This April marks our third year worshipping together at John Wood Community College. If you know the story, you know that we never expected to be at JWCC for so long. When our elders made the decision to sell our property at 18th & Harrison, we were confident that JWCC would be a temporary transit point on our way to our next church home. We envisioned using John Wood for six months, maybe a year tops (HA!).
But God had other plans! I say that with a smile, because He has done amazing things during our visit at John Wood. More people have joined us in this adventure (our average weekly attendance has increased by about 60 people while at JWCC!); dozens have been baptized; dozens more have become active on the mission of Jesus; as a church family, we’ve taken hundreds of next steps in growing relationships with Jesus Christ!
There has been so much good about our time at JWCC (and more to be had!) – but, of course, we have had our fair share of challenges too. With limited access to the building, our band, Creative Team, and LifePoint Kids volunteers have had to make good with less than ideal situations. Our Student Ministries Team has had to adapt to three different off-site spaces in just over three years. With limited group and classroom space, our Pursue (adult ed.) classes and men/women’s ministries have been very limited.
These limitations have challenged us – but I also believe that, in many cases, they have made us better. Our staff and volunteers have had to learn creativity, adaptively, and flexibility! That said, we’re now beginning to allow ourselves to dream a bit about how our new space will allow us to better fulfill our mission.
What am I dreaming about?
As a Bible teacher and someone who values the classroom environment (I’m currently on my twelfth year of postsecondary education, which is mind-boggling!), I’m personally excited to grow the depth of our teaching environments. Rather than one-off seminars, I’m envisioning multiple Pursue (adult ed.) class offerings at any given time. What if each fall/spring you could choose between four 12-week studies, each forming you as a disciple of Jesus and preparing you to join Jesus on His mission? I long to see LifePointers trained and equipped for ministry (inside and outside of the church). And I’m excited that as we enter 2018, we’re at a place where we can begin to dream together about how we will grow (for the sake of making disciples) in this next season of our life together!
This is just one of many things on my mind as I look into the new year and towards a new building! Join me in dreaming! Here’s to 2018… to dreaming together… and to what God has in store for us next!