Sometimes life gets really busy.
One sure way to prove this is to look back at your blog and realize you haven’t posted since September of 2012. Guilty as charged. Needless to say, lots of life has happened since then. It would be easiest to take the next paragraphs chronicle all the things we’ve been up to, but I feel the pull to attach some words to our community’s inward journey of the past 10 months. More about the heart stuff, not just the doing stuff.
First a little disclaimer: I (Nathan) am attempting to write on behalf of the whole crew, but of course its going to be bent towards my personal experience. Consider this a blog memoir of what I’ve witnessed, felt, and heard from my friends along the way.
The past 10 months has centered greatly around the process of finding, fundraising, buying, and renovating a big warehouse in downtown Knoxville.
(watch this video in case you have no clue what I’m talking about)
This journey has proven yet again how much we need Jesus.
This is what He’s been speaking to us along the way…
When God gives us dreams, they are often incomplete, dim (and disjointed) glimpses of the future. Its scary to share them with others because of fear of people thinking our dream is unlikely, impossible, or insignificant.
We must overcome this fear if we are ever to see dreams become reality. Why?
Because we need each other.
We can’t see in fullness. We only see in part. God did this on purpose. He loves it when His kids play together.
When we open up our dreams to our friends, actually inviting them to share what they see too, together our dim dream becomes a vibrant canvas, taking beautiful shape and color from the contribution of our friends. This dream now is something worth taking a risk and moving towards together. Everyone has a role to play. One Body, many members, right?
This is just the beginning. To move forward, we need each other more than ever to see the dream become reality.
Back in June of 2012, we returned from a UP trip to the England and Israel, and God started speaking. Will felt a tug on his heart to dig some more roots down in Knoxville. Since releasing Live at the Banks House back in November of 2010, we’ve increasingly received invitations to travel and share these simple songs with people all over the world. And of course we love it. But something was knocking on Will’s heart about it all…about how so much of the travel momentum we’re experiencing now all hinges around one night at the Banks House back in 2010. That was a real moment in time, but now becoming years ago. “We can’t continue to travel forever on yesterday’s experience with the Lord. We want to wholeheartedly pursue the Lord TODAY.”
So the call to pursue Jesus in the here and now was renewed again. Interestingly, we were out growing every living room we could find. By word of mouth alone, people were streaming into every space we’d move into. So we started to dream about a bigger home…a place that we could put down roots in our town for years to come. A home just like the Banks House, but way more room for more to join us in our pursuit of Jesus. A living room for 400 friends, not just 60 like the past.
One day Will mention he noticed a warehouse for sale near downtown Knoxville and how it’s probably a million dollars or something crazy. But we decided to check it out for fun. We did the whole peer in the windows/walk circles around the property thing, and got enough guts to call the realtor. In our most professional voice, we asked how much it was. To our surprise, $350,000 was the asking price. Still an insane amount of money to us, but psychologically way better than a million.
I should stop here. Too many details to share on a blog post.
But the moral of the story…Will had an outlandish dream. But he had the guts to share it with us, his friends. We sensed the Lord was up to something, and as a community, we started dreaming together about finding a bigger home. The faint vision started gaining some shape and form as each friend brought their unique perspective, ideas, and talents to the table. One month later, and wild idea emerged.
“Let’s launch a kickstarter to see if our idea wants to happen. If we reach our goal of $100,000, we might have enough to renovate the warehouse. Then, we might be able to convince a few foundations about our vision, and they will help us buy the building with cash. No mortgage.”
Lots of maybes, what ifs, and mights. But that’s where God comes in. The Lord breathed the vision, yet the insanely amazing thing is that He actually loves to see His kids dreams come alive through the blood, sweat, and tears of our community. You, me, your friends are all “his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)
A dream often starts in the secret place of people’s imaginations. But for it to become fully alive, it takes each other and whole lot of trust.
We grow closer. We risk. We fall. We get back up again. And God gets the glory seeing His sons and daughters fully alive along the way.
Fast forward to today. I just got a text message saying the fire sprinkler plans have been sent to the city fire marshal.
I didn’t write up the plans of course. I didn’t even know anyone who could do this. But my contractor friend Peter did. He told me we needed to talk to Gregor the architect And he is conveniently friends with the Knoxville fire marshal who says we need a fire sprinkler system throughout the whole building to make it legal.
Just one of a hundred roles that it took to pull this off.
We will be moving into the building sometime this fall, probably 1 year exactly from our online fundraising campaign.
The journey continues…so honored to run with you all.