Grace Harbor Church is a new church coming to Oklahoma City in the Summer of 2017. You already know that, right? Well, I have heard it said that the biggest error in communication is assuming that it has happened. So I am going to assume that you are hearing about us for the very first time.
This post is actually a follow up to something I wrote back in October called: “OKC: What We Know“. In that post, we actually didn’t know a whole lot about Grace Harbor Church. In fact, we didn’t have a name, a vision or much of a team. We did, however have a heart for the city and the people there. And the Thunder.
Here we are in April. Lynzie and I are beginning to enroll our kids in school, scheduling home visits with a realtor and gearing up to leave Northwest Arkansas. Thomas & Courtney are doing many of the same things and Courtney has even accepted a job with Surrey Hills Elementary in Yukon! Things are really beginning to fall into place.
Surely there’s a plan, right?
I am super excited about what the next few months look like for Grace Harbor and I want to share not only information about Grace Harbor Church, but our hope and vision.
1. Grace Harbor Church exists to share the transforming love and power of Jesus with our city. We seek to be great neighbors, develop life-changing relationships, and live in a life-giving way.
That’s the short version. What does this look like lived out? Well, we want to be great neighbors. From the physical dwelling places of our members to the partnerships we form with organizations in our city, we want to make an impact. We will never withdraw or disengage from our community. We will not boycott our city. We will actively seek to push back darkness and share the light of God’s goodness with those around us. We will link arms with other churches, recognizing the work they have done to pave the way for new churches to start in OKC. We want to call people into a life-changing relationship with God and His people. God changes us through His Word and His people. We want to live a life fulfilled. Fulfillment is found in a relationship with Jesus and a relationship with His church.
2. This is a church for God, for you.
This has not changed. If you read the post that I referenced earlier, it actually said that this church is for the broken. The truth is: that’s you. That’s me. That’s our team of leaders. That’s the people of God and the people far from God. For your sake, this is a church for God. Because of that, we can and will be a church for you to belong.
3. Where? Northwest OKC.
We love Oklahoma City and we love what is happening there. We feel that there is a highly concentrated population of other OKC residents who feel the same way about OKC in this area. We are also driven by the fact that more and more people are moving here. In the image below, I have specified our targeted area. This fifteen mile radius is home to nearly 200,000 of the one million residents living in OKC. There are over 10,000 people in these neighborhoods who have no relationship with Jesus and no relationship with the church.
4. Grace Harbor Vision Nights
Our first Grace Harbor meetings are set! These vision meetings will give those who are interested an opportunity to hear more about Grace Harbor. We have these meetings scheduled for June 21, July 12 and August 9 from 6:30-8:00. Our first meeting will be held in Moore at the Serve More Community Renewal Center. Our following meetings will be held in the area specified in the image above. These meetings are events for the whole family. Childcare and dinner will be provided! Register your group for our first event here.
5. Yeah, but when will you be a “church”?
We are not yet a church, but we will be. There are some vital things currently happening that are preparing us to become a church. We are meeting with key leaders and launch team members. We are praying and planning. We are expecting.
We also have our first 8 services scheduled, beginning in September with our first preview service. We are still in the process of planning these and hopeful for big things to happen in and through these services. Interested in the dates and times of these services? Look here!
6. We are connecting with other pastors in OKC.
This ties in a bit to our desire to be great neighbors. This may be the best thing we are doing. Actually, this is the best thing we are doing. We are being intentional about reaching out to other churches in OKC. To our amazement, other pastors and leaders are reaching out to us who want to hear about our call to plant a church. A recent Barna study reported that there are now more full-time senior pastors over the age of 65 than under the age of 40. I think there are several things to be said about this. One of the things this reveals to me and that I have even heard from people in my network is that younger leaders are not interested in “solo” ministry. They have seen the effects solo ministry has had on their pastors, their fathers and their mentors. We are desperate to not go at this alone. Quick example: I met today with around 30 pastors and planters in OKC. In this room, we were encouraged to do nothing more than connect. We also had the opportunity to enter into some of the brokenness and struggles we face, even as pastors! This is not an area that many pastors feel free to express themselves in. I hear pastoring is pretty difficult at times. I am thankful we have the opportunity to connect and plug in with other leaders in our community for kingdom purposes. We aren’t vying for turf, we are battling for the Kingdom. Together.
Lately, I have been sure to let people know that there are many things we don’t know about our future. I have also shared with them that there are things we do know. I could not be more excited about these things we know. Interested in hearing more? I would love to connect with you.