I think you would agree that God is using this pandemic to get our attention, in a number of ways, concerning a number of different areas. I hope you've been considering what He might be revealing to you through all this about your own faith and your own path.
But I hope you've also thought about what God might be saying to us as a faith family? The elders believe He has been leading us to focus on a single word. That word is the word, “building”. Now, when many people hear the words building and church used together, they might automatically think of steeples and stained glass. But consider how the following passage touches on that word building...
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42–47)
Since these are the first verses in the New Testament to describe the community life of the first Christians, it is a vitally important passage. With that in mind, consider how this passage touches on three aspects of that word building:
First, the church was being built up in their faith. They were meeting together, eating together, and praying together. But all of that was informed by “the apostles' teaching”. They were both hearing and doing the word. This aspect of building is the most common kind of building in the New Testament (cf. Ephesians 4:11-16).
Second, Jesus was building his church numerically. Verse 47 is clear: “the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved”. This fact was a fulfillment of what Jesus himself promised in Matthew 16:18, “...I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Third, buildings provided the setting for all this growth. Not only does verse 46 mentioned “the temple” as a place for Christian worship, but also the “homes” of individual believers. These were the locations and facilities that God used in this work of spiritual and numerical growth.
With all three of these aspects in mind, the shepherds of Way of Grace want to invite you to join us as we allow God to lead us in each of these areas. That means, first, we will begin gathering again as a church. Since we're not able to meet in a larger space just yet, we will be taking a page out of the early church's 'playbook' and meeting in house churches. This will be a great way to hear God's message together, talk about what we heard, and pray for one another. You can learn more about house churches here.
But second, each of us should also be thinking about how God can use us, individually and together, to reach others with the Good News about Jesus. Who has God put in your circle? How can we assist you in reaching those people? This is an amazing time in which so many people are looking for answers.
Finally, third, we are excited to assemble a team of people who can help us consider all our options for a semi-permanent or permanent meeting space for Way of Grace. We definitely understand why we cannot meet at the elementary school (our previous meeting location) at this point. But we also see that change as God's way of getting us thinking more broadly about our facilities' needs. Gene Fehlhaber will be our point person for this search, and we're excited about the opportunities God might have in store for us. If you would like to join that facilities/location team or have ideas, Gene would love your help. Please contact us about your interest.
To pursue this Building 2020 vision, we really do need everyone who calls Way of Grace home to participate. We truly need the church to be the church, “for such a time as this”!
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