Purchasing a new building for The Oak is proving a long and very time consuming process – but a process that is proving to be a wonderful journey of faith.
As we sought God in October we asked Him for the faith to ask for a base for mission – and He has been faithful in giving us the journey of receiving that faith. It is one thing to ask God for faith, it is another thing to live in that faith. It’s a little like saying “I’d love to sky dive, me” and then actually sky diving – the sky diving is the adventure, the statement before was… …just words.
When the writer of Hebrews writes about Faith they describe it as a confidence and assurance in what we hope for and cannot see. We ask God for something, to know Him, for something, something that we cannot see yet but is in the will of God, and then we move in that faith to “take hold of the eternal life to which we are called” – Faith is an active word, it’s an asking followed by a moving in what you receive – but I tell you, the journey of acting, moving in faith is mega exhilarating.
We are finding that beginning the process to buy a building requires a leaning and dependence on God like we’ve never experienced before – an experience that is throwing us more and more on God – a little like getting out of a boat in a stormy sea because you can see Jesus in front of you – by faith we are walking on water.
Can I encourage you to enjoy this process of stepping over the edge of the boat and fixing your eyes on Jesus, of leaning on Him, of realising that without Him, this all falls flat. Pray, please pray, keep asking God to grow you, us and his Kingdom in these beautiful cities.
Purchasing a building is not a bricks and mortar exercise – it’s a throwing down of our roots into the place God has called us to make a difference. It’s a faith exercise both personally and corporately as we trust God for impossible things. It’s an investment into the beauty of the bride of Christ for decades to come. It's many things and it’s one thing: it’s about us doing what God has called us to do – to build communities that are rooted in God and serving the world.
Now, what’s happening with the building project I hear you ask…
We are in the middle of a change-of-use application with the council and are having survey upon survey upon survey done on the building to check everything from potential Asbestos content (because it is 180 years old!) to the condition of the sewerage pipes.
We are working with our friends Barry & Marion at Cole Architecture to come out with a plan that makes the most of the building and enables us to do what God is asking us to do with it.
The mortgage has been secured, solicitors instructed and if everything goes to plan we should be completing this side of Easter!!!
We are having a great time trusting God to multiply our funds to do so much more than we could afford to do. Working with our very own Craig Bowstead (Bows & Co Developments) we are building a team of trades people and companies to help us refurbish the building. Edmunds Kalnins is working hard on the lighting spec, Katy Mitchell is liaising with the Methodist property board, Lucy Pitkin is hard at work looking for trust funding to help us with some of the bigger projects and many others from the church are giving their time and skills in this planning phase.
The next steps are signing documents, hearing back from the council and completing.
Till next time…