Outside Our Walls

Starting on August 20, 2017, BSM North will no longer be hosting Sunday morning youth services. But why? 

I'm glad you asked.


For a better part of American history and culture, the church building has been a huge lifeline of Christian activity. The Christian ritual has been firm and repetitive: Go to your desired church service, sit in your desired seat (or pew), listen to someone preach, sing a few songs, shake a few hands, go home, live your normal life, and then repeat next Sunday.

But the "Christian life" we see in Scripture is a far cry from today's religious systems. You see, in days of old, the lifeline of Christian activity thrived outside of the 4 walls of a building. Believers ate meals together. They prayed together. They worshiped together. They ministered to each other. They encouraged one another. They served each other.

All outside the walls of a religious building.

Then, somewhere along the lines, our culture shifted. Out of necessity, demand, common sense, habit, or comfort, Christian activity slowly became centered around a church building. Suddenly, the arms and hands, and legs and feet of the Body that were once thriving in neighborhoods, at family dinner tables, and on city streets grew stiff during the week. Truth is, we so often wait for the church doors to open on Sunday morning so we can continue our spiritual activities.

But our desire at BSM North is to return the arms and hands, and legs and feet back to the neighborhoods. Back to the family dinner tables. Back to the city streets. We have a growing zeal to see the Church thrive outside the church building.

We want students to be doing less church activity, and more Kingdom activity. 

For us at BSM North, we've realized that our long-standing behavior has been telling people to "Come to us. Come to our service. Come to our event. Come to our class." But you can't impact a city while locked away in a class room. And so we've felt a large stirring from the Lord compelling us to declare that we would be a people who would "Go to them. Go to their neighborhood. Go to their streets. Go to their homes."


Now, there may be some concern from people who might cry out, "But what about the part where we're called to 'not neglect to gather together..'?" [Hebrews 10:25] Thankfully, we're not neglecting to gather together! Along with the reality that believers are commanded to meet together in a community setting, we truly do believe that there is so much beauty, value, and life to be had when we gather together, pray for each other, minister to each other, worship together, serve each other, and encourage each other inside the walls of a church building! 

And it's because of this importance, that our Wednesday Night service, SUMMIT, will continue to be a time of worship, encouragement, teaching, and Life Groups! But these nights will serve as a catalyst to "go." We will charge our leaders, students, and Life Groups to be more involved in the community. More involved at their dinner tables. More involved in their school hallways. More involved in the streets.

So now what?

Without Middle School and High School services on Sunday Morning, what is there for students to do? The answer is quite simple:

Serve & Worship.

Students of all ages can sign up to be a part of our SERVE Team, and help serve the people of Beltway Park on Sunday Mornings and Thursday Nights. From Children's Ministry, to helping people find a seat, to serving in a kiosk between services, everyone has a place to serve! Use this opportunity to jump in with us!

We also encourage our students to come join us in our main Worship Center on Sunday mornings. Middle School students will be encouraged to come and worship alongside other Middle Schoolers, and High School students will be encouraged to come and worship alongside other High Schoolers. Or perhaps even more powerful, we encourage our students to worship together with their family.


As we journey into this new season, we ask for your prayers. Pray that our leaders, students, and Life Groups would be bold as they begin to step into the streets of our city, love our people, and declare the name of Jesus.

May we be known as followers of Jesus who thrive outside the walls of a church building. May we be known as followers of Jesus who "go to them."

May we dare to follow Jesus outside our walls.

Want more info?

As Fall approaches, there are a lot of details and moving parts to make this transition happen, and I'm sure there are plenty of questions to be asked. I encourage you to join us at our Open House on August 13th @ 2pm, where we will further discuss our vision as a ministry, the details of this exciting transition, and how it will affect all of us!


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The Least of These

The Least of These.jpg

For the past 3 weeks at BSM North, we've been in our "Do Something" series, where we've been examining and discussing the realities of our faith and the calling we have as Christians to turn our love for Jesus into action towards others. Last night we wrapped up the series by looking at Matthew 25:31-46 – where we see Jesus on the Mount of Olives with his disciples.

The story that Jesus brings up is one that most of us are familiar with: Jesus, at the end of time, has every nation, tribe, and tongue standing before him. He has sorted some of them to his left, and some of them to his right.

