Have you ever wondered why we are building a new building?
When Antioch Community Church began, a theme emerged as various and unconnected sources sought the Lord. The theme was related to the story in Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9 and John 6 where Jesus feeds the 5,000. Because this encouragement came from several different sources, the leaders believed God was speaking to them to prepare to reach and care for 5,000 people.
At that time, the church was in its infancy and was reaching roughly 400 people on a given Sunday. And though this word from the Lord felt clear, we set it aside and waited for God to bring it back to focus according to His timing
As Antioch has experienced consistent and healthy growth since its inception in 1999, our facilities have been stretched, and we have added additional Sunday services to accommodate this growth. Our kids ministry has had the most growth and has felt this “facility strain” most prominently. On occasion, we have had to turn families away because we simply did not have room to receive and care for their children.
In 2007, in response to God’s leading, Antioch’s leadership spent hundreds of hours working on a strategic plan. We began by looking back at the first 20 years of ministry, dating back to when Jimmy and Laura Seibert began planting the seeds for what would become The Antioch International Movement of Churches. God was also leading us to look forward for 20 years so we would continue to build in ways consistent with His purposes. A part of this look forward related to our facilities, and it was evident that to continue to grow, we would need a campus to facilitate all God had for us. At that time, God brought back into focus the theme of feeding the 5,000.
Coming out of this strategic planning season, we engaged local architects to help us think through what facilities would be appropriate. They came up with a long-range campus plan which included, as a first major step, the building of a large worship center allowing us to more than double our capacity in worship and to repurpose our current worship space to triple our capacity to care for children.
With much prayer and an extended time of waiting on the Lord, we felt confident this was His leading.
So, the short answer to the “why we build” question is that, it is an act of obedience. God speaks, we respond. There are many practical reasons to support this response, but none as important as believing this is what God is leading us to do as a body. Thank you for your faithfulness in responding to God wholeheartedly in your own journey of obedience. God is building His house through you!
By Pat Murphy