And so it begins.
One church in Two locations.
It's been done before by others, but not us. This is a first and I hope it's not the last.
We are launching another campus in Saranac, home of the few, the proud, the brave. A town on the Grand River poised to shock the region. A sleeper. A diamond in the rough.
On the surface it looks like any other little village. Quiet, slow-paced, and simple. There isn't a stop light, only a couple 4 ways stops. It's got some Ma and Pa restaurants, the Middle School was merged into the High School building recently to save money, there is an ice-cream shop, a pizza shop or two, a Dollar General, a couple gas stations, several longstanding churches, city blocks with homes packed together like sardines, a dentist office, some historic buildings, an old downtown, and a couple bar and grills. Like I said, on the surface, a regular small-town vibe.
But I've learned something about this little humble village. There are tons of hungry hearts wanting to "kill it" in this town! They are dying for deep life and longing to pour their hearts into the local community. They love their town, but they love their Jesus even more. And it's this braiding of loves that I believe is going to generate a move of God that shocks the local landscape. Something volcanic is churning in the underworld...just you wait, it's going to blow your mind when you see "her" explode. Spilling over with love-lave, spreading ashes of affection for miles around. It's called Code Orange.
Along with our other 8 church plants, the Saranac Campus is part of an audacious vision to spread the love of Jesus into the outlying metro communities all over Grand Rapids, the state of Michigan and beyond. We want to "become flesh and dwell among the people". Incarnational community. It's easy to be relevant, but the idea of dwelling where people live makes us present. Presence is the essence of the gospel. The Word...becomes...flesh...and dwells...among...us. This is the Incarnational gospel. A movement toward humanity. We can do this. This wasn't just a Jesus-thing. He wants us to "become our surrounding and dwell 'with' people".
And this is the ultimate purpose of the Impact-Saranac expression...to go to where the people live. To not ask the world to go to church, but to ask the church to go to the world.
My heart is beginning to pray for Impact, both Lowell and Saranac Campuses, that God would go before us. That he would come before us. It is about Him. Him being felt. Him being seen. Him being know. If this is just a human feat of strength or a show of human ingenuity, it will fail. But if it is from God, it will be unstoppable. (Acts 5) We believe this is from God and we know it is for God.
Join me in prayer as we take the gospel to the doorsteps of his Beloved Creation in Saranac.
I love this humble little abode. The people. The place. The presence.