Woodbine Family is a multi-cultural neighborhood church in South Nashville. Woodbine Family's mission is to be an instrument of God's love to the culturally diverse community of Woodbine in Nashville, TN. Since humans develop an understanding of God's love from the love shown to them, Woodbine Family strives to offer an avenue of love and aid in a harsh and unfriendly world. As God cultivates this seed in the lives of the Woodbine families many will respond to God's love and accept his gift of salvation.
The Vision Team is the leadership body which both works in conjunction with and oversees the Care and Ministry Teams. According to our leadership document, "The Vision Team oversees the logistical responsibilities and theological discussions of Woodbine Family, strategically planning for the church’s future with the intent of maintaining the church’s mission and vision." The members of the Vision Team (pictured below) are: Mark Black (chair), Daniel Burnell (staff coordinator), Kris Hatchell (treasurer), Greg Kirby (communications officer), and Alison Winstead (recorder).
To get a little of their background with Woodbine Family, each Vision team member was asked the following question:
When did you first get involved with Woodbine Family, and what drew you to this church?
Daniel: I was a Freshman at Lipscomb around the time that Woodbine Family started. I remember sitting in my college living room and listening to some of the original church planters dream and plan together. I was drawn to that mission then, and I still am today. I have been in and out of involvement ever since 2003, with a much heavier involvement during the past 4-5 years. Woodbine Family is full of Jesus followers who relentlessly do good in the Woodbine neighborhood. I like being a part of that.
Mark: Margo and I were drawn to Woodbine Family in 2005, if I remember right. I had been telling my students at Lipscomb for years that some of them should consider attending churches focused on communities of diversity, churches established for the purpose of breaking down the barriers that divide people. If the gospel message is truly heard, it will make us want to reach out to, worship with, learn from, and serve alongside people from different backgrounds and experiences. We saw those efforts within Woodbine Family. Margo and I pray that the Vision Team will be able to hear the voice of this community, the voices in our church, and the voice of God through the Spirit to help lead Woodbine Family to follow the example of Jesus.
Kris: I first got involved with Woodbine Family in 2007, before DeeDee and I were married. We have been a part of this Family, on and off, through these years but decided to commit to Woodbine Family over two years ago after returning from two years of service in Guatemala. What has drawn me to this church for almost a decade is its authenticity of community, the diversity of our Family, and a sense of just doing life together as we follow Christ. I am truly honored and excited to be a part of the new Vision Team and hope to help lead our family into its next chapter.
Greg: My involvement with Woodbine Family started in 2003, with the start of what was originally called McIver St. Church of Christ. I was drawn to the idea of a healthy church existing to provide love and support for a community lacking in relational stability. I'm continuously drawn to Woodbine by the family of believers here who love and serve each other--and their neighbors--with such commitment and passion.
Alison: I first became involved in the Woodbine community 15 years ago while volunteering at Youth Encouragement Services. The children and the community became family to me and prompted me to move into Woodbine to further nurture those relationships. I was blessed to be involved in the formation of Woodbine Family Church, and over the past 15 years, I have marveled at how God has used this church to love this community.
The Care Team exists to meet the spiritual needs of the members of the church. According to our leadership document, "the Care Team provides spiritual leadership, direction, and guidance to the congregation as a whole and to individual members of Woodbine Family." The members of the Care Team are: Rulfi Dominguez, Melissa Price, DeeDee Hatchell, and Jared Irvine.
Here's what they have to say about being on this team:
Why did you choose to be on the Care Team?
Rulfi: I chose the Care Team because I like to know people, and I have seen something inside me that caused me to encourage people to do better, and to try harder. I thought I could do that well on the Care Team. I thought about that, and we prayed, and I talked to my wife about it. I'm looking forward to getting to know more people and getting to hear from people: what they struggle with, and what are the barriers and the issues that people sometimes face. I think I can get involved in those things and listen and find a solution.
How would you describe the role of a Care Team member?
DeeDee: First and foremost, a Care Team member will be devoted to prayer for and with each individual of the church according to his or her specific needs, and prayer for the mission and vision of the entire church body. A Care Team member has the responsibility to help facilitate spiritual development and growth within the church as a whole, its individual members, and its ministers and other leaders. A Care Team member will also help connect individuals to needed resources in times of trial, conflict, or struggle. In conclusion, a Care Team member will model an attitude of Christ as he/she serves the Body.
What do you think the Care team will add to Woodbine Family?
Melissa: The Care Team wants to provide a safe place for spiritual comfort and guidance. I want to encourage the moments that connect us to God and build up our community and individuals in spirituality. The Care Team is also here to add intentional and streamlined support to Woodbine. Our church is full of loving and supportive people, and I want us to help navigate the growth and continuation of that support.
As a member of the Care team, what is your biggest goal for Woodbine Family?
Jared: Coming to Woodbine Family from the very beginning for us was about joining a community of believers that were focused on pursuing the concerns of Jesus. Abby and I found that at Woodbine. I am hopeful that as member of the Care Team, that we can pursue the will of God through the power of the Spirit in a way that expands church in a safe and loving way so that others can pursue the concerns of Jesus in a way that brings hope, peace and joy to their lives.
It is such a blessing to have these four people on the Care Team. Please pray for them, as they pray for all of us and seek ways to grow our church spiritually.