October is "Clergy Appreciation Month" and as "clergy" I have been shown great appreciation by the people I serve. I mean, I serve a really, really great church with Biltmore. But not only that, I personally think that I get to serve Biltmore's best campus: The Franklin Campus! Since such appreciation has been shown to me this month, I thought I would share just a few of the things that I love about Biltmore Church's Franklin Campus. These are in no particular order. However, these probably are the Top 5 things I love the most...
- I love the Generational Diversity
When Biltmore | Franklin launched, I expected younger families to be the largest demographic because we were more casual, pretty progressive with music, and kind of non-traditional in our model. I am still continually and pleasantly surprised at how many different age groups are represented on a Sunday morning. We have young people, old people, and everyone in between. I love that!
- I love the Staff
Being a part of a multi-site church means the Franklin Campus staff travels to Biltmore's central offices each week. That means that we spend approximately 2.5 hours in a car together each week (way more than any other Biltmore campus staff). I oftentimes get tired of the drive. But in three years of making the weekly trip, I've never become tired of the company. These folks are some of the very best at what they do. They are gifted, creative, hard-workers, passionate about Jesus, Macon County, Biltmore, and what they do. I consider them more than colleagues, I consider them friends. I love them!
Being a portable church has its challenges. The Sunday before we launched (and subsequent Sundays following) there was an excitement among the volunteers to unload the cases of equipment and set up all of the stuff necessary to make church happen. Three years later, many of the same people pull out the same cases and set up the same stuff week-in and week-out. We've held events all over Franklin - in schools, in gyms, in restaurants, in homes, and much more. Countless times we've asked the people of Biltmore | Franklin to be flexible. And countless times they have done so with a smile on their face. I love that!
I have had the privilege to serve in some really good churches. But I have never served at a place where the people are so encouraging! I have to be honest, it's a lot easier to serve a church that's encouraging than one that gripes and complains. My family and I have been richly blessed by the encouragement of the people of Biltmore | Franklin Campus. And I know we're not alone. The other staff members have expressed the same sentiment when it comes to being encouraged by the people here in Franklin. I love that!
- Community Involvement
If you've been around Biltmore for any length of time, you hear us say, "We don't want to merely be a church in the city. And we certainly don't want to be a church against the city. We want to be a church FOR the city." I see that time and again through things like our involvement with Franklin's Fireworks in the Park, Pumpkinfest, Halloween in the Park, and the LoveLoud projects throughout the year. Biltmore Church doesn't simply stand in its place and say, "Come to us! Come to us!" Biltmore Church goes out and gets involved in its community. I love that!
I could go on and on and on for days talking about ALL the things I love about Biltmore Church's Franklin Campus. Again these are probably in my Top 5 (although it was really, really, really tough to narrow things down to just five). And again, I'm blessed to be able to serve as one of your pastors.
I love Franklin, North Carolina. And I especially love that church called Biltmore that meets here!