In this first satellite campus update of the New Year, I want to take a couple of moments to focus on the why question. There are so many what questions, plenty of when questions, lots of who questions, and, of course, the where question. We feel confident about some of these answers and know that we’re working toward answers to many more. But right now let’s consider the why question.
Why are we launching a new satellite? The place to begin is the belief that God has called us to this work. All of the possible and partial answers to the why question point to confirmations of God’s call in this process. There have been prayers of many people – folks at Grace, folks in the conference, and me – that have led us in confidence that God is calling us to embark on this journey as a community.
When we look at our identified area – southwest Olathe and Johnson County – we see rapid growth. There are young families looking for more bedrooms, empty nesters looking to relocate, and retirees downsizing into neighborhoods with their peers. (All of which sounds like the people who show up to Grace on Sunday morning!) We know from studies and from conversations that people in the area want to be plugged into community and want to be offered chances to serve in ways that make a difference in the world. (That sounds like the work that Grace is really good at!) There are people who want the opportunity to experience the tradition of a mainline, denominational church in a place that is accessible to them. (That sounds like something Grace knows how to do!)
But then there is the question from our end. Why us? Can’t someone else (anyone, please!!) do it?! The truth is that Grace is right where it needs to be to do this work. The Center of Grace is becoming stronger with every passing day. We have a fantastic staff – some of which have experience working in multi-site congregations. Through your generosity, Grace has developed steady financial footing, and we have financial support from the conference for the satellite. We have strong ministries and a pioneering history.
When I reflect on the why questions, I am excited for the chance to connect new people to the community that they long for and to be engaged in meaningful mission work in our city and beyond. This is what God is calling us to, and this is why we are starting on this new journey!