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

The scene quickly shifts to those on his right who answer him, saying "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?"

40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Now, for those who are unfamiliar, a few weeks ago we posted a blog about one of our North Campus high school students Britni, who approached me with the desire to start a food drive for her birthday. Along with the blog post, I quickly spread the word throughout our student ministry and social media to join in and help stock the shelves of our Beltway Park Food Pantry.

Then, without anyone's prompting, Pastor McQueen announced the following Sunday morning that both of our campuses would be taking donations up for our Beltway Food Pantry in honor of Britni's birthday food drive. 

The response was simply astounding.

Over 70 food & personal items Donated
Over $13,000 Raised

I remember sitting in my office when I first read those numbers in an email, and I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed.

You see, this is about something greater than cans of food or dollar signs. This is about people. This is about a community coming together to do what Jesus has called us to do – love our neighbor and to take care of the "least of these."

The thing I've realized in my own life, is that I tend to over-spiritualize "loving thy neighbor." But the remarkable thing about Matthew 25:31-46 is the fact that Jesus is talking about actions that aren't inherently spiritual at all. Jesus isn't calling out to those who prayed for the hungry. Those on the right aren't described as people who led some massive spiritual crusade or revival.

It's actually much more simple than that. Jesus is talking about people who:

Fed the hungry.
Gave a drink to the thirsty.
Clothed the naked.
Cared for the sick, the stranger, and the needy.

You know what I love about that? Though seemingly unspiritual they may be, when we do those basic things for the "least of these," we are actually doing them directly unto Jesus.

And so we can all "ooh" and "ahh" about $13,000. But that's not what this is about. This is about people. Because do you know what 70 food and personal items + over $13,000 actually does?

Feeds the hungry.
Gives a drink to the thirsty.
Clothes the naked.
Cares for the sick, the stranger, and the needy.

So, to the countless strangers who dug into their pockets or into their pantry, and to those who daily give of yourself in order to take care of the "least of these" – Thank You.

You are world changers.

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Food for Hope

Last year while on a mission trip in Atlanta, Georgia, God really stirred my heart when we visited government homes to deliver food that we had sorted through the previous day at the Georgia Mountain Food Bank. While we were there, we watched a documentary about the poverty situation in Atlanta, and one lady said, "I have no hope." She believed she was never going to get out of the vicious cycle of poverty, and that broke my heart! It broke my heart because the human spirit cannot survive with out hope! We can live without food and water for several days, and even without air for a few minutes, but without hope we lose the will to live.

After seeing the conditions they live in, and witnessing children having to endure something like this, it stirred my heart to take a step to reverse the situation of poverty and give a little bit of hope back to them.

Even if it is just one can of food – if one can of food can plant that thought of..."Maybe I can get through this because there is one meal already provided for me," then I get to watch God nourish that seed and do the impossible! If God thinks highly enough of me to want me to be a part of that, then I want to say "YES!" and walk in the light of Jesus for my neighbors in MY home town.

Britni Starr

A note from Braden:

One of our greatest responsibilities as followers of Christ is to love people. The hard question is "how?" The amazing thing about "loving people" is that it can come in all shapes and sizes. Love can look like a conversation at a coffee shop. Love can look like fixing a flat tire. Love can look like welcoming someone into your home.

Love can look like feeding the hungry.

The amazing thing about Britni's story is the fact that she approached me about wanting to do a food drive for her birthday. Her love for Jesus and people run so deep that even on a special occasion of turning another year older, her greatest desire is not for gifts, nor money, nor a new gadget, but to bring hope to the hopeless.

And so on February 22 and March 1, we will be having a Food Drive at our Wednesday night SUMMIT services at Beltway North. I encourage you join in on what God has placed in Britni's heart, and help stock the shelves of our Beltway Park Food Pantry and bring hope to those in need.

What to Bring

Body soap
Toilet paper
Laundry soap
Feminine supplies
   (Especially Large Print and/or Spanish)
Dishwashing liquid
Tooth brushes

Canned chicken
Vienna sausages
Canned fruit
Canned ravioli/spaghetti-o’s
Ramen noodle soup
Canned soups
Macaroni & cheese
Hamburger helper
Ranch beans/Baked beans

Salt & pepper & spices
Cooking oil
Bisquick/Pancake mix
Cornbread mix/Cake mix
Peanut butter