“God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” (Ephesians 2:20-22, The Message)

We are in the middle of a grand building project at 5475 Ravine Road in Kalamazoo.  The venerable facilities that formerly housed Twin Lakes Reformed Church are now the home of The Living Well, a church plant from The Bridge in Portage. We received this facility as a wonderful legacy gift from the faithful members of Twin Lakes on April 1.

With their blessing and the generous support of The Bridge (our parent church) and the Southwest Michigan Classis, we have begun to address the demands of deferred maintenance, repairs, and building updates.  It’s a big job! When it is all finished, it will serve as a sign that points to the grace of God and the faithfulness of God’s people. It will be another physical expression of the Church. “God is building a home…we see it taking shape day after day…a place in which God is quite at home.”

But far more significantly, God is taking our little congregation of about 70 men, women and children, and He’s making us into His holy temple, “using us…fitting us in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together.” It’s a BIG JOB! And when He’s finished with us, we will be a sign that points our neighbors and friends to the grace and faithfulness of God.

As our mission states, “We are a group of people who find real life in Jesus Christ, celebrate that life in community and share the life with everyone around us.” As we press into our identity as God’s holy temple, the Holy Spirit has begun to address the demands of our deferred discipleship, spiritual healing, and missional effectiveness.

Part of that process happened during the days leading up to Pentecost Sunday.  Between Ascension Day (May 10) and Pentecost (May 20) the whole community of The Living Well went on a 10-Day Bible Adventure. During that 10-day stretch, we read the entire Bible…every word…aloud in our new facility at 5475 Ravine! Taking turns in one-hour shifts, we declared the truth of every event, every law, every genealogy, every prophecy—from The Garden of Eden in Genesis to the New Creation in Revelation.

When we completed our journey (with 100% participation) we celebrated together with our first ever Sunday morning worship service.  We invited our friends, and shared the life. We even participated in the Classis’ Pentecost Offering, raising $838 for another construction project at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. We were celebrating our new home—still under construction—and God was blessing His new home—also still under construction!

We have a long way to go before either of these “building projects” is completed. But we are confident that God is able to use both projects for His glory. Please continue to pray for us as we press on toward our October 7 launch goal. There is a whole lot that needs to happen before we launch! Pray that God will continue to provide all the energy, all the resources, and all of the faithfulness required to complete His work—in us and through us!

Philip Rose, Church Planter – The Living Well, Kalamazoo