May 4, 2014 seems like a long time ago.
We were still worshipping in The Palace Theatre and Historic Post Office, and we were in the middle of a sermon series called "The Making of Me." That morning, Pastor Jerry preached on our Spiritual gifting. It was 57º that day, which felt incredible because those temperatures always feel warmer when you're coming out of winter than when you're heading into winter (as we are now).
May 4th was also the beginning of our financial giving campaign for 25 Walnut. I asked that our congregation at the Lockport Campus put some skin in the game and give directly to the costs surrounding the move to our new home facility. I set a big goal: $25,000 over the span of six total months between May 4 and October 26.
During that time, let me remind you what happened:
-We blitzed through renovating the 14,500 square feet of building in time for Opening Day
-We successfully moved everything out of the Historic Post Office and The Palace (no small task)
-We celebrated our first Sunday with two worship services for the very first time in the history of the Lockport Campus
-We saw 473 people walk through the doors of our new home facility on June 1st, making this the largest single day of attendance for the Lockport Campus (including Christmas, Easter, and the Launch in 2010)
-We have seen over a dozen people become disciples of Jesus
-We have had over 60 people visit our church for the very first time
-We have launched Men's and Women's groups at the Lockport Campus through Iron Men and Thrive Women
-Overall Sunday morning attendance and offerings have maintained higher averages than ever before
-More people have stepped up to serve in every facet of ministry
AND on top of all of that...
-We were able to raise $13,347 for our 25 Walnut Campaign! In just six months!
To say that I'm proud of each of you is an understatement. I know that it's not easy to give "above and beyond" what you're normally giving, especially during an extended season of life. During these six months, Gabe and I welcomed a baby girl into our family, which meant the weekly commitment to 25 Walnut giving stretched our faith at times. But we decided as a family that God wanted us to do this, and we have seen his faithfulness through it all.
Think about the significance of what we were able to do as a congregation. Many of you sacrificed and changed your monthly budgets to be able to give. Some of you had excess that you could have used on yourself but instead gave to this work. Others had very little to begin with, but trusted God enough to provide. Together, ALL of us worked towards one goal: making this facility at 25 Walnut a place to give every man, woman, and child in Lockport an opportunity to hear, see, and respond to the Gospel. We are living in the reality of that goal today because of your generosity.
But it doesn't end there. Someday, we may have another opportunity to give like this one. I hope you remember that we were able to do more together than we ever could by ourselves, and that God will provide exactly what we need! So if you come across another opportunity in a month, or six months, or 2 years from now, remember what we did here at this time at this place. Let it encourage you to prioritize generosity as we watch God work and give Him the glory.
Together for the Mission,