Feb 07, 2011 God With Us: Then, Now, and Forever
Originally posted on October 6, 2005
“We who believe are joined together into God’s holy temple. Through Christ we are being made into the dwelling of God by His Spirit.” Ephesians 2:21-22
We sat in a circle in the home of one of our founding families to talk about starting a church. We moved to another home as a church planting Bible study and prayer group. God was with us.
That first Sunday worship service in January 1993 we met in an old barn converted into a campus ministry center at Belmont University. For the next three years we moved our church equipment in and out each week and stored it in a rusty but reliable moving truck we named Big Shot. After setting up the gear we filled The Barn with people, praise and proclamation. Big Shot and The Barn: we were off to a great start. God was with us.
To provide more space (and because we wore out our welcome!) we moved to Eakin School. Keeping Big Shot in commission, we expanded our set-up process and held worship for a growing congregation. After a summer of children’s Sunday school in a gymnasium without air conditioning, we heard the Lord and several mothers say, “pick up this tent and move.” God was with us.
LifeWay was the next stop on our journey. We were allowed to use the house sound system and we no longer needed to create classrooms in the gym, so Big Shot was relieved of her duties and Little Shot (an old church van) was activated for service. Moving downtown was a risk, but people actually found us and we continued to see the Lord work. He was with us.
Then came what I call “The Big Experiment”. We moved to First Christian Church (a great location) and Sunday night worship only (the “experiment”). Believe me, we had our reasons at the time! This proved to be a challenge for some, but others caught the vision of the church and decided to join us for the journey. God was with us.
Whether we rented, borrowed, or just took over facilities without asking, God was with us. In homes, restaurants, or parks (never again will we have outdoor worship in July), God has always been with us.
So here we are. After nearly thirteen years as a congregation, we will move into our new building in just three weeks. It is a beautiful building! I can’t wait for you to see it. God has blessed us beyond measure.
Over the years we’ve learned that plans can change quickly, so be flexible. We’ve learned that buildings don’t make or break God’s church, so stay faithful. Most of all, we’ve learned that we are God’s building and that He dwells in us, so stay pure and full of praise. God is now, at this moment, with us.
Our plans are to be the church of the Living God and to do the work of the church as given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ, all in the power of the Holy Spirit. If the Lord wills, we will do that on our new property in our new building, and in future buildings already planned.
But buildings aren’t forever. Who knows, Grace Community Church may be on this corner for generations, or we may move again in our generation. What is forever? What can we confidently say about the future? God will be with us! “For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you.'” (Hebrews 13:5).
The Same Is True For You
Grace Community Church and our new building may be the last thing on your mind today. Your personal world may be full of challenges, pressures, and pains. Here is the good news for you. God is with you! Look back with gratitude that God has always been with you. Stand in faith now because He has not left you. Look at the future with hope because He will never leave you.
Grace Community Church, be glad with me. Have great joy. Be filled with hope. Take courage and walk by faith with our God. Be bold in your obedience. Tell of His greatness and grace. God has been, is now, and forever will be with us.