Bay City Church

A few months ago this video sharing Eddie Williams’ story and the Bay City Church vision for San Francisco popped up on my Facebook timeline.

Intrigued, I decided to check out their website and dropped him an email to connect. Bay City Church has a missional, relational and gospel centered approach to planting that’s really cool. It’s not about the organization, the gatherings, or some brand. It’s all about Jesus and people.

The plant is being spearheaded by Eddie and Sarah Williams. Eddie’s a pretty cool guy. I’ve been learning a lot from him and asked him if he wouldn’t mind answering some questions for the blog. I’m hoping to do more guest interviews like this in the future.

Some of our Wednesday night city group

Question:

Could you share a little about how you went from the NFL to pastoring and church planting? For some people, this may seem like a huge leap and I believe there’s a lot others could learn from such a transition.

Eddie:

I was called into ministry about 8 months after meeting Jesus. I was 18 or 19 at the time. I always knew I would go into ministry even throughout my football journey. My issue was being content while playing football in college and in the NFL. I had times where I considered leaving football for ministry. It wasn’t until I repented of my discontent with where God had me where I could really settle in and enjoy where I was. I was in lured a lot playing football. Most guys have an existential crisis when their football careers end, but for me, I already knew what I would dive into.

Question:

In one paragraph or less can you summarize for our readers the Bay City vision for San Francisco?

Eddie:

Bay City Church strives to be a diverse family of people dedicated to encountering Jesus, pursuing Jesus and proclaiming Jesus. The whole goal is to make Jesus famous in the city. Many people come here to make themselves known. We’ve come to make Jesus known. We want to exist as a counter-culture in the city. We want to be a city within the city that points people out of isolation and towards Christ

Question:

What would a successful Bay City Church look like to you in fifteen years?

Eddie:

Bay City will be successful if its leaders are faithful to Jesus with longevity and we raise up people to help others meet Jesus. This means our disciples make disciples, and our church planted more churches. There are no numbers attached. God’s will isn’t numbers for Bay City, it’s faithfulness from its people. Long-term obedience in the same direction is what we seek.

Question:

You and I both know how rewarding being a part of a new church plant can be. What would you say is the most rewarding part of this experience?

Eddie:

Watching God show up when you disbelieve him the most. Watching God provide when you think he can’t. Watching God bring you peace just when you think you are spent physically, spiritually and emotionally. Watching God transform the hearts of people from skeptic to faithful. It’s all about watching God work. Church planting shows you how limited you really are and how unlimited God really is.

Question:

A lot of Christians have a tendency to think that committing to a new church plant is only for “super-Christians” or those “called to ministry.” Because of this, they’re more likely to join or look for churches that are already well established in the community. Could you share your thoughts on this?

Eddie:

Church Planting is for anyone who wants a front row seat to see God work. Planting allows people to participate with God as he does amazing things. Due to the size and scope of planting, we all get an exceptional vantage point to God moving. We have to rely on God heavily for fundraising, people, buildings and the like. Watching God show up in timely ways is the most rewarding thing in all of ministry. If you just want a place to hear a good sermon and has a good kids ministry, then you will only see a small fraction of what God is capable of

Question:

What can a visitor to Bay City Church expect from their first visit?

Eddie:

They can expect a loving, hilarious, authentic and grace-filled people who are radically committed to Jesus and His mission. We work hard, play hard and party hard. But there are no masks allowed. Bring your real stuff, with your brokenness included. We are excited to become more redeemed versions of ourselves and we want to help new people get there as well. I won’t sell you with good coffee, a great women’s program or a smoke machine, we are just a bunch of real people who love Jesus.

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