THIS is a big day for our church that most of you are not even aware of. That’s okay. I’m glad you’re not aware of it. What is today? Today is the first day we are officially OUT (legally and contractually) of our old building at 15 John L. Dietsch Blvd. We handed in the keys yesterday and our 11 year lease is officially over. It’s really incredible how the move from leased property to our new owned property worked out with relatively wonderful timing. God is good to His people.
The process was a long time in the making. Those who have been at Waters for the past 5-6 years know this well. I remember the November 2011 meeting I had with key leaders to begin planning what we should do to move. I had been told repeatedly they were going to tear the building down. (By the way, we have now learned that IS the plan after all). On top of that, we were growing and we knew eventually we’d run out of space. I’m thankful today for those key leaders who committed to believing God for bigger and better. In 2012 we said, “God can, we will.” He did. We’re thankful!
During our initial move back in September a few people asked me the same question about the old building. “Do you have any nostalgic feelings about this place?” And while I did spend a lot of time in that building since October 2006, I can confidently say, “NOT ONE BIT!”
I’m so NOT nostalgic about that building because the Church is NOT a building. Yes, lives were changed in that facility. Hundreds of baptisms happened in that facility. Our staff and culture developed in that building. But here’s the fact:
EVERYTHING THAT MATTERS ABOUT OUR CHURCH LEFT THAT BUILDING AND CAME WITH US.
The Church is God’s PEOPLE. Never forget that. It’s PEOPLE. That means the Church is NOT several other things:
- The Church is not style. It doesn’t matter what KIND of music we play so long as the music glorifies Jesus. It doesn’t matter what model of church we adopt so long as we use that model to love people. It does not matter how many deacons or elders we have so long as all those positions use their place in the body to bring people to Jesus.
- The Church is not a facility. I still remember when we moved into that old building. Some people couldn’t make the move with us from our old “churchy” building. They disliked the idea of church in a warehouse. Some didn’t like the idea of leasing property. But those issues are irrelevant. There are 1000s of church “buildings” that sit empty every week because the leaders married the medium of the Kingdom and not the MISSION of the Kingdom. The building is a medium, not the mission. The moment a church starts loving a building more than those who are far from God, it has ceased to serve the mission of Jesus (see Matthew 28:19-20).
- The Church is not stationary. I love the fact that soon that old building will be torn down. What better way for us to focus on where God is LEADING us forward instead of reminiscing about the good ‘ole days of the past? Every day millions of people whom God loves are born into the world. That means every day the Church has a new generation to share the love of Jesus with. That new generation will need new methods, styles, leaders, small groups or other ministry practices that make sense to them and help them connect with their Father in heaven.
THE CHURCH is PEOPLE.
So let’s officially break up with our old building, shall we?:
“Old facility, we need to talk… It’s time for us to go our separate ways. Thanks for the time, we enjoyed it. But we’ve grown apart. We’re just different people now… Look, it’s not you… it us. We’ve got to figure out some new things for ourselves. Don’t be sad, sometimes things just end… It’s part of life. Take care. Let’s be friends… until the demo.”
There. Like a band-aid, just get it over with.
It’s a new day. Now you are fully aware.