Growing, From the Beginning, The First Easter
God has continued to be gracious to us, from the very beginning and from our very first Gathering, through every Gathering over so many years.
Growing, to our Tenth Easter
We're exited to remind you that this Easter will be our TENTH Easter as a new church in our city. Ten Years, and God continues to be kind. So besides only being reminded of our ten year mark, we have an announcement for our TENTH Easter.
Exponentially Grow Gospel-Centered Christians
The Gospel, in all of its grace provided by the perfect justice of Jesus and His cross, is attractive! We live in a city of 45,000 people, bordered by cities of thousands more. We've always said that if, and when, we go to all of the people we live in midst of, announcing the Gospel, that if we were still a church of only the people we are now that we would be content with that. Yet, we cannot imagine that this would be the case and so we are content, but content with the expectation that God has a willingness to reach the people of this city with the gloriously Good News of the Gospel. We want a way to exponentially grow Gospel-Centered men, women, and children.
Exponentially Plant Gospel-Centered Churches
The Gospel isn't only good news for our city. The biblical story says that where the Gospel is announced, that it's received by some with joy, and churches are planted. We've always wanted to plant churches. Our church spends a ton of effort developing leaders - specifically leaders who can become church planters. In preparing to plant churches we have always reproduced leaders, making disciples, and doing so explictily explaining the Gospel in all of its facets. The trouble is that our pool of church planters is small and the gestation is long. We want a way to exponentially plant Gospel-Centered Churches.
Growing Exponentially Means Having a Space to Grow
Over the last nine years we've met in four differnt places. The House Cafe. The back half of the old Montgomery Ward's Tire store. The entire Montgomery Ward's Tire store. And Immanuel Lutheran Church's orignial building, built in 1925 on Fisk Ave. These have all been great spaces. They've provided room for us to grow. But not exponential room. They've been places to develop leaders and church planters. But not exponentially. They've been worship venues that we've moved into almost only on Easter...
This Easter, our Tenth Easter
This easter, our TENTH Easter, we'll be meeting here! This new space is host to 350 seats in the sanctuary and, for really the first time ever, the best Children and Youth space that we've ever had.
Stepping into this building is the longest step that we've ever taken. There have been other big steps: The first step, a core team of 4 people (two under two-years-old) sent out to plant a new church. God provided and we grew. Signing our first agreement for rented space and the terror of having to come up with $1000, what seems now a miniature means. God provided and we grew. (In fact, it took only fifteen minutes after we signed for that space that someone called excited to hear about our small church and soon joinging us!) It seemed unimaginable to buy our first building. We grew again and again and again. And reset the Sanctuary and the Children and Youth Ministry walls over and over and over. God provided. But we didn't grow...
We didn't grow because when we moved into our building we were already full. We've had people drive away because we have no parking. We've had people walk away - literally - because we've had inadequate children's space. We have people in our church that have and want to invite their entire familes but like a Southwest Airlines flight aren't sure that they'll get to all sit together. We made a move to save money at the cost of spending money to be missionaries.
This Easter we'll have a space, again, to grow into. And we're praying that God provides as we grow.
To move, we're taking a step. Continue reading below to see how...
How Are We Going to Make This Move?
There is a scene In the 1986 movie (they were in color), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Captian Kirk and his crew are tasked with saving the 23rd Century Earth by traveling back to 1986. (Time travel must have been a theme back then). To achieve the speed requried for this time jump (apparently the equivelant of 1.21 Gigawatts) Kirk and his crew must slingshot around the sun, using the sun's gravitational pull as a catapult to hurtle them through space and time.
Our plan for this move is something like that...sort of.
To be honest, and clear, our current church budget does not afford for the expense of this move. Well, it does...and it doesn't. Most churches never move because most church budgets don't afford these kinds of jumps. So, how can we take on this extra cost?
Our plan is to raise the entire first year's rent and expenses. This would create significant benefits. One, it would let us 'test' this space and see if having the uses of a larger sanctuary, real Children and Youth space, a parking lot (a parking lot!) would aid in growing our church so that we can grow Gospel-Centered Christians and plant more Gospel-Centered Churches. Two, that raising the first year's rent and expenses wouldn't burden the people in our church who are already obediently giving. We want to announce this new space to our people and instead of have them begin to wonder, "How much is this going to cost me?" be able to say, "This is paid for for an entire year. Who can I bring?"
So, we want to ask you: Would you prayerfully consider giving toward our first year's rent and expenses in this new space?
Some of you are friends and churches that have aided us over the last nine years. You have supported us in the past. You've helped to birth us and you helped us grow.
Some of you are friends that have been members or regular attenders at our church over the last nine years. We supported you. We helped birth you and we helped you grow.
What we need...
Material Needs: Paint, Lumber.
Technical Needs: Stage Lighting, Upgraded Sound equipment.
Furnishing Needs: Office, Nursery, Youth, Sanctuary chairs.
Financial Needs: Six more months of rent.
We estimate that these needs will cost $35,000. Can you help? For Six Months can you give $100? Can you give anything, at least once? This is an opportunity to invest in our mission field, where we are, where God is still working.