Alum Helps Churches Gain MomentumJuly 19, 2019 (Jackson, Miss.) - Eric Smith '04 has always had a desire to see the church grow and thrive. Over his years of serving in the church, he discovered that the majority of churches are struggling with mission clarity, building relational trust, and growing a healthy culture.

Smith believes his own experiences can give church leaders some helpful perspectives and guiding principles. These deep-seeded issues in the church inspired him to write the book Momentum.

Momentum is aculmination of all that I had been striving to develop in the churches I served, so I wanted to share the ideas and principleswith others,” said Smith. “This was a journey with many mentors, leaders, books, and experiences which culminated in the current system design of Momentum.”

His book is based on a step-by-step system that he gave much thought and prayer. Momentum is made up of five elements and eight tools that helps churches and their team reach clarity and break through the barrier of growth. “The book is very practical and helpful no matter the size, denomination, or structure of your church,” adds Smith.

Smith's book can help good churches become great by bringing clarity to their vision and strategic plans, building relational trust on their staff and within their church leadership, and by growing a healthy culture that produces discipleship.

In 2004, Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies at Belhaven University. He later attended Liberty Theological Seminary where he attained a Doctor of Ministry, Masters of Arts in Religion, and a Masters of Divinity. While a student at Belhaven, Smith played football for the Blazers as quarterback. He was involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and interned at FirstBaptistChurch of Jackson. He also spent one summerworkingat a church plant in Sweden with former Belhaven graduateGaryJohnson. From 2009-2013, Smith served as the Blazers' team chaplain under Coach Joe Thrasher. He also taught classes as an adjunct professor during those years.

“My time at Belhaven had a huge impact on my ministry,” said Smith. “Dr. Martin and Dr. Kenyon were incredible professors and helped inpractical ministry application. Also, my football coaches impacted me in a huge way as a leader andunderstanding how to work with others to accomplish a goal.”

This story is part of the University's digital magazine. For more stories like this one, check out the 2019 edition of Belhaven's Tartan Magazine.