I want to share a story with you. It’s a story about a plan—a human plan. How it changed, how it grew.
It’s a story of transformation.
It’s how a plan changed from being human-driven to being God-led.
The plan started with an idea for adding some classrooms and education space to our campus to be funded by a three-year capital campaign. It morphed into a serious discussion of additionally planning for a columbarium and creating a full-time child care center. When that happened, Kingdom Impact...A Congregational Conversation transformed from a capital campaign into a movement.
God is in charge of movements.
God’s movement was in place long before we humans caught on. Don't you think it’s funny how we make plans and then look to God to confirm our plans? Do we really think we have an idea God hasn’t already thought of?
Throughout Kingdom Impact, God has been out front leading us. Our job was to listen…to be willing to move where God led. Following, that’s always the hard part, isn’t it? We call that faith.
When God moves, He does not create a new program or four-step process to guide our every step. He just begins His work in, among, and through us. Our choices are to move with Him or to get out of the way.
God moved ideas.
God moved the way we thought about raising funds. He brought us new people with new ideas. New thinking with new results.
I remember when we settled on the name Kingdom Impact for the capital campaign. The steering team thought it was a great name, and it was. I had very little awareness, though, of just how much momentum Kingdom Impact was going to have.
God moved donors.
One night, I was up all night worrying. We were not getting enough pre-campaign pledges to hit the benchmarks needed to complete the project. It didn’t mean the plans would be derailed; it just meant it would be a while before we could take the next steps. The following morning when I walked into the office, I was informed a $150,000 check had arrived from an unexpected source. That pledge, along with the many others large and small, showed me God had been moving in the hearts of His people. It was clear that expanding our facility and opening a child development center to serve the community were plans that our family of believers could rally behind.
God moved people.
Most amazing to see was how God moved His people. Parents were signing up their children for preschool and child care before the carpet was even in place. Within a year of opening, the preschool classrooms were full, and, as I write this, we have waiting lists for some of our full-time care rooms.
God was preparing Women’s Bible Study Fellowship, AA groups, quilters, and community groups and classes to check us out. Last year we served almost 15,000 guests who were not Beautiful Savior members. These guests are a result of Kingdom Impact—guests we would not have been able to serve if it weren't for the expanded facility.
All of these people are coming here…to us.
Let me say that again.
The mission field is walking in our doors.
They keep coming and coming, and we have not even aggressively advertised to the community that we have rooms for rent or Child Development Center openings. God moved these people to see us and to come here. That is a blessing and a privilege.
God moved us from being largely a weekend house of worship to a daily, all-the-time ministry center. Weekly worship, child care, guests, mission, and ministry. They all happen here…every day…all day.
You see it and feel it when you walk into one of the Center classrooms. You see Jesus moving children. Some of these children are hearing about Jesus for the first time. Some of these children are telling their parents about Jesus, and these parents are hearing about Jesus…for the first time…that is God moving in a big way. He is moving Beautiful Savior people, too, into places we never expected to be moved and in ways we never imagined. God’s movement is transforming us.
Change like that can make us uncomfortable. Transformation is easy when it’s someone else being transformed, right? However, when I’m the one undergoing transformation—if I’m honest—I really don't like it. I suppose it would be easier if I didn't resist it so much. Paul writes about transformation in Romans 12: When the grace of God moves in our hearts, we stop conforming; we become transformed. I think Kingdom Impact is God transforming us at Beautiful Savior. There may be challenges ahead, because when God starts a movement, it implies we are going to have to move too. All of us…and in all areas of ministry.
God continues the movement.
In May our Kingdom Impact campaign ends and remaining pledges are due, although many people will continue to support Kingdom Impact through 2019 and beyond. In May, we will share stories, have a feast, and celebrate the end of the campaign. We will celebrate gifts given and the paying off of the construction loan. We will celebrate all the ways in which God has blessed us, but we will not be celebrating the end of God’s movement. After all, God is never finished with His people.
Has God moved you through Kingdom Impact? I hope He has. We’d all like to hear how Kingdom Impact has moved you—how God has moved in you through Kingdom Impact. This weekend, there will be a place in the Gathering Space right below the Kingdom Impact banner for you to write your story. Whatever you have to say—long, short, or even just a word—I hope you’ll take some time to share it with all of us.
The human plan started with bricks and bucks, but grew into God’s transforming movement in, among, and through His people. It’s the Congregational Conversation we never want to end!
Jim Holmlund Director of Business Administration & Operations