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The Bridge Church

Lead Pastor


Spring Hill, Tennessee

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Snapshot 

Neighborhood: Spring Hill, Tennessee

Weekly Attendance: 2850 

The role: The Lead Pastor of The Bridge will be responsible to lead the church towards the fulfillment of its purpose as taught in Scripture and as stated in its by-laws; to preach the Word of God to the mutual edification, instruction, and discipline of its members and believers; winning of the unsaved to Christ, helping young Christians develop their spiritual lives; and furthering the cause of Christ on the mission fields at home and abroad.

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Meet The Bridge Church: 

The Bridge is a multi-campus church in middle Tennessee, about 45 minutes south of Nashville. Founded 15 years ago, lead pastor Josh Howerton took over the church from his father a few years later. By God’s grace, The Bridge has exploded in growth in the last decade: growing from a hundred people in a school to thousands of people across two campuses. By the end of 2018, they were the 5th fastest-growing church in America according to Outreach Magazine.

In December 2018, Josh Howerton transitioned off the staff as he followed a call to become the successor under a long-time mentor at a church in Dallas. Since December, the leaders of The Bridge have been seeking God for what is next, and are now launching this national search with Vanderbloemen. 

Over the past six months, the church hasn’t slowed down at all. One hundred people gave their lives to Christ at Easter, and more than 200 have been baptized this year. More than 50% of weekend attendees are serving, and more than 75% participate in small groups. Construction continues on a worship center that will double the seating capacity and add an expansive lobby at the Spring Hill campus. Attendance at the Columbia campus averages over 500, and there are plans to launch a new site in Franklin in early 2021.

The Bridge doesn’t aim to be a fast-growing church. Their goal is to be healthy, and they believe healthy churches grow. They have an incredible staff, elder body, and team of volunteers (7 elders, 39 staff, and 1,400+ volunteers). In spite of seating and parking capacity issues at the Spring Hill (broadcast) location, they are averaging around 3,000 in weekly attendance.

The aim of The Bridge is to see the gospel change hearts deeply and extend widely. It is a great time for the right Lead Pastor to step in and join the movement!

About the Lead Pastor: 

The next Lead Pastor for The Bridge Church could come from many different backgrounds, but must have the value of seeing the gospel make an impact in both depth and width. Here are some desired characteristics for the next Lead Pastor:

  • Spiritual attractiveness that appeals to the unchurched and the over-churched

  • Exegetical preacher whether preaching topically or expositionally

  • Preaching and teaching to be the primary spiritual gift

  • Emotionally intelligent and aware of his strengths and weaknesses

  • Humble leader who works well with others and wisely gives authority

  • Experience in large church contexts for organizational awareness

  • Open to using a “Teaching Team” model

  • Ability to inspire and encourage staff, leads as a shepherd to the staff

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The Lead Pastor of The Bridge will be responsible to lead the church towards the fulfillment of its purpose as taught in Scripture and as stated in its by-laws; to preach the Word of God to the mutual edification, instruction, and discipline of its members and believers; winning of the unsaved to Christ, helping young Christians develop their spiritual lives; and furthering the cause of Christ on the mission fields at home and abroad.

The Lead Pastor will: 

LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Oversee the Executive Leadership Team and conduct regular meetings with direct reports to assist and equip the staff in achieving ministry objectives.

  • Nurture the mental, spiritual, and emotional health of the staff.

  • Conduct gospel-centered leadership trainings for the staff and ministry leaders.

  • Engage in personal and professional growth by being mentored and coached on a consistent basis.

  • Cast vision and carry the culture of The Bridge while partnering with the leadership team in making decisions for the mission, direction, and operations of the church.

TEACHING RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Lead the teaching team and guide the direction of series and sermon planning.

  • Lead teaching 25-35 weeks of the year, providing gospel-rich content that both edifies believers and evangelizes non-believers through powerful, compelling messages.

  • Develop and support young communicators to lead the congregation in teaching.

SHEPHERDING / ELDER RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Partner with the elders in their shepherding responsibilities and be a voting member of the Board of Elders as soon as is practical after joining the staff.

  • Be available to the congregation for counsel, weddings, funerals, baptisms, and communion as able and as needed.

  • Be accountable to the Board of Elders and, ultimately, the congregation.

  • Actively contribute to the improvement of the ministry of The Bridge Church and provides prayerful support.

  • Encourage spiritual focus and commitment by modeling the values and culture of The Bridge Church.

What you bring: 

Education  & Experience

The ideal candidate will have a degree from a theologically aligned university and a proven track record of growing a church or campus.

Personal Characteristics

  • Ability to see and articulate and execute the vision of The Bridge

  • Ordained as a minister of the Gospel

  • Qualify for office according to the standards of 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1

  • Have a vital walk with Jesus Christ that is evidenced through personal and familial spiritual leadership

  • Passion to cultivate a culture centralized on the Gospel

  • Strong relational capacity and an ability to lead others at a high level

  • Ability to give oversight and to delegate responsibility as appropriate

  • An authentic leader that exhibits a spirit of humility and dependence on Jesus for the work of the ministry

  • Display a track record of personal management, leadership, and professionalism

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What it's like to live in Spring Hill, Tennessee: 

The original campus of The Bridge is located in Spring Hill--one of the fastest growing cities in Tennessee. Located just south of Nashville, between Franklin and Columbia, Spring Hill provides a convenient location for people wanting a smaller town feel while still being close to everything a large city offers. Potential residents will find vast and rapidly expanding subdivisions and new commercial centers sprinkled amongst historic properties and a Civil War battlefield.

Columbia, Tennessee, the site of the second campus, is just 30 minutes down the road, and was named one of Southern Living’s “Best Small Towns” in 2019. For travelers and experience-seekers looking for a true Main-Street-America experience, Columbia has a vibrant, historic town square and Main Street that has great shopping, cool restaurants, and a live music scene. The new Columbia Arts District adjacent to downtown will captivate visitors with their local, funky, creative artists and makers. Community pride and Southern hospitality run deep. Some call Columbia ‘Muletown’ for the long-standing tradition of Mule Day, an annual April celebration going on since the 1930s.

The future third location of The Bridge will be north of Spring Hill. With a growing population, a rich history and proximity to a major metropolitan area, Middle Tennessee is a wonderful place to call home. There are not too many communities where you can literally have it all: a pastoral setting in one of America’s most vibrant regions with access to leading educational, entertainment, and outdoor activities, not to mention nationally headquartered companies and entrepreneurial employers.

Each campus is just a short drive from Nashville--the state capital and second largest city in Tennessee. Known worldwide as the center of country music, it has long been a destination for music-related tourism. The city has been working to renovate its downtown area and attract first-class amenities. Areas of downtown, notably The District, have stylish older buildings repurposed into shopping and nightlife areas. Nashville is a big sports town: The Tennessee Titans are the state’s first NFL team and there are minor-league or secondary league teams in just about every sport. Vanderbilt University, Fisk University and an assortment of smaller colleges add a higher education dimension. Beyond tourism and music, the economic base encompasses government, banking, finance, and insurance.

Think you're a great fit for this role? Become a candidate here. 

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