leaders and pastor. Building another building is not out of the question, but would not help us with our existing growth problems. A new building would take several years to fund and build. We cannot wait that long to keep reaching people.

Lebanon Campus
212 Leeville Pike
Saturday 4:00 & 5:30pm
Sunday 8:00, 9:30, & 11:00am
All services are identical and offer kids ministry

Mt. Juliet Campus
West Wilson Middle School
935 North Mt. Juliet Rd
Sunday 9:30 & 11:00am
Both services are identical and offer kids ministry

Planting a new campus will help us fulfill the statement we have said multiple times about our Lebanon campus: it is not a landing place, but a launching pad. Sending 300 people out of Lebanon and into Mt Juliet will help us keep reaching people in Lebanon. We will also look at other options for continued expansion of the Lebanon campus to help us reach people for many years to come.
We plan to plant campuses in places where we have peopletraveling from. Rather than have people drive from a different city to attend our church, we would rather tell them to “stay where you are; serve where you live”. Church planting does not solve our growth challenges. The typical church plant yields a much smaller core group (usually 30-50) than a campus plant (150-300). Does this mean we are against church planting? By no means. We do not think it is either/or, but both/and. Additionally, after the first wave of people go to the first church plant, the second group is usually much smaller and with fewer leaders (because they already bought in and went to the first one).
We have many people coming from places outside of Lebanon. The largest number of people come from the Mt. Juliet and the Watertown area. We plan to make Mt Juliet the first of what will be many TJC campuses in different cities that will have the ability to reach people from those areas with the gospel.
The plan is to launch the Mt. Juliet Campus in January of 2019. Our church historically grows in large numbers the first four months of the year. We want to not only make room in Lebanon to do that, but expand our reaching capacity into Mt. Juliet.
TJC is twelve years old. When we were only a couple of years old, we planted two campuses. We planted a campus in Hartsville and one in Mt. Juliet. After several years, we eventually turned both of those campuses into fully autonomous churches. There are few major differences between what we did then and what we plan to do now.

  • Bigger Core Group: Our first attempt at planting campuses was done with very small core groups. Both campuses had less than 30 people as the core group. This makes it incredibly difficult for the campus to succeed. We plan to start our new campuses in the future with no less than 150 people, and ideally with 300 people, as the core group.
  • Sunday Morning Services: When we started the first Mt Juliet campus years ago, we did not have a good Sunday morning gathering space. We met on Sunday nights in another church building. This is not ideal. We will launch this time with a place on Sunday mornings. We will begin portably and transition to a permanent building. One, because it is much wiser financially. Two, because you can too quickly outgrow a building. We would rather wait and see what the need becomes as we grow, then find a space that meets that need.
  • Financial Resources: We attempted to start campuses before with very little resources. We did not invest a lot of resources into the startup or the ongoing ministries of the campuses. This made it very difficult for the campuses to be effective. This time, we will invest in making our campuses the same experience as our Lebanon campus and have the budget to minister to and reach their city.
  • More Leadership Preparation: We previously jumped into multisite before knowing what we were doing. We were not ready to manage a church at multiple locations. Multisite was a new phenomena at the time. This time we are prepared for how we are going to shepherd and lead the church at multiple locations. The elders, staff, and volunteer leadership functions are more fleshed out and a blueprint for success is in place.
There will be a combination of video and live teaching. Pastor Erik preaches between 40-45 times per year. Pastor Erik’s sermons will be broadcast to the campuses so that every campus is united through the same sermon. On the weeks that Pastor Erik does not preach, someone else may teach live at each campus or someone else may be broadcasted.
Yes. Research and studies of multisite churches across the country show that broadcasting the sermon to campuses works everywhere from urban, suburban, and rural areas. It is not the location of the campus, but the quality of the broadcast, plus the presence of a Campus Pastor to ensure ministry and connection at the church, that matters most. The question that a church has to answer surrounding this topic is: would you rather give up your pastor OR give up talking to him after the sermon? In other words, to not broadcast the sermon would mean we are asking a large group of people to have someone else be their pastor. We believe more people would rather give up having a conversation with Erik after the sermon, instead of giving up having him as their primary preaching pastor.
No, we believe the opposite. When TJC was smaller, the church was more dependent upon Pastor Erik. People expected him to do most of the pastoral care, resolve every problem, be at every meeting, perform every wedding and funeral, and counsel every marriage crisis. Now that the church is larger, the church relies upon hundreds of leaders to help accomplish the work and ministry of the church. Pastor Erik can now focus predominately on the 30,000 foot vision of the church and preaching. Erik’s primary role will continue as it currently is, which is big-picture leadership and preaching. The rest will be led by other leaders (elders, staff, and volunteers).
No, again, it is the opposite. At a single site, if Pastor Erik preaches 40 of 52 weekends, it only leaves 12 slots for others to preach. Every time we add a campus, that creates 12 more opportunities. At two campuses, there will be 24 preaching slots per year for others to develop as preachers and teachers.
The worship gatherings will be the exact same at each location. Each campus will have a Connection Point, TJC Kids Ministry, Student Ministry, Growth Track, and Worship Services. The services will mirror each other at each campus, just as they do now at multiple services on multiple days.
Our worship leaders will rotate to the different campuses. Rhett and Brett, as well as other worship team members who are being raised up to help lead, will pair up in different combinations to serve all of our campuses each weekend. For example: some weekends it may be Rhett and Daniel in Mt Juliet and Brett and Derek in Lebanon. Other weekends it could be Brett and Rhett in Lebanon and Daniel and Derek in Mt Juliet. They will rotate and change that up, but across all campuses, the worship gatherings will be the same (just like they are at all 5 current services).
Yes. Everything we do at Lebanon, we will do at future campuses. We are still working through what mid-week Student Ministry gatherings will look like.
You can support the launch of the new campus by doing a few things. First, you can pray for the campus to successfully launch and begin to reach people in and around Mt Juliet. Second, you can support the campus by attending there for 6-8 weeks (or longer) to help them get on their feet. Third, you can help us plug the holes in Lebanon that will be left from people going to help launch the campus. Join the volunteer and leadership ranks in Lebanon and help us continue the mission there.
Our strategy for discipleship and care-giving is through our Gospel Communities and Deacon ministry. Each campus will assimilate attendees into Gospel Communities that will help disciple, shepherd, and provide care for members. Deacons will also be assigned to each campus for the purpose of ministry and counseling needs.
The elders of TJC function primarily to execute two functions: direction and shepherding. The direction of TJC is the big picture vision and is determined by the elders. The shepherding of TJC is overseen by the elders, but executed at the gospel community, deacon, and staff level. Multisite will not change this strategy or function for the elders.
The staff will continue the role of executing the day-to-day ministries of TJC. Some staff members will serve a central role that affects both campuses, and some will serve purely in a campus role.