Today, through one of Larry's Networks, we hosted one of our first conference/workshops at the new Grace campus. It proved yet again how God has blessed us with one incredible facility that blows people away. This was an outside event that was completely unrelated to our church, but we helped to host it. So many people from outside the community stepped foot into our church for a conference about autism (YAP), some of which may have stepped into a church for the first time. Through God's blessings and the faithfulness of the family here at Grace we are using this facility for so much more than Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. Some of the observations I had from today:
1. Everyone at the conference were expecting to be meeting in some big church basement when they heard they were going to a workshop hosted at a church. Instead they found a unique and warm environment that was at the completely opposite end of the spectrum of thought.
2. Through God's blessings, we made huge impressions on a community organization and many other community leaders who were also present. People in the community are slowly learning of the unique facility we have and how it can be used in a non-threatening environment for community functions and conferences. Simply stated; this building is more than a place of worship, it is a tool and a vehicle to make people become comfortable to a sometimes uncomfortable environment. All of the attendees today can now walk into Grace on a Sunday morning and have that first bit of awkwardness stripped away.
3. Because of our bold changes to the cafe mission, etc. We were able to "wow" the attendees with better than expected breaks and lunch.
4. Larry networks well.
I love this place! I hope that all who have contributed to what we have here realize our vision, why we do it, why we charge 50 cents for coffee, why the building is laid out like it is, why we made the move, and why it is so valuable to keep making more steps towards the future. Lives are being affected, people are stepping into a church that never have before, and the community is becoming more and more familiar with Grace, God's love, and why we strive to do all things with excellence.