November 2017. Winter hadn’t yet latched hold our surroundings and it was still rather enjoyable to be outside. I love that time of year. The air is crisp in the morning, but can still be fairly pleasant throughout the day.
For us at Grand Point, we were in the thick of our search for a property for Grand Point- Multisite. At that time, we didn’t know we would eventually be Grand Point- Shippensburg and the center of our search focus was anywhere there may have been a vacancy. We were desperate in our search!
The search for the right property had started literally months before this as we scoured every school building in the area, shopping center, warehouse and former gym this might possibly be where the Lord was calling us to go.
Nothing was working!
I remember many meetings where we would discuss with fervor the opinion of each person and where we might go next or what we might offer. Twice we decided on a property only to be told by some other that it would not actually be an option.
The Lord had a plan and we had not yet centered on it.
We thought we knew what was to become, but clearly the Lord had something else in mind entirely.
In November, I was at the peak of my desperation. Our scheduled launch date was very quickly approaching, March 6th. Just 4 months away and we didn’t even had a place to think about calling a church.
In our desperation we called a specific and special prayer meeting with our elders and leadership. About 50 of us gathered on a Sunday evening, discussed whatever updates we had to offer at that moment and than set to prayer. It was a magical evening that brings tears to my eyes as I reflect on this miracle story. The Lord indeed had a plan and it centered on us completely coming to yield to his authority and direction before his abundant provision.
For an hour that November evening we knelt and begged the Lord for His provision of just a building that would house our first multisite location. By the time that evening was over, we finalized a few conversations, and we parted ways. To each of us, nothing had changed. But to the Father, He had seen us relinquish complete control of His Church. Something amazingly holy took place that night and caused the Spirit of God to press the gas pedal of momentum like we had never seen before.
Shortly after that prayer night, we had another building search appointment. I remember that day with vivid detail. I was mad. I was in a bad mood and was not interested in looking at this space. I had already written it off before we walked in the door. I tried my best to put on a good “spiritual-dependant-on-God” face, but I don’t know if I was fooling anyone or not. In my mind, this was just another building that would be completely out of reach for us. We had seen mountainous barriers for places we thought would have been a cake walk and, in my mind, this option presented an enormous complexity. Why on earth would we be considering this?
Weeks went by.
Nothing else was on the schedule to look at and I had completely resolved that it was not my problem to find a building for this church location. That was God’s problem. Either He would provide it or it was not going to happen.
I do not recall the exact timeframe in which this took place by our Leadership Team eventually unanimously decided that little store front would become the future of Grand Point-Ship. And still months would go by before we would actually get a deal signed.
We watched from the sidelines as our proposed launch date flew past us. It was hard, but it was also holy. The Lord knew we were not yet ready for this move of God.
With every step of this church, I learned the Love of the Father. His love for people is simply so far beyond and His desire for His Church is so much greater than anything we can come up with.
From that single experience I saw the loving, patient direction of a God who constantly declares that He would rather be in complete control. He does not want to compete with a group of anybody who thinks they can do better, plan smarter and prepare harder. He just wants to wow us with His abundance.
Why does this story matter to you?
Well, if you’re a part of Grand Point- Ship than I want you to know the makings of this church. I want you to know the heart behind it. I want you to realize that there’s not a man or a staff or a leadership that’s upholding this church, it’s a God so relentless.
Aside from that reality, I want you to be inspired in your own life to trust the direction of the Lord rather than trying to fight and coheres your way through life. I want for you to be able to realize that our God has a plan for each of us personally and specifically that we do not need to fight for.
In the end, He gets all the praise. He gets all the glory for all that’s done anyway and for some strange, peculiar reason, He allows us to be involved in the process.