MC Spotlight – Brandon

When we began attending Covenant Life in August of 2012, we quickly learned that almost everyone in the church lives in, well, Tampa. As Brandon-dwellers for over a decade, it’s been challenging for Peter and I to take the family out to Tampa at least two or three times a week and maintain regular friendships with people who live no less than 30 minutes away. We loved our MC deeply, but didn’t feel optimally effective trying to be missional in a neighborhood that is not our own. We prayed that God would expand CLC’s influence to Brandon.

Over the next two years, God answered our prayers exceedingly. He has continued to draw more people from this area to CLC. On July 29th, the Brandon Missional Community (MC) met for the first time. Consisting of CLC members from not only Brandon, but also Riverview, Valrico and even Lakeland, we have very diverse personalities and interests, but are all desperate for God to advance His kingdom in our neighborhoods—preferably, through us!

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Our MC has unique challenges and privileges, since the culture of the Brandon area seems very different from that in Tampa. As a suburb of Tampa, Brandon’s population is comprised largely of middle-class people living in cookie-cutter homes. The town has been around for a while—Brandon High School celebrates its 100-year anniversary next year—and most people that move to Brandon tend to stay. From what I can tell from the neighbors, anyone who has lived on our street for less than ten years is a newbie. Most of the people in our MC have indeed lived in the area awhile (and many of us have known each other since middle school!) so we already have established reputations and innumerable relationships in the area. Chances are high that if we visit the grocery store, we’ll see someone who has known us since we were little. Pray that we don’t waste those opportunities, and that we will be useful to the kingdom even through passing greetings.

Brandon has churches on every corner, and most people I know have a church background of some sort. Sadly, however, the allure of materialism, the overvaluing of privacy, and the general “niceness” that most Brandon-dwellers possess has greatly blurred the lines between Christian and non-Christian. Church discipline is a foreign concept and—consequently—Christ’s reputation has been marred. Many of my friends have abandoned the faith because they were unimpressed with the joyless religion of their parents. Church, please pray for us as we try to show our friends and neighbors what true, life-altering joy in Christ actually looks like.

So far, we seem to have about eight to ten people gathering on Tuesday nights. Every other week we will start at 7:30, to review the sermon and then split up for accountability groups. On the other weeks we will meet at 7 first to eat dinner together. Every 6th week, we also hope to plan a neighborhood party or community project. But our hope is that throughout the week, in smaller groups or as a whole MC, we will be gathering and serving.

If you’re interested in coming to the Brandon MC, contact Corey Konsulis or one of us Hencheys. We meet at our home in Valrico at 3912 Casaba Loop. Or for information on our other groups, visit here.

We are praying big for this MC. We hope to grow and birth more MCs. Maybe one day the Lord will choose to plant a church here from CLC. Most deeply, we want God’s glorious name and reputation to be celebrated among all nations, starting right here in Brandon.

Hope Henchey 

Posted on: August 12, 2014 - 12:26PM

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