In the Summer of 1990, my hometown of Bright, Indiana experienced a terrible tornado. I remember sitting in the basement that night listening to what sounded like a train go by. My house was safe but those who lived on the other side of our small-town experienced devastation. My dad and I worked for weeks in the aftermath cutting up trees in the yards of friends trying to clear the debris. One thing that sticks out in my mind during that time is my church building. We had a large fellowship hall on the back of our building at the time. It was a fairly new addition. The Red Cross was using our church as a hub for relief. They were serving meals there for volunteers and when I walked inside all I saw were cots. Our fellowship hall had been transformed into a large bunk house for families displaced because of the tornado. I couldn’t believe that dozens of families were living at the church until they could get placed back in their home or into a more permanent location.
I love the fact that in a desperate time of need, my home church was transformed into a hub for the care of our community. When I think of the future of the Colerain campus it’s with that mindset. God has blessed us with a huge amount of space. We want to start dreaming about how we can better utilize all that real-estate to impact our community and ultimately point people to the full life that only Jesus offers.
Over the next several months we will have teams of people brainstorming about how we can best serve our community. A lot of work has already begun as we have jumped into community meetings exploring the deepest needs of Colerain township. We will explore partnerships with other ministries that are doing great work serving Colerain and beyond. Recently we carved out space to allow Nate’s Toybox to begin operating year-round serving children and families.
This dream we have is not limited to our building. We have a dream for White Oak as a church to be more involved in our communities. When we say church, what we mean is our people. Not necessarily in planned structured events (those will happen too) but in everyday life. That as a church, as individuals we are sold out to the calling of loving our neighbors, loving our neighborhoods, loving our city. As you see changes to our building at Colerain, please know that we are updating environments to be ready to engage guests and repurposing spaces to meet needs in our community.
There has been a lot of buzz about the new Ross building opening. We are excited for the expansion in the Ross community and what God will do there with a permanent space. Don’t let that allow you to think that we are done in Colerain. We are only just beginning to follow the dream that God has for us to reach into this community and share the hope of Jesus.
Below is a link to a survey I would love for you to take just a couple minutes to complete.
It is part TWO of a four-part survey in partnership with the Christian Church Leadership Network measuring the level of spiritual devotion church members and attendees have to Christ and his Church. This nationwide survey will include churches of all sizes from various geographic locations. You participation will help Christian leaders better understand how to better disciple Jesus followers and deploy them for mission. Thank you for helping!
Kevin Smith Colerain Campus Pastor, White Oak Christian Church