Gene Jennings on Passing on the Church to the Next Generation
True North Church was planted in 2004 in North Augusta, South Carolina and is one of the fastest growing churches in the country. True North is a casual church with a great kids’ ministry and a live band. Gene and his wife had left North Augusta years ago and thought they wouldn’t come back. But God led them back home and now Gene works to grow True North within the staff and congregation.
Gene is with us today to talk about developing the church itself and passing the torch to the next generation.
- Step out in faith. // Starting a new church is a big dream, and it can be overwhelming to think about. But the biggest part is stepping out in faith and going forward where God leads you. Gene had a dream about starting a contemporary church like True North and so he took that leap of faith when lead pastor Steve Davis called and asked him to help start the church with him.
- Attract the younger generation with new ideas. // It can be difficult to engage the next generation into serving and leading the church. True North is adding in an evening service with features that appeal to the younger generation, such as a coffee bar, food trucks, and fire pits. They are also working with training younger leaders through a ministry residency program.
- Train the next generation within the church. // One of the special features of True North is the ministry residency program, which is a paid internship. These younger individuals work as part time staff, but they also receive reading assignments each month along with videos and teaching. They are part of the leadership team meetings in the church so that they can be involved in all events and ministries within the church throughout the year.
- Develop leadership through trust among the staff. // The staff at True North is growing and they work like a family together. The staff is low key and laid back. Gene says the biggest part of working as a staff is working with trust. They hold each other accountable and develop their leadership program as a group. The staff read the book The Speed of Trust by Stephen M .R. Covey together, which Gene recommends as a great read for leadership, and discussed how to implement the ideas within it into their own team.
- Remain humble. // Gene describes the pastor at True North Church as a very humble man. He doesn’t try to make himself the focus of the church or the ministry, instead he keeps the focus on the Lord. As Gene says, God will bless churches that keep the center of the ministry on God and he believes that is a big part of the success that True North has seen over the last thirteen years.
You can learn more about True North Church at their website www.truenorthchurch.com.
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Helpful Tech Tools // Slack, Evernote, Twitter
Ministries Following // Compassion International
Influential Book // Designed to Lead: The Church and Leadership Development by Eric Geiger
Inspiring Leader // George W. Bush
What does he do for fun // learn about the financial market, swing trade options