Dear PA/SJ Baptist Church,
I am delighted that you want to know more about what makes the Baptist Resource Network unique, and what enables us to be a vital partner in your Gospel mission.
Thank you for your interest in the BRN and for your partnership in the Gospel. Everything we do at the BRN centers on four key parts of our strategy to help churches accelerate Kingdom movement:
We help churches ASSESS where they are; we ASSIST them in knowing where to go next; we help ACTIVATE the plans God has for them; and we help them ADVANCE the Kingdom in and through their churches.
We offered customized training and resources because we know churches are in different stages of growth. They are either restarting or starting; revitalizing (focused on maintaining growth), reproducing (growing and multiplying within their church), or reinvesting (growing and multiplying and benefiting other churches).
We believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is the main accelerant of the work that churches do across the BRN, because it is the only way to see a multiplication movement of new disciples, new leaders, new ministries and new churches across our two-state region.
If your church desires growth and multiplication, this is your network. After studying the healthiest of churches, we discovered a few common building blocks that lead to church vitality.
Healthy churches start with healthy leaders, healthy filters, healthy behaviors, and a healthy mission. In fact, not only do healthy churches start here, they stay here! Like a good athlete, they practice these fundamentals over and over again. We believe this so strongly that we’ve built our network around resourcing your church with these core building blocks.
Everything starts with healthy leaders. We care about your walk with God, your physical health, and your vital relationships, particularly your marriage. Many BRN pastors are bi-vocational, and we care deeply about helping you maintain comprehensive health even while working exceptionally hard.
Healthy filters provide a grid through which we consider our activities. Jesus said that we should ‘Seek first the Kingdom.’ That is a filter. Jesus said, ‘Pray… thy Kingdom come.’ That is a filter. With every decision, healthy churches do not ask, “What would we like?” but rather, “What will most effectively build the Kingdom of God in our place?” Our job is not to build the Church – Jesus will do that – but to seek first the Kingdom. The BRN helps celebrate the filters of Kingdom and prayer with you.
Healthy churches have a few healthy behaviors in common. They practice MISSIONAL ENGAGEMENT, which is living out the Kingdom of God in their particular cultural context. They have an INTENTIONAL DISCIPLESHIP process in place to move people from spiritual infancy to spiritual parenthood. They invest in ongoing LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT so that they have a strong farm team for new ministries and church starts.
Finally, a healthy mission is focused on multiplication at every level. Do you desire to see every disciple make new disciples, every ministry birth new ministries, and every church multiply new churches?
At the BRN, we have a clear vision of wanting to see every church within our Pennsylvania-South Jersey geography become a healthy, multiplying church.
On this website, you will see the resources that the BRN provides to assist and encourage you as you embrace these healthy building blocks. You’ll see what it means to be Southern Baptist. Whether you are a new church seeking affiliation with the BRN, an existing church that wants to review the resources of the BRN, or simply a faithful disciple within one of our local churches who wants to know what the broader church is all about, I hope that you’ll find this information encouraging.
Our mission is worth our partnership. Your church can be stronger when we stand together for the Gospel, and I’m truly grateful that you’re exploring the BRN.
Dr. Barry Whitworth
Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)