As our family makes plans to move to the heart of the city, we also sense God is calling our church to do the same. For three years we’ve camped on the outskirts of our city. In the quieter, suburb communities of Chattanooga. But God is making it clear to us that where He wants us is not where we are now. So here’s another piece of the vision He is unveiling to us.
Where Will We Go?
Something happens to us as we get older, something that causes us to dream less and less, or to pay less attention to our dreams. Years ago, when we were traveling back and forth from Alabama to Chattanooga, I remember stopping downtown for a bite to eat before we left town. As I walked down the sidewalk, I dreamt out loud to my wife. “Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a place where people could come together for worship in the context of a less traditional environment?” “Wouldn’t it be cool to see a coffee shop here in the heart of this city, that could provide that kind of place?”
I really was dreaming out loud. I had no idea that almost five years later, we would be worshipping together on a Saturday night in a coffee shop in the heart of downtown. For the last two months, Cadence Coffee Company has graciously provided a place for us to worship with people, who would not be likely to ever worship with us here in our current location, if they would even dare to walk through the doors of any church. If you’ve been at a Saturday church you know, we’re quickly running out of room, which many would say is a good problem to have.
I knew when we started Saturday Church that we wouldn’t be able to always contain it at the coffee shop. We would have to eventually find a bigger space. I actually even argued with God about it a little. “What are YOU going to do, when it gets too small for all the people that will come?” God already had that worked out.
We have an opportunity to lease space within the heart of our city, that will allow us to reach the people, and carry the message to which we’ve been called. I won’t go into all the details here as to the specific location, because of pending negotiations. But I can tell you that the thoughts of a group of people gathering for worship in this place would be nothing less than, amazing. The property we are prayerfully considering is an old bar. What a story of absolute redemption for a church to gather for worship, to celebrate life, in a place where people have spent hopeless night after night, trying to find fulfillment and meaning in life.
It gets even better than that, though. There’s potential in this space to do more than just gather for worship. There is potential to partner with other Kingdom minded ministries in such a way that would positively impact our city and change peoples lives forever. The possibilities are endless, and I keep dreaming and dreaming and dreaming of more and more and more amazing things that God could do with us, downtown, in this place.
I believe the old saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Our first step is to relocate to this space that is simply awaiting our arrival, so help us pray for these things, as we prepare to take the first step:
- Favor in all negotiations and transactions.
- Provision for the ability to do what God has called us to do.
- Wisdom in every single step forward
- Perfect Timing, not too slow, but not to fast in moving forward.