Into The Woods

Into The Woods

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11, NLT

In case you can't tell, I've never been a very woodsy outdoorsman. I know, shocking.... right?!? In fact, one of the biggest challenges I ever faced was spending four days on the Appalachian Trail. We hiked between six and eight miles a day. The only reason I survived the ordeal is because our group had an amazing guide, Rev. Willie Beasley. He understood just how far to take us each day so that we tested our ability and also ended by sundown at a perfect spot with plenty of water and s'mores.

It wasn't until we had finished the trip that our fearless leader revealed that he had actually already completed the same portion of the trail with his son a few weeks prior. He knew exactly what was ahead of us at every cutback, mountaintop and deep descent because he had already traveled every step of the journey.

In a similar way, I often feel overwhelmed to be on this journey with The Ridge. Over the past five years, I've been learning to keep moving forward, realizing that God's grace is good, His wisdom is available and that He is an amazing guide who knows exactly what's ahead.

I can't help but think of the hymn we sang around the fire on that camping trip:

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds the future
And I know who holds my hand.

With that in mind, last Sunday I announced that the Trustees, Leadership and Finance Teams have been looking into a possible future piece of property for The Ridge.

Here are the big questions:
1.  Where is it? There is a total of 13 ½ acres located on Smith Rd., right off Exit 14 on the west side of I-185.
2.  Why Smith Rd.? We believe that this area is not only a great opportunity now but will be an even better location in a very short amount of time. Columbus is growing toward the north.
3.  What's the process associated with buying property? Being Methodist means that there is a "method" for everything! We need approval from the District, the NRCD (South GA Conference) AND our church membership.
4.  How does the church approve this? We're going to have a combined worship service on Sunday, March 15th at 10:30am. At that time, you'll hear reports from the Leadership, Finance and Trustees Teams. We'll bring as much information as we possibly can. We're encouraging all our members to be in attendance.
5.  Do we have the money to pay for this? So far so good... Your faithful giving has proved to be a blessing! We're still trying to raise just a little more to finish the purchase. More information will be available during the Church Conference. If you'd like to make a contribution, please find the "giving" tab on our website or Ridge app.
6.  How long till we have a building? Woah now! Slow down a bit! One step at a time :). I'm excited about that as well, but building projects are a HUGE step and one that we want to ease into. The leadership team will share our thoughts on what the future will look like. Remember this is a marathon, not a race. Please don't start picking out colors for drapes.
7.  Is the land suitable to develop? During this time of due diligence, we're running environmental, soil and engineering tests. Be in prayer that these tests will come back in good standing. If not, and we find something that prevents us from moving forward, we will halt the process. We will not move into something that does not suit plans for development.

Please be in prayer over this exciting next step. God knows the plans for our future and we place our hands comfortably in His.

"I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8, NLT

I look forward to sharing more info as it becomes available. And I look forward to a great church conference on Sunday, March 15th @ 10:30am.

Exciting times! Invite someone you know to "Experience The Ridge!"