welcome to exchanged church – our story

our story

The concept for Exchanged Church developed over several years, beginning with one simple sermon back in 2016.


In 2016, I was attending a church in the upstate of South Carolina. I don’t remember the focus of the sermon, but the pastor explained Psalms 37:4 in a way that resonated with me and led, indirectly, to the formation of this church.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
– Psalms 37:4 (NIV)

The pastor explained that while many wanted to believe that belief in Jesus meant unending riches for you, this verse was about rebirth. I am paraphrasing here, but the explanation was that God would replace your worldly desires with His desires for your life. In other words, God would “exchange” your old life for the life He had planned for you before time began.

That stuck with me. As I grew in my faith, I searched for that exchange. I sought to hear God, to be obedient to His calling so that I might trade in the old for the new.

In 2020, I felt God call me to write a book about the challenges of coming to faith later in life. I started with a concept and a name: “Exchanged by Faith”. However, the book is still not done. I think God continues to teach me what I need to write about. But, I kept looking for things to write about, things that people needed to be aware of as they changed from a secular to a spiritual life.

In 2022 I worked for a traditional Sunday morning church for about six months. Again, I think God used that time to teach me. I felt a certain discontent with the Sunday morning routine. Same with the small group I was part of. Neither were providing what I felt I needed for spiritual growth.

I felt there had to be another way for those serious about spiritual growth to come together, learn, grow and serve. I was also very disillusioned with the time, money and effort that went into maintaining the building, paying staff and producing the Sunday “experience”. I did much reading on church models, finances and structures, searching for a better way. I did not find one.

There has to be another way

The challenges that I identified as I studied the Sunday church model:

  • 40-60% of budget spent on building and staff (as opposed to helping the body)
  • Focus on “production value” and “entertainment” to keep the seats filled
  • Success measured by attendance, baptisms, or donations
  • Need for each sermon to serve everyone from the non-believer to obedient servant
  • New believers are expected to understand sermons without a baseline of knowledge
  • Newly baptized not shepherded through the transition to living a life of faith
  • Our post-Christian culture and a search for “relevance” eroding the truth of Scripture
  • Most that served, served within the church (greeters, parking, ushers and the such) not out in the world.
  • Embracing of tools of the culture while encouraging believers to move away from the culture
  • Lack of intimacy and accountability in large churches
  • Lack of purpose for many small groups
  • Divisions between denominations
  • Corruption in the church, frequently related to large sums of money

Many home churches suffered their own problems:

  • Most home churches frequently suffer dwindling attendance
  • Theological disagreements lead to divisions
  • Many are uncomfortable leading or hosting groups, especially including strangers
  • Strong personalities tend to steer the teaching, often leading to embracing a “unique theology” apart from Scripture.
  • Many become isolated, not serving the larger church body

Clearly, not all these issues plague every Sunday morning church or home church. But the challenges remain. Combine these facts with:

  • An alarming number “Dones” (people that have left the church)
  • People not returning to church after COVID
  • Dwindling attendance across the board (as a percentage of population)
  • An increasingly hostile culture

and the need for a new approach is obvious.

The birth of an idea

As I pondered the idea of a new format, I wanted to borrow ideas that were already proven, already working, and tailor them for a new church concept. I wanted to focus on the Great Commission:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)

When I started thinking about the needs to carry out the Great Commission and thought of organizations already doing that kind of work, several came to mind quickly (none of the organizations named below are associated in any way with Exchanged Church):

For how to organize small groups across a geographically, accountability and intimacy:
Alchoholics Anynomus (AA)

To help people become comfortable sharing the Gospel and their story:

To provide a strong baseline of knowledge:
Trade schools, homeschooling, and military boot camp.

There are many other elements that have gone into the concept that is Exchanged Church, but these form the foundation.

One concept that came out of a conversation with a friend. He and I were discussing the AA concept and how it might apply to the church idea. He asked “What addiction will the church be trying to break?” and it struck me: addiction to culture. Culture inhibits our spiritual growth, and we must walk away from culture (and old self) if we are to be close to God.

As we continue to refine how we will carry out the Great Commission, I would be remiss if I did not thank all of those that have taught me through sermons, conversations, written word and prayer. My name is signed below, but these ideas are an accumulation of many contributions. To the extent that I get any of this “right” all Glory goes to God. To the extent that I miss the mark, well, that is on me.

Please pray that we can have a positive impact on the Christian Church and on our communities and families.

With God’s abundant love,
Brian Adams