The root of our desire to start new campuses is a passion to reach people far from God. Around seven percent of people in the Sacramento region go to church on any given Sunday. The number is far less in the Santa Rosa area. At Bayside, we believe the Church is the hope of the world. We have seen lives transformed, marriages healed, and compassion unleashed on our communities, region, and world. Our desire is to expand to communities who need another church to share the good news of Jesus. We also want to keep our existing campuses healthy and growing.
Studies have been done that reveal churches who are past nine years old tend to lose their passion for unchurched people. They get so absorbed in taking care of their own needs that they forget why they started. Opening new campuses has kept us focused. The Senior Campus Pastors keep each other sharp.
The Senior Campus Pastor meeting is my favorite part of the week. We have developed a culture of trust, respect, and friendship. When one of our campuses does something exciting, we celebrate. When challenges happen, we share the burden. We believe each campus is part of the whole. This means we support each other, not only by words of encouragement but by taking action.
Our general plan is for Senior Campus Pastors to speak twice per month at their campus. Then they host another speaker once per month. This allows them to see and encourage the staff and volunteers doing children’s, youth, and guest services at the campus. Then once per month, they are speaking at a different campus. This keeps the unity of the church in tack and allows each campus to hear different voices. The sermon outlines are created with a team. A Senior Campus Pastor will be assigned to study and lead the meeting where eventually an outline is developed. The meetings consist of around 20 people who discuss and provide input.
Ray Johnston has created a collaborative leadership model. One person alone doesn’t make the decisions for the direction of Bayside. Each week at our Senior Campus Pastor meetings we discuss major events we are doing together, upcoming sermon series, Bayside culture, potential new Senior Campus Pastors, and areas we feel God is leading us to expand. We all have different backgrounds, which has made the conversation lively and beneficial for all in the room. Every time we add a new Senior Campus Pastor, we are able to evaluate their strengths and use it to help the overall Bayside movement.
I love that we have campuses in diverse communities. This diversity includes areas of economics, race, and politics. We hope we can be an example to other churches and our nation on how to respect each other when we are very different and even disagree. Our goal is to plant campuses in suburban, rural, and urban areas. We know this means music and speaking style will be different at our campuses. What unites us is having campuses that care about reaching people with the message of Jesus, growing people spiritually, and unleashing compassion on the community and world.
I love Ray’s heart and his vision for Bayside. He has said many times over the years that he has always wanted a place where there is health at the center of the church. He is vigilant to keep the core healthy. Our verse of the year for 2018 was Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ray reminds us often that we are just getting started, and God has great plans for our church.
– Jim Holst
18 years at Bayside