Last week I attended a meeting with our current landlord, to discuss A Light of Hope’s future as a tenant. In order for you to get a clear understanding of this message, I must share with you the history of this relationship between the landlord and The Hope.
Around March 2016, I heard the Lord say to me “LOOK.” We were currently renting a small conference room at a hotel on a weekly basis, and as the management company changed, so did the prices. When I heard the one word instruction, I knew God was directing me to look for a more permanent space to rent, and without directions on where to look, I just began riding all over Pooler, GA. (this was the area where we were and where I chose to launch the ministry).
I searched for days and weeks, and one day, I decided to call two locations. To my surprise, BOTH locations told me NO. They both had reasons as to why they didn’t want to rent to a church. At first I felt a little disappointed and discouraged, but I had a little pep talk with myself and declared that their No’s, was not the final answer, and it only meant that God had something better for The Hope! Needless to say, that same night, someone suggested I go check out this location in Guyton, GA. My first response was a defensive no because, it was not the area that I wanted to be in. (This is another blog for another time, but for now…..)
The next morning, I felt a strong pull to go look at the suggested location. It was nice. It was huge. It was simply beautiful, and by the look of things, it was totally out of our budget. When I say out of our budget, I’m seriously talking outside of our budget. On average, we had about 10 active members, and not all were paying tithes consistently.
As I sat in the parking lot of this available space, I fought with myself, whether I should call the number listed on the sign in the window. I took a picture of the sign and took an emotional drive to work. I was conflicted in my spirit, because although I knew this was not where I wanted to be, I could feel that the spirit was in total disagreement with me (my wants, my ideas, my will).
Later that day, I called and spoke with the owner, and he confirmed what I already knew: WE COULD NOT AFFORD THIS SPACE! But the next thing out his mouth was, “Well come on by and view the place, and let’s see what we can work out. Just have faith.” Against my will, I went. I say against my will because, I personally did not want to go view this place, but there was a greater pull from within that kept pressing me to go.
When I arrived to view the place, my husband and a few other members were already there waiting on me. I had shared with them my plans and asked them to join me on this visit. The landlord was so friendly and welcoming. He gave us a tour and then turned to me and offered to allow us to rent the space for less than a fourth, of the actual rental price. We’re not talking small dollars here. I mean, this place is renting for almost $5,000, but he’s handing it over to us for merely pennies. Can somebody say- GOD WILL FINANCE HIS VISION!
Now, let me finish telling you the story…
After the landlord told us how much he would let us rent the space for, he also offered to give us the first 2 months free and this agreement was for a year, at which, we would meet again to discuss the next steps. I agreed, knowing that God was indeed in the midst of this transaction.
After about a year and a half, I finally received a letter that he wanted to meet with me to discuss my goals ,and his, for the New Year. I’m not even going to lie, I was a little worried. I tried to figure out a way to offer him an increase in rent, but the reality of things are—I couldn’t. I had no financial room to offer him more! I stressed and prayed and there was nothing I could do but TRUST GOD with this matter!
The day of the meeting came and although I was a little nervous, I was confident that God was in control. (You know, the unknown can be a scary, or shall I say an uncomfortable place sometimes.) I walked in and sat at the table. We started with small talk and then the business talk. I listened attentively to all he had to say, and in the end, I left there still blessed by this heart and hand of this man. For the rest of the day, I reflected on the meeting and I would love to share with you some of the things I gained from a leadership perspective.
What I learned from the meeting was:
1. GOD HAS BEEN AND IS STILL FOR ME– From the beginning of conception of my life and this ministry, and all the way up to now, God has been with me and for me. He has carried me and taught me many things. Even through painful situations, I’ve learned that God was for me and all things have been and is still working together for my good! Know that God is for you!
2. GOD WILL FINANCE HIS WORK.- When we first walked into the building (current worship location), I knew we couldn’t afford it then, and as of this day, we still can’t afford it, BUT GOD! There is NO mistaken it. GOD IS DOING THIS! God is truly financing this ministry! It may be cliché, but know that God will finance His business. If He has called you to do something, He will provide for it! He always have people in place to fund and do his work!
3. GOD HAS EXTENDED GRACE AND SPACE TO US.- I realized that this place, although beautiful in size and structure, is only temporary. It was never meant to be permanent. It’s only borrowed space. God has instructed the landlord to practically allow us to use this space for a specific purpose. My job is to seek Him and fulfill the purpose, for which He has sent us there. There are many instances in the Bible where God used other people’s belongings to fulfill His purpose. The stable for where Jesus was born. The donkey he rode on into Jerusalem. The tomb He was buried in and more. All these things belonged to someone else, but was used temporarily for a specific purpose. So when time is up, I need to have fulfilled the purpose during the allotted time, and be ready to move, at the appointed time! My job is simply to capitalize on the moment NOW! And seek Him daily for the next instructions!
4. GET READY! GET READY! GET READY!- Recognizing what God is doing, I see now that I need to get ready for the work in the here and now, and also prepare for the shift, cause there is definitely going to be a shift! This is a season of prayer and listening. Pay attention to all He instructs. God is getting ready to do some amazing things and WE… His people…His women… need to get ready!
I pray that my recent experience has been a blessing and a lesson to you. You may not be in search of a space to rent, but whatever you need from God in this season, know that He is with you and for you. You don’t have to stress about God’s business, just worry about yours. God will take care of His. He has so many people in His directory that He can call on when He needs something for His ministry. Be it money, a building, a stable, donkey or a tomb, He always has someone in place. Last but not least, GET READY LADIES! Be prepared for the next shift!