The rain stopped and left behind another humid, sticky Florida afternoon. The time of day where it was easier to stay indoors and enjoy the AC. But 90 people didn’t. And they experienced the opportunity to be at “the first.”
Grace Family Church is coming to South Tampa. As someone who has seen this progression over the years, I know the excitement and anticipation that all of us have over this great opportunity. The staff leading this campus are excellent and have done an amazing job of preparing for the opening this fall. The construction is progressing along. It never seems to go fast enough but the transformation from an abandoned supermarket into a cutting edge church is moving along.
Pastor Mike Ash told us that the next South Tampa event would be a prayer meeting at the campus a few months ago. It was another first. It was dusty, humid and hot…and it was awesome. After sharing some initial thoughts, Pastor Mike sent everyone to go write scriptures or thoughts on the floors, walls…pretty much anything. You might think – chaos, right. Who send a bunch of people into a construction site to graffiti up the walls on purpose? It was pretty cool. Some walked around praying over the entryway where brave people are going to step into a church for the first time. Others wandered through the classrooms where the next generation will come to know Christ at an early age and grow in solid relationships with God. Some meandered in the office areas praying for the men and women leading this church. Many spent time in the room where the services were going to be leaving numerous thoughts and scriptures on the wall. Kristin and I went to Casey’s office area and wrote a blessing for him as he takes on the role as Worship Leader. Families, singles, young and old…they came and left their mark.
After a time of praying and writing, Pastor Mike gathered everyone for a short time of prayer. A first – praying in the building together. Then a song – another first. And then he invited those there to meet the staff members in areas they were interested in learning more about.
The whole event took about an hour. It took a years and months to get to this one moment. It will be one that will be etched in my memory for a lifetime.