A Simple Church Vision In Nashville, Tennessee (Berry Street Worship Center)

The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center is a customized ministry of The Salvation Army Nashville.  Established in March 2008, our goal is to see individuals and our urban Nashville community transformed by:


*  Cultivating And Spreading Spiritual Awakening


 All that we do is focused on loving and obeying Jesus Christ.  Every week we see God do many amazing things in people’s lives.  Each Sunday morning we have a different worship leader help us enter into passionate praise and worship.  Our participatory meetings stir up God’s fire in people’s hearts compelling them to make necessary lifestyle changes.


Our primary goal is that Berry Street be an example of the power of  Christ working through participatory meetings and to help spread spiritual awakening both in The Salvation Army and through out Nashville.  We want to see people’s lives changed for the long-term, with practical results, such as getting and sustaining jobs, getting a GED and/or college education, and developing healthy and moral relationships.  The ultimate outcome is that they become strong believers and leaders/examples in the body of Christ and in the local community. 


*  Individual Transformation:


We seek to extend our impact on individuals beyond short-term assistance to long-term life transformation.  To do this we have established a climate of mutuality where all are equal and all can freely give and receive love, encouragement, and hope. 


Our meetings engage people in open sharing and participation.  As people actively support and minister to one another amazing transformations occur.  People are often moved to tears as they feel a direct connection to God’s love.  Their attitudes and behaviors begin to change and this is noticeable and encouraging to everybody.


The two staff members spend much of their time during the week listening to, praying with, counseling, and encouraging both regular attendees and members of the community.  The regulars have now begun to spend time together encouraging and helping one another.  This growing love and sense of caring community creates beautiful changes in people as they experience personal growth in both confidence and ability. 


*  Community Transformation:


The Berry Street members and staff interact with many people who live in our community each week.   People are seeing their neighbors and friends changing before their eyes.  Community members drop by the building for assistance, prayers, and encouragement through out the week.  Each week we have visitors from the community in our Sunday morning meeting.  Berry Street has also been conducting highly visible neighborhood prayer walks (carrying a full size Salvation Army flag) 1 to 4 times per week for several years.  This has facilitated much friendly interaction with community members and represents The Salvation Army taking a strong stand in East Nashville.


*  Racial Reconciliation


Although our community is predominately black, our Sunday meetings are very mixed with both blacks and whites.  We are also reaching out to Hispanics and frequently have people from other ethnic groups.  One neighborhood visitor (who is now a regular member) said that Berry Street reminded him of a “bowl of Fruit Loops” (because of the diversity).  Our diversity is harmonious and is rarely ever mentioned as people have moved beyond race to seeing each other as equal brothers and sisters in Christ. 


*  Loving At Risk Children


Every week we have 20-40 neighborhood children (most come without a parent) in a Sunday morning children’s church.  They are served a snack; taught a Bible lesson, and then given recreation time with adult leaders who have been teaching and mentoring them for more than two years.  Once a month they are served a full meal at Berry Street after the Sunday meeting. 


*  Leadership Development


We are seeing people not only beginning to take responsibility for themselves and their lifestyle choices, but people are also seeking to help and to influence others to follow Christ in practical obedience to His word.  Our goal is to develop so many leaders that we can eventually begin to send people out to help train others to hear and obey the Holy Spirit in church meetings, in cell groups, and in their individual lives.


*  An Overall Mission Statement


“The mission of The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center is to create an environment where the Holy Spirit can work freely in the lives of those who gather with us, set them free from bondage to sin, and enable them to practically follow and obey Jesus in their daily lives. To do this we have open and participatory meetings (organic church) where people can freely share testimonies, Scriptures, prayer needs, and words of encouragement (as led by the Holy Spirit) — Sunday morning meeting at 10:45; participatory Bible Study at 9:30am; Thursday night participatory Bible study at 6:30pm.  We also have a Sunday morning children’s ministry.”

Our goal is to see God create a body of believers who love, serve, help, and encourage one another beyond the human barriers of economics, class, race, or tradition. We want to see the people in our neighborhood and city come to know Jesus to the point that they live holy and obedient lives and become powerful witnesses bringing others along with them.


Management expert, Peter Drucker on The Salvation Army


From Forbes magazine:  “Drucker calls The Salvation Army ‘by far the most effective organization in the U.S.  No one even comes close to it in respect to clarity of mission, ability to innovate, measurable results, dedication and putting money to maximum use.’” 


Need For Funding


Because we work in a low income neighborhood, we have a need for ongoing funding.  If you would like to help with a one time gift or by giving regularly, your gift will be used for God’s glory.


Just send a check to:  The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry Street, Nashville, TN   37207 (Make it out to:  The Salvation Army).  All gifts sent will go directly into our Berry Street budget.

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Tags: Army, Berry, Nashville, Salvation, Street, The, church, organic, participation


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Comment by Steve Simms on May 19, 2011 at 10:14am
Thanks for the encouraging words, Jim.
Comment by Jim London on May 19, 2011 at 8:00am
Steve, thank you for posting this presentation of what's happening on Berry Street. Wonderfully encouraging and also stirring imagination for how a kingdom outpost can function. 

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