Church Planting

Making Disciples

that Make Disciples

Providence Church is made up of people pursuing the same vision – helping people to Connect with God, Connect with Others, and Make a Difference. Our mission is to glorify God by making, growing, and unleashing disciples of Christ. Our staff and elders work hard to equip our members and attendees to do just that. We have a common set of beliefs, and we all passionately strive to follow God in everything we do.

Five Core Principles

At Providence Church, we feel that God has equipped us as a body to do whatever we can to help people grow in their personal relationship with God. Moreover, our church holds firm to five core principles that we feel are important for the churches we plant to possess because they encapsulate the essence of the Great Commission. Through intentional adherence to these principles, we believe that every church plant of which we are a part can effectively spread the Gospel to unbelievers and aid in their individual and collective spiritual growth. Our church believes that a successful church plant will be grounded in the following core principles.

Bible Based / Evangelical

We believe that the Bible is the infallible and inerrant word of God. It is relevant to us today and should serve as the basis for how we live our lives in service to our creator. It also provides us with guidance on how to structure our church body and helps identify the spiritual gifts that we are each given. The Word is the essential component for preaching the Gospel and teaching believers to obey the commands of Christ. The Bible is also the source of the essential doctrines of orthodoxy regarding God (eternal, sovereign, perfect, and trinitarian), humankind (image-bearers, yet fallen), salvation (by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone), the church (universal yet local, visible, redeemed, and baptized body of Christ), and final things (Jesus’ literal, bodily return and reign).

Gospel-Centered / Evangelistic

John Piper wrote in his book Let The Nations Be Glad that “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship Is. Missions exist because worship doesn’t.”  As a result, we believe that our role within the church is to seek the lost in order to convert unbelievers—essentially being used by God to raise up more worshipers. Since worship is the ultimate goal, we must go on mission to where worship does not exist because “God is ultimate, not man.” We want churches we help start to share this passion for making Christ known and seeing people reborn as his disciples.

Culture-Engaging / Relevant

An important aspect of the church is its ability to be relevant to its context. For example, ours (in the USA) is a postmodern culture, so our church makes every effort to conform our methods (but not our message) to speak the “language” of the culture in order to effectively communicate the Gospel to those living in it. Regardless of the culture, the church has to adapt in order to show Christ as the answer—because he is the only answer for the universal problem: sin. Some traditional approaches in missions have focused on nonessentials (e.g., how to dress or preferred music styles) presenting barriers to belief. Additionally, it is important that the church be able to address difficult topics that any given culture faces. Lastly, one can see throughout the history of the church the importance of reaching people of every socioeconomic status, particularly those of the middle and upper classes, because they have resources needed for churches to be self-sufficient, and do missions and ministry. Reaching a culture includes reaching trend-setters and influencers.

Relational Discipleship / Groups

One of the healthiest and most effective methods for creating a relational environment through which people grow closer to God and others, and know God’s Word is meeting in small group settings. This can be done in homes, at restaurants, under a tree, or any number of applications. However, the goal must be the same: spiritual growth and community. Relationships with God are enhanced through building relationships with fellow believers, studying the Bible, praying together, and ministering to each other. This creates accountability and mutual respect for other Christians, primarily because they are doing life together rather than alone. This was Jesus’ model. In small groups, discipleship characteristics found in the New Testament are engendered and small group leaders are able to shepherd and disciple other Christians in an effort to make them leaders of new small groups! This method helps foster spiritual growth in virtually any cultural setting and is proven to be a most effective way to build new generations of committed followers of Christ.

Church-Planting / Missional

If all previous core principles are present, a church body will inevitably be missional in their approach to reaching people for Christ, both in their own culture and in other unreached cultures. Believers will be fully equipped to reach an unbelieving world, regardless of economic status, ethnicity, or gender. Our hope is that churches that we plant will be convinced of the importance of planting more churches, both locally and internationally, and the Great Commission will be at the forefront of any and all missional efforts of the church.

The Process

The residency process is a 9-12 month immersion into all things Providence Church as well as other interactions with successful local and international network planters and churches. The Residency process consists of four phases of training and three personal development phases.

Missional Posture

Posture is the position something holds. Providence works hard to maintain a missional posture. The mission of the church is to make disciples and residents will learn all about the intentional steps taken to create and hold a missional posture of disciple making in all generational ministries and leadership areas. Residents will learn how preaching, budgeting, property usage, and terminology can all create a posture toward disciple making.

Relational Culture

Jesus did not create curricula or training programs to draw his disciples together. He works in and through relationships. Churches built on relationships can maintain appropriate and manageable growth. Residents will learn the relational methods Providence uses to make disciples who make disciples. Small group methodologies and mentoring programs will be dissected and residents will be trained on how to maintain a relational culture without a lot of programs and sign up sheets.

Organizational Discipline

Providence has NO DEBT, a building that is too small, and inadequate parking, kind of…on purpose. Churches that multiply are intentional about removing the burden of big buildings, church growth mindsets, and mortgage payments as much as possible. Residents will work through both personal, cultural, and organizational training that helps them begin a new church with a disciplined approach to all things administrative.

Contextual Agreement

Providence is filled with stories of individuals who come to Christianity from the most unexpected places. This ability to intersect church and culture in a way that is welcoming to seekers and faithful to Biblical orthodoxy does not happen on accident. It is found in some core philosophical principles that created this culture. Residents will get a first hand look at how Providence is culturally agreeable on purpose.

Established Church Plants

Emmanuel Church

Downtown Knoxville, TN
Planter: Will Dobbie

Igreja Batista Nova Campinas

Campinas, São Paulo-Brasil
Planter, Rodrigo Carvalho

Igreja Batista Atitude

Rio de Janeiro, RJ-Brasil
Planter, Josué Valandro

Bridge Church

South Knoxville, TN-US
Planter, Anthony Burton

Providence - Jeff City

Jefferson City, TN-US
Planter, Tony Walls

Village Church

Northwest Knoxville, TN-US

Suri Kacipo Tribe

South Sudan