Building Projects and Building Faith at Lifehouse Church
After three years of leasing space, Lifehouse Church (Tennessee) felt led to step out in faith and buy a 3-acre piece of land. In order to afford the new property, we went back to meeting in a local school on Sunday mornings. That meant we’d also need to set up and tear down every week, but our church was up for it. We bought the property and waited to see what God would do next.
Ten months after moving our meetings back to the school, the building we had previously leased was repossessed. Amazingly, we were asked if we would like to make an offer. It seemed impossible: many investor groups were trying to buy the property and the odds of our church qualifying for a loan seemed small.
But God knew. The 3-acre plot we had purchased in faith ten months earlier served as collateral, securing the financing for the building. We moved back into our previously leased space as the new owners. We were now the landlords, our church was meeting for free, and the building was a source of income!
About a year after we purchased the building, during a prayer meeting, we heard God tell us to sell the three acres and construct a new building beside our current location, which came with a small 1/2 acre lot. The next day, before we could say a word to anyone, we received a phone call from someone who wanted to buy the vacant land. Within two weeks, we were under contract, selling the 3-acre lot for double what we had paid just 24 months earlier. This allowed us to begin preparations for building our new 14,000 square foot building.
There is nothing profound about bricks and mortar. What makes a building special is when people from all walks of life gather inside to worship God. We heard God saying it was time to build, and we had seen him miraculously bring us to that point. The next step was raising $245,000 (a big number for us). Prayers went up, people gave sacrificially, and we were able to begin construction.
We presented plans to the city and were promptly turned down and told that we could not connect to existing sewer lines. Our church prayed, our Confluence family prayed, and God changed the hearts of our city leaders. In just two days, they reversed their decision and we started moving forward.
It was challenging at every turn: we ran into issues with parking, improper soil, storm runoff, and even the brick color. We lived with the awareness of resistance and the need to continually pray. It was difficult, it seemed impossible, and then, it was done! At the end of the day, construction on our new building was completed ahead of schedule and under budget — two phrases rarely heard these days. More importantly, God had strengthened our faith as issue after issue was resolved through prayer and steps of faith.
We celebrated our grand opening in February this year, and the building was packed out. Neighbors we had invited years before are now coming to our meetings. We’ve seen people saved, physically and emotionally healed, and we’ve baptized 11 people in the last seven months.
We celebrate the stories of how God grows churches quickly, but our story is not like that. It has been 16 years of pressing on in faith. I know the enemy wanted to bring discouragement, but instead, the waiting has served to enlarge our hearts and our readiness to see God move powerfully. We are full of joy as we see people coming to Christ and being filled with his Spirit. Thank God for his grace and faithfulness. We continue to pray for his Spirit to overflow in our hearts and in this building he’s given us.