CHRIS BROOKS is a pastor who likes breaking the rules for those broken by the rules. He was voted “least likely to be used by God” in his small hometown church. In college, Chris was introduced to “the Jesus I never knew, but secretly wished was true.” All it took was a rogue professor, the parables of Jesus, and group of friends who became family for Chris to get a glimpse of his identity and value in Christ. The gospel went from math to music. Still broken but very much beloved by God, Chris set out on the adventure of a lifetime to surrender himself in service and sonship to King and Kingdom. His sweet spot is creating spaces where the broken can become brave again.
After 25 years of church and ministry, a new dream has come into focus: a pastor in every neighborhood. He wants to be a part of equipping and encouraging ordinary people into extraordinary discipleship because we have an extraordinary God. The vision is to see 100’s of “micro churches” meeting in homes, apartments, and workplaces as an extended spiritual family sharing meals, sharing life, and sharing resources on mission with Jesus. Chris earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson School of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Formation from Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Brooks (please don’t call him that) is married to Audrey (the real minister), and they have four children whose names and ages he has a hard time getting right (but he loves them more than life itself and considers being a father his greatest calling). Chris is a competitive popcorn eater, paper cut survivor, and award- winning unpublished author.
AUDREY BROOKS loves to nurture growth in people in the context of community and spiritual family. Her favorite place to do this is in her home. She wants to see God’s children live into the identities that Jesus ensured by his sacrifice they could have. Her deep conviction of the priesthood of all believers inspires her to walk in relationship with Jesus and see others do the same. Audrey has spent 20+ years partnering with Chris in life and ministry. She graduated from Samford University and holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Alabama. Both of these degrees are buried somewhere in the attic under old Halloween costumes and hand-me-down clothes. It’s on her to-do list to find them and hang them in the laundry room, which is where she spends a significant portion of her time. Speaking of to-do lists, she loves a project. Even more than the project itself, she loves completing the project. “Done is better than perfect.” She is passionate about SEC football and guacamole. Her alter ego is Tami Taylor.
JASON DUKES is a skeptic who needs daily reminders of the message of Jesus and a teacher who tries to cause questions more than give answers. He grew up in inner city New Orleans, where his dad pastored a mostly black church. After meeting his wife at and graduating from Union University in Jackson, TN, he and Jen lived in Orlando, FL for 14 years. College ministry then church starting led to a depth of community they’d never experienced before among a diverse people, both those believing and yet to believe. Five years of helping a local mega-church multiply disciples making disciples and congregations making more congregations has now led to a desire to see numerous micro-churches across Middle TN who notice those around them who welcome relationship and purpose together. He has started some for-profit and not-for-profit ventures, and his entrepreneurial spirit comes out in all that he does. His favorite pastoral activity is equipping people to stop living FOR Jesus and instead live WITH Jesus, thus re-imagining their lives in step with the life-giving rhythms of Jesus. He has an MDIV from New Orleans Seminary. Much more importantly, he and Jen have seven kids and a yellow lab. He is an expert at two things -making popcorn on the stove and making pancakes from scratch.
JEN DUKES loves to encourage women and young moms, with primary focus on pouring life into her seven kids. She hopes to help them discover Whose they are. She and Jason have been learning to love each other for 23 years, and they cherish the adventure of disciple making ministry together. She also graduated from Union University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has worked as an RN in both internal medicine as well as labor and delivery. She continues to work as an RN on call with a certified professional midwife serving here in Middle TN. Jen’s quiet but determined spirit brings peace and encouragement to many, but her best give is in 1:1 conversations and in flexing her hospitality strength.