Being the pastor of a church in a YMCA, I often times get the question "So when are you guys going to get your own building?" I usually respond with "We have the biggest indoor baptistry of any church I know (The pool) and we have a rock wall in our kids area. We have a better building that we could ever build. Why would we leave it?" Then I try to take the opportunity to explain why we really love being in the YMCA and why we plan on never leaving the Y. So I'll try to keep this short, but I want to take this opportunity as Gray's (or Mr. Stallworth or the CEO of the YMCA, however you may refer to him) as his guest blogger, to Share why we love the YMCA.
There are so many details that I could share about our journey as we have really embraced the call to be a church IN the Y and not just a church AT the Y. However, for the sake of time, let me just share a few highlights of why we love being a portable church in the YMCA. First, there is absolutely no better way for us to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with. We meet in the Y's facilities on Sunday morning and when we finish, those facilities are used non-stop all week long. So there are no big buildings that sit empty while our church members aren't there. Not to say that church buildings are bad... because the aren't... they are necessary. However, God has given us an amazing opportunity, and we want to hold on to it. But the facilities are really just a very small part. Second, The Y already has all the programs we need for outreach. As a church we don't have to look into starting programs for our members and for the community. If our church members want to start a soccer league... Already done! If we want to reach out to people outside of our church all we have to do is join in on anything that the Y is already doing! Think about it. How many churches do you know that have 5,000 people from the community come through their doors every week?... Um, I can think of one... Oasis Church. Why would we ever leave that? Third, the YMCA is an amazing Christian organization, rich in history. As a church, we get to help the Y sow Christian values into the lives of people in our community. Most people see the Y as just a "Swim and Gym", but the Y is so much more, and we are committed as a church to helping the Y plant Jesus values into every area of peoples lives; Mind, Body, and Spirit. The fact is, A permanent church in a YMCA is a win, win, win. We win as a church, The YMCA wins, and most importantly the community wins.There is so much more that goes into this aspect of why we love being a church IN the Y and not just a church AT the Y, but maybe I'll have another opportunity to share in the future.