On Sunday, and throughout this whole series, we’ve talked a lot about the stories we’re living—how the Gospel is an invitation to follow the Author. We have a hope, as Donald Miller puts it, that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me into the story He’s telling. And it’s been amazing! I’m so encouraged seeing and hearing the stories that people are stepping into, and I hope you’ve had a similar experience.
I mentioned toward the end of my sermon this last week that our church also has a story to tell in the Valley. Part of that story is seeing people individually live into the calling God has for them. The other part is our story collectively—who we are becoming and what we are doing together to share this great news about the unconditional love of God. We talked a lot early on about leaving a mark on the city and becoming a church that is known for how we live and love and give our lives away.
In the last few weeks, I think we took a big step into that calling.
We’ve been in the process over the last six months of seeking office space for Restoration Church—the kind of space we could share with others (Young Life, IV, etc) and that would establish us within the community. We (the steering team with some real estate counsel) looked into several options, including space at the YMCA, but either doors seemed to close or we just didn’t have a sense of the Holy Spirit leading.
All that changed at 15 E Main Street in Salem.
What you see above is the preliminary plan for our new digs. If you’re not familiar with 15 E Main Street…you might recognize it as “that place right next to Mill Mountain.” It’s literally right next door to my adopted office. Ironic, isn’t it?
The benefits of this site are so many that it would be hard to mention all of them here…but we can start with three little words: location, location, location! Just the number of people who will walk/drive by on a daily basis is unbelievable! Not to mention proximity to Roanoke College, the space to host Young Life, Wyld Life, Roanoke College IV groups, bible studies, college lecture series, art shows, great parade viewing real estate…whatever! This space allows us to have offices for both Restoration Church and Young Life, establish a presence in the community, and be a central space in the community for everything mentioned above!
At any rate, over the next few weeks, we will be making it our own. We will need to raise some capital (there are some improvements the city is requiring in order to use this as an assembly space), and we’d love to do this right so everybody from Young Life to college students to family mission groups will want to use it often! Most of the work we’re going to try to keep in-house—like an old-fashioned barn-raising where we do most of the work as a community, which is going to be awesome! We have enough talent and expertise to pull most of it off. The rest we’ll hire out, working hard to keep costs down and move ahead well.
So that’s the big news! I hope you’re as excited as I am—the whole thing is a risk and we are stepping out in faith, but we’re trusting that this space will provide an incredible backdrop on which God will continue to write Restoration into what He is doing in Salem and the Valley!
Here we go!