This past weekend we announced "Launch". As we grow we are launching 2 services in August and we are moving our building plan forward. Here is some of the heart behind where the elders are standing.
Jesus told a parable in Luke 14:25-33 about a builder who didn’t rightly consider the cost. Over the last few months the elders and building team have spent hours thinking, planning and considering if this land and building is the next step for our church. Until recently, the elders did not have unity and peace about moving forward. Having looked at all of the numbers and various options, we still lacked unity and peace. The issue somedays was cost or the health of our church, and other days we just did not know what God was doing.
During all of this time, the one thing kept us on this track was that we had a sense the Holy Spirit was hovering over this land. We thought of Genesis and God’s creative Spirit hovering over the deep, brimming with life and action. He was about to do something big.
And as other options were presented to us, we kept coming back and saying, “We think God is in this land, but something is keeping us from moving forward”.
We knew that unless our vision was clear and our body could see it, hear it, understand it, and believe it, we would be pushing a boulder up hill. We believe our body will not be content with simply another multi-million dollar building that does nothing for the kingdom other than house the already saved a few times a week - and neither would we!
A couple of weeks ago, it clicked. As the vision for “why we need a building” became clear - or more appropriately, “why do we need an expensive building to make disciples” - unity and peace happened in a moment. God gave us that vision.
Now, like Abraham, we are ready to move forward in faith, believing wholeheartedly that God is calling us to this land, and we are ready to invite our body in to believing and dreaming with us.
There are a few practical things about this building that are important. We feel called to Lake Highlands, and we've felt the need, especially over the last 6 months for a long term home to grow into. The location is strategic in at the center of what will become “bridge” to Lake Highlands. Especially in thinking long-term, buying makes a lot more sense.
If space was the only issue, we could (and will in the near-term) address that issue in other ways.
Ultimately, the thing that makes this building different and worth pursuing is that we believe it will be used for and by the community and not just for some Sunday services and the occasional Wednesday prayer meeting. The vision God gave us was one of an anchor or a port in Lake Highlands. It will become something of what the temple was in Israel - a center for community life. We also believe our body will help determine what needs to help meet in our community 7 days a week.
We believe that God intends to use this physical space as an anchor or port for our community. It will be a place where men, women, and children come to encounter the presence of God. That's been a theme throughout the life of this church. I've heard from numerous people who walk in our doors that it's clear that the Holy Spirit is present and working here. That's not something to take lightly. That's a phenomenal blessing, the evidence of God's grace, and a fulfillment of some of His promises.
When people come and encounter the Presence of God, we feel a deep calling to not just leave them with an encounter. We want to teach and equip them in what it means to be in His Presence and how to minister to His people. That equipping is something we are growing in each year. We believe that having a space throughout the week to meet with people, train the body, and even provide a place for other groups and organizations who share this vision to train and equip others will be a phenomenal resource for our community. It's not just about equipping our community group leaders, training volunteers, taking people through a membership class, or hosting prayer and worship nights. It *is* about those things. Doing all of those is quite difficult where we are right now. But it's *also* about hosting events for other organizations, providing a place that can be used by other churches, and inviting the body and the larger community to dream with us. We see the need for a place like that, and we believe that that's what God wants to do with the space. It's a place that's safe and available for encouragement, up-building, and disciple-making.
Ultimately, we want people to discover the purpose that God has for them. For some, that will mean vocational ministry. For others, that will mean ministering to the needs of God's people through business, our neighborhood organizations, our families, and on and on. Those purposes might be right here in Lake Highlands. Or they might be in Richardson or Uptown. Or maybe they're in another state or country. That's up to God. But the common thread here is that the building will be a place to discover your purpose, gather with other believers who share that purpose, and to be sent out–whether that means across the street or across the globe–to fulfill that purpose.
The building will be an anchor, a port, a safe harbor for the glory of God.
As the elders began to see this vision for the building, we had a real "ah ha!" moment. This specific vision for the building all comes back to the overall mission and vision of our church. We didn't seek to *create* a vision for the building based on our church's mission and vision. But we believe that, in asking God about this building, He showed us how it fits into the work that we already know He's called us to.
Our vision is to become an ever-expanding family that carries the presence and purposes of God into all the world. This building will be the home for our family.
And our mission is to encounter, equip, and go: to encounter the Presence of God, equip the body in abiding in His presence and ministering to His people, and to go out into the world in the purpose God has put on each of our lives.
That's exactly what this building is about! God is providing a space for us to grow into the vision He's given us and a tool for accomplishing the mission.
We can (and have) come up with all sorts of specific potential uses for the building. Like...
- Training and Equipping
- Group Leader Training
- Office for staff (good-bye cloffice!)
- (Possible - Rent out to other churches, events, business for offices)
- Crown Financial
- Membership Class
- Theological Training
- Marriage and Family equipping
- Discipleship School
- Church Planting School
- Kingdom Business School
- Conferences (Wired, For the Good of the City)
- Prayer and Worship Nights
- Youth Nights
- Helping other non-profits host events (Buckner, Seek, Forerunner, etc.)
- Grocery store/clothing store for the poor
- Green space for moms to bring kids to play
- Ministry to Young Mothers (ex. MOPPS)
- Women/Men’s Bible Studies
As beneficial as it can be for us dream and strategize about the particulars of using this building, this is really where the body comes in. We believe the building will help us get people into the presence and then get them firing in their individual purpose. And we believe as our body is transformed and equipped the natural overflow is going to be fruit. Just look at our church now - this beautiful expression of prophets and priest and lovers that are genuinely concerned for social issues, the poor, the orphan the refugee. Our body is waiting to be lit on fire. The building isn’t the answer, just the next step in our progression of following our Father under His Kingdom of the Heavens.
We look forward to sharing more with you all corporately over the coming weeks.
Grace & Peace