Church of the Springs and Compass Church become one

Associate Pastor Ken Edwards and Lead Pastor Brent Batson of Church of the Springs. CENTURY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN PACHECO

By: 
John Pacheco

 

There’s a saying that two heads are better than one, and if that’s true, why not two churches? On June 25th  of this year, Church of the Springs and Compass Church merged and became one.

For Church of the Springs Lead Pastor Brent Batson, and Compass Church Pastor Ken Edwards, the combining of the two churches was a better way to fulfill their church objectives and mission. “The phrase that we keep saying is that ‘we’re better together than separate.’”, Edwards said.

“It has  been a prayer of ours for about three years,” Batson said.  “We did a sermon series on building community within our people—the idea that we do life better when we do it with someone, as opposed to being alone and isolated.  What we realized was that ,as a church, we were not doing corporately what we were asking people to do individually.”

“We began to pray  about  what it would be look like to join someone and share resources and vision. From the start, we have been a multigenerational, family oriented church, with a strong emphasis on kids. That’s who we are and we were looking to find someone to share that vision with, without changing what we are and without losing who God called us to be,” Batson said. “Compass’s vision was similar enough that it was just a good fit from the beginning.  It was just a good match.”

Edwards said Compass Church was likewise looking. “I agree with Brent that our values were very similar and that we were a good fit from the start. We started our church in February of 2007 and originally met in Bee Caves Elementary, but the school’s ISD made it very cumbersome for us to meet there.  Then a rental space next to Carmela’s Restaurant on Hamilton Pool Rd. opened up and we moved there; but our rent kept going up and so we started looking for another place to have our services.,” Edwards said.

Batson and Edwards had known each other for eight years and were participants in a weekly breakfast held by local pastors at El Rey Restaurant, but when Batson hadn’t seen Edwards in a while, he called Edwards to see how he was doing.

“I told Brent that our church was healthy, but that we were looking for a place to meet.  Brent graciously offered us his church building, and that led to further conversations about doing our ministry together.  We felt it would provide a great opportunity for better stewardship. Why spend more money on rent and electricity when we could come together and use our resources toward good works for the community?” Edwards said.

“He [Batson] had an interesting way of looking at it. He said we’re like a dancer looking for someone to dance with, then saying, why don’t we come over and dance with them? We came over, joined them for a service, and it was electric from the start. I thought of Jesus’s prayer for believers in John 17 verse 21, ‘that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.’  Our joining would not only be good for our situation, but it would be honoring to God. That was our goal to glorify God in this,” Edwards said. “When we merged, I wanted Brent to be lead pastor because he founded Church of the Springs, so I defer to him. We co-pastor and it has worked out very well. It has allowed both of us to do what we do even better.”

“Being good stewards of resources God has given us was certainly a factor”, Batson said, “...but we aren’t a business or a production, we are first and foremost a family and it was very important that there be a relational fit. That is the part that has been the biggest blessing, all the new friendships and community that has developed around a common vision. It has been a beautiful thing to be a part of”.

Both pastors agree that the two churches brought something to the relationship.

“We each had strengths that completed the other.  Compass needed children and youth and younger families, we had plenty of those, so we brought that.  We needed added strength, stability and leadership and they brought that. They also expanded our missional efforts to include an outreach in Honduras, which we are excited about.” Batson said.

When asked what’s next, Batson said, “This is what’s so exciting and that’s being formulated. We’re going to settle in and enjoy who we are together and then start dreaming together. We have combined our leadership teams and finding synergy.  We don’t want it to be us and them.  From the start it has been “we”. We didn’t ask Compass to stop anything that they were doing to become part of us—we joined what they were doing and they joined what we were doing, neither group stopped doing anything, but now we’re doing it together.”

“One thing I can tell you is that our church has a deep emphasis on youth and the next generation.  Since summer, we’ve baptized sixteen people—mostly young people, but moms and dads as well. We are seeing entire families impacted by the gospel. In all the hustle and bustle and growth in Dripping Springs, we believe there is still a need for a warm, friendly neighborhood church and that is who we have been and what we are going to continue to be about.  We were very fortunate to buy  land right in the heart of Dripping Springs several years ago before the prices started climbing to high. We are in the heart of Dripping and we have a big heart for Dripping.” Batson said.

“We’re both about serving the community together,” Edwards said.

The core values of the Church of the Springs are expressed in the acronym S.P.R.I.N.G.S.—Scripture driven, People matter, Relationships are important, Intimacy with God, Next generation, Global impact, and Spirit filled.

Church of the Springs is located at 230 Sports Park Drive, and holds Sunday worship at 10:45 a.m.  Their phone number is (512) 829-4642, and their website is churchofthesprings.org.

 

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