Brentwood Baptist Church, located in the the greater Nashville area, is one of the largest and fastest growing churches in the country. With over 9,000 members, and having grown from just one campus a few years ago to five currently, Brentwood Baptist faces many of the same challenges smaller churches and churches of a similar size face, as well as some unique to them.
Like many large churches that have a multi-site model with staff serving in different locations, Brentwood Baptist has faced the challenge of maintaining security while providing secure access to data for an increasingly mobile, and dispersed staff. Enable Ministry Partners has worked with Brentwood Baptist to ensure that all Brentwood Baptist devices, across all campuses, are encrypted for security. Access to data stored on the church network is via secure VPN or Terminal Server, and as Brentwood Baptist begins to make the move to cloud services for some of its needs, like Microsoft Office 365 for email, and One Drive for personal file storage, Enable has partnered with the church to carry out the migrations and put in place the needed security for these services.
Additionally, Brentwood Baptist experiences unique challenges of providing technology support to the staff supporting their Deaf and Chinese congregations. As an expression of Enable Ministry Partners’ commitment to go going the extra mile to serve those who serve, Enable has customized its support to include additional on-site hours that allow face to face support for those deaf staff and Chinese staff for whom interacting with a remote service desk can be both daunting and challenging.
Brentwood Baptist’s multi campus model provides centralized service to the remote campuses while allowing the campuses much greater autonomy than a traditional multi-cast site model does, but those shared services require an effective, reliable wide area network that goes beyond just providing access to centralized data. Given the nature and model of Brentwood Baptist’s expansive ministry objectives, seamless communication between all campuses and staff is vital. Enable engineers helped develop a wide area network that, in addition to site to site data connectivity, allows Brentwood Baptist’s campuses to enjoy a single voice-over-IP phone system with extension to extension calls between campuses. The network is also used, once a year, on “Vision Sunday” to simulcast an address by the Senior Pastor at the Central campus to all the remote campuses.
Brentwood Baptist’s manifold creative mission initiatives often pose unique and interesting challenges, including outfitting a mobile Medical/Dental unit with a self-contained network that employs solid state drives for reliability in a mobile environment, all devices encryption to protect patient’s data, all while supporting on-board digital imaging equipment and providing secure wireless access for portable devices used for registrations. Other Brentwood mission activities in the areas of prison ministry, care for the poor and homeless, ministry to refugees, and adoption and foster care, all are supported by technology that enables staff and volunteers to serve others in an effective and efficient way.
From desktop support to assisting with developing technology roadmaps and strategy, Enable Ministry Partners works alongside Brentwood Baptist to bring world class solutions to the unique challenges of a vibrant and growing church. Brentwood and Enable both share a passion that peoples’ lives will be changed as they are served by others committed to them and the Gospel of Christ.
In the words of their Executive Pastor, Brian Dodridge, “Enable has been a valued ministry partner with Brentwood Baptist Church since 2007. Since then, our church has grown in size and complexity as our multi-site strategy has led us add five more campus locations. Whether it’s strategic IT planning, managing special projects or providing help desk support to our staff, Enable has the technology resources that our church needs to help our church be ready for the next ministry opportunity God has in store for us.”