This blog is in conjunction with our current sermon series entitled “Acts”.
Jeremy Rose was at the beach when God called him to plant a church. His choice of books for beach reading may have had something to do with it. Rose was reading the book of Acts along with a commentary for one of his seminary classes.
Today, he remembers the call clearly:
“It just hit me. God spoke to me and told me to plant a church.”
Rose added that God has given him a heart for those who may be alienated from or uncomfortable with existing churches: the “artistic, herbal, green, tattooed, pierced, punk, post-postmodern, city dwellers of our culture.”
Rose heard God’s call in early 2007, at Sunset Beach, N.C. Today, he is pastor of The Axis Church, which is attended by around 300 of Nashville’s urbanites. Rose explains that God called him to these people, rather than to the activity of “church planting.”
That call came in early 2007, at Sunset Beach, N.C. Today, Rose is pastor of The Axis Church, which is attended by around 300 of Nashville’s “hip, cool, trendy” 20-somethings. Rose explains that God called him to these people, rather than to the activity of “church planting.”
“Church planting is not mainly about planting churches. It’s mainly about making disciples.” Even though his father, grandfather, and great grandfather were pastors and church planters, and although Rose himself has been preaching and involved in ministry since he was a teenager, he says God’s call to plant a church came from relationships he had outside of the church.
“Many of my friends who I have been close to throughout school sports and construction (I have been an electrician for nearly 20 years) wanted nothing to do with church. It broke my heart. I wanted them to be involved in something I loved, but I understood why they didn’t like it or were confused by it. A lot of Axis is the way it is in order to be sensitive to those who haven’t been raised in the church or for those who have been deeply wounded by the church.” Rose said he understands the reasons these people have rejected what they know of the church and Christianity, and he sees them too: hypocrisy and selfrighteousness, “ignoring Jesus except for Sundays and the election.”
“In some ways, I feel I know what’s busted with ‘church’ today which makes it easy to hate on it, to throw rocks at it — OR — I could love on it, and I could use the rocks that are being thrown at it as the very resource to help rebuild it. This is my calling.”
In this calling to reach those who haven’t been part of the church, Rose is not aiming to give them a church, but instead to bring them into relationship with Jesus. This is reflected in The Axis Church vision statement: “Our vision is to see the Real Jesus made famous in our city because He changes everything.”