Since I posted late last week I was struggling to know exactly what to blog about today. I decided I would share with you some BIG stuff going on behind the scenes. We always appreciate your prayers. Most of you know that God blessed us with a building a little over a year ago. Because our hearts desire is to always remember that church is not a place we go, it's who we are, we decided to continue to call the people The Pathway and the building The Spot. It's been really cool to see how that has taken off and really been a conversation starter for what, or who, the church really is.
The Spot is a 19,000 square foot warehouse in the heart of Hilltop that has a ton of history. It used to be a car dealership, a dairy, a tent and awning factory and another church met there before we did. The Spot has another lot right next to it that's the same size and is just a big open grassy space. It is also included in our lease. The Spot is actually still owned by the previous church denomination, The Evangelical Covenant Church. While the majority of the building is just old warehouse space, there is about 3000 square feet that is renovated and usable. On Sundays we meet for worship in one 1500 sq. ft. area and our Kids Ave. meets in the other 1500 sq. ft. area.
However, Sundays is just a small piece of why The Spot has been such an amazing Kingdom tool. During the week we are able to use it open-handed for the city in the name of Jesus. We host block party's and watch parties for major sporting events. We have board meetings, Narcotics anonymous meetings, Intentional Communities, birthday parties and many other things that meet there. We have neighborhood block groups that meet at The Spot and we have even had a wedding reception and a memorial service there. We are also able to use the warehouse for storage space for families in transition as well as for our denomination. We allow the community to house its Tool Lending Library and the health department keeps their disaster response trailers at The Spot. We even have a local non-profit that offices at The Spot.
All this to say, this place, this structure, this building, this spot has given us tremendous favor with our community and our city. Favor in ways that are far greater than we could have asked or imagined.
1) The church has been growing and we are running out of usable space. That is a good thing but it is also a challenge that needs to be overcome. Renovations are very possible but are expensive and we're not sure how much we would even feel good about doing since we don't own the building.
2) Our lease is up in less than a year and the owners desire to sell. They strongly desire for us to stay in the building but we are paying less than half of what they are putting into the building every month. Because the denomination that owns it has their own financing arm they are willing to work with us to purchase the building but in our tough economy and lower income area we are not certain that is the answer.
Behind the Scenes: God is working. He has given us a partnership with a great church planting network and SBC association (psba.net) that is wanting to purchase strategic church planting centers in the heart of major cities, including Tacoma. God has given us a relationship with a well-known architect in Tacoma who has already donated some of his time in helping us evaluate what could be done. He also happens to love Jesus! The church is growing and The Spot is becoming a light in our dark city. We know that God will continue to do what he wants to do whether we stay at The Spot or not. That's where your prayers come in.
Pray: All of this has been, is and will continue to be way bigger than us. God has done things, changed lives, opened doors and provided resources in ways that have far exceeded our expectations or imaginations. We are constantly reminded that what is impossible with man is made possible with God. We lean on that promise. Please just pray for wisdom, direction and provision. I know those are broad but that is what we desperately need as the church moves forward and continues to grow. Thank you for interceding on our behalf. God is working here in Tacoma. You are a part of it. Thank you!