When Angie and I first announced that we were starting Grace Hills, a friend sent us $5 by Paypal. He said he didn’t have a lot of money to give but wanted to be a part of our story. That gift means more to me than the giver will ever know and I’ll never forget the gratitude I felt in that moment. That gift motivated us to take another baby step. It was a small sign that a big God would be providing every step of the way.
We moved back to Arkansas and took a tiny risk of renting an office in the hopes someone might show up for our first meeting, and 35 people did. We took another baby step and moved to a hotel meeting room and God kept providing. We signed a six month reservation with Malco Theaters and hosted our Grand Opening to the public. More people came. Some found Jesus for the first time. Some were baptized. And God kept providing.
For the past four years, we’ve been the church in the movie theater. We moved to multiple services, then moved to a new theater. Each time we’ve taken a little risk, God has blessed and we’ve grown a little more. More people find Jesus. More people find genuine community. More lives are changed.
Now, we’re taking another bold step. This time, we’re moving into a 12,000 square foot facility under a three-year lease. In January of 2016, we’ll start meeting in our new facility at 2323 West Chestnut Street in Rogers, Arkansas. It’s going to be our “home” on the weekends for a while – the place where this amazing body of people gather together, bring friends, and worship Jesus. I’m convinced God is going to keep on faithfully providing, drawing more people, and leading us forward.
If you believe that too, I’m asking you to pray about how God might have you to make an investment in this next step.
We’ve begun prepping the space. Amazing, excited volunteers have shown up in painting clothes with tools and willing hearts. We’ve put pen to paper and have added up all the odds and ends it will take to get ready for our big Grand Opening on Sunday, January 10. We’re preparing a sound booth, fixing carpet, painting, installing a new sign, dressing up the auditorium a bit, and making a few other changes. We’ve avoided extravagance (because our ministry isn’t defined by any building), and we’ve tallied up the needs.
That’s one-fifth the cost to build out most lease spaces. It’s more than we have, which means we get to stretch our faith and trust God. But it’s reachable as God provides and as his people step in to help.
This coming weekend, we’re taking a special Thanksgiving offering in our weekend services and we’re challenging Grace Hills and asking God for $25,000. And we’re also asking some friends of Grace Hills to pray about giving as well.
This is a big, bold step to our semi-permanent home, and I’m convinced if we have the faith to take the risk and go for it, God is going to provide and Grace Hills is going to reach more people for Jesus! So, how can you give? Two ways:
Give a one-time offering this weekend, above and beyond your usual tithe, to our “Future Fund.” And by the way, we’re also using part of this offering to help Grace Hill Elementary with a special project and supporting some people who are in Honduras with mission trip scholarships.
Or, give online and select “Future Fund” when you do.
Let me be clear. We care about YOU, not your money. Don’t give out of guilt or pressure. Don’t give because someone might notice. We don’t care about any of that. We don’t want anything from you. We do want something for you though – the pleasure and privilege of being part of this story, for God’s glory, so that one more person might come to know and walk with Jesus!