On Sunday, I took a left instead of a right.
I didn’t go to the GFC Van Dyke Campus. I went to our Temple Terrace Campus and our Ybor Campus. What a day!
I got on the Temple Terrace Campus early. Already, people were milling around putting the final touches on morning services – signage, food services, children’s areas, greeting zones and the music team – all prepping for a full morning. Met with Pastor Roy Taylor, who made his final notes, then headed out to be with all the volunteers.
From then on, it was game on and the teams didn’t disappoint. It was so exciting to see people using their gifts and talents to serve others. Smiles, hugs, “Welcomes!,” strong worship, great teaching in children’s ministries, all revolving around a great message by our Lead Pastor, Craig Altman. After service, people hung out, talking and laughing, some prayed with one another and slowed down to enjoy “community.”
I jumped in my car and was at our Ybor Campus in twenty minutes. With is freshly finished outside mural, or Ybor Campus meets at this former Boys and Girls Club which is the GFC Dream Center. I walked in and was taken back – the physical transformation on the inside was truly amazing. Fresh flooring, walls, cabinets signage, lighting, sound, staging, children’s areas and AC in the gym has made this place into a great facility. Hats off to all who help on our Construction and Maintenance teams – well done!
Again, people greeting, welcoming and creating an inviting environment. Pastor Ralph Johnson and our Dream Center Executive Director, Chris Davis, were out amongst everyone. Along with Trish, Mick, Angela, Tyler and Sarah so many people helping us to reach this area of Tampa.
I met Mrs. Starks. Her three teenage boys serve in different ministries and she is on our Blue Shirt team. How great is that – a family serving together in their local church! After another great service, I was on my way home…tired but excited.
When GFC started this vision – one church, many locations – we had to ask, “Will this work?” I am here to say emphatically, “Yes! This is working!”
One last story from this morning. As the Ybor team finished the last worship song, I teared up. Our campuses are quite unique. Different buildings, set ups, geographic areas, strategies, even demographics of people. But, one thing we do well. We want to reach people in Tampa with a genuine love for God so they can grow in their own relationship with God. Today, we did that…and tomorrow, we get up and begin the journey to do it again next week.