The For Gwinnett Journey to Opening Day
Fri, Jan 23, 2015 11:20 AM

This weekend 280,000 unchurched people in Gwinnett County will have a new home.

I have the opportunity to work there on staff at Gwinnett Church, and I can't say enough about this place I call my church home.

Gwinnett Church launched in 2011 with Sunday gatherings at The Gwinnett Center and later relocated to the Cross Pointe Church facilities, thanks to the generosity of Dr. James Merritt and the Cross Pointe Church staff. Now we are just days away from opening our very own building in Sugar Hill.

To say these early years have been amazing would be an understatement, but we have also faced unbelievable challenges. We have loaded in and loaded out; we have met each other’s needs in very practical ways; we have lost a staff member; we have lost close family relatives of our staff. Through the challenges, I've seen this church become much more than a building. Gwinnett Church's volunteers, regular attendees, and staff have shown up and been the church to people hurting within our community. I have been a recipient of their care and love. Maybe the hard times have made us even more relentless for unity as a church. I've never seen a group of people more committed to our mission and vision. Volunteers at Gwinnett Church are so excited about what we do here that they often invite their friends to grab a FOR GWINNETT t-shirt and volunteer with them on Sunday, before they even invite them to a service.

We also have a phenomenal lead pastor in Jeff Henderson. He leads with authenticity, humility, generosity, and overflowing grace. He has chosen some of the best people to lead our church, and I'm grateful to sit under their leadership and vision.

But the most compelling reason people want to be a part of these early days at Gwinnett is because of our vision FOR GWINNETT. You see, for so long the church has been known for what it's against, and we want to be known for what we are FOR. We are FOR Gwinnett. We are FOR Gwinnett schools, businesses, marriages, singles, families, and restaurants. And we show our guests that God is FOR them by how well we serve them.

Throughout our building you will see our FOR GWINNETT campaign through the artistic expressions of the amazingly talented Lauren Espy and Aaron Harris. Together they've created a FOR GWINNETT story wall that shares our story throughout the community. At our FOR GWINNETT store, we want to outfit every person in Gwinnett County with a FOR Gwinnett shirt so they can continue telling the story in our community. And on our "Join the Story" wall, guests can sign up to serve. They can grab a piece of string and place it on a future string-art presentation to represent their story connecting to God's story in Gwinnett County through our church.

Our building also has beautiful expressions of our Gwinnett Church logo, the tree. You'll have to visit to find out about that! If you are planning to come see us on Sunday, check out this video to help prepare you for your time with us.

We hope to show our guests that we are FOR them—that they are loved and accepted at our church. But much more than that, their Heavenly Father is FOR them. We are FOR Gwinnett.