this weekend we opened a new building at long hollow… actually it opened wednesday. but this was the big weekend. as such, we took turns praying throughout the 24 hours following the opening this morning. i had a shift at 10am yesterday. as i was walking around praying, journaling, writing… i started taking pictures and realized a theme. God revealed something to me, clear as day…
It’s not the two 1.000 person worship centers (one for high schoolers, one for middle schoolers. it’s not the slushie machines. it’s not the games, the “PIT”, the hangout rooms… all of this is spectacular, but what struck me was the design of the building and the choices made all over the place.
one thing that you may or may not notice is that that all of the furnishings, decorations, elements, are made using raw materials, lots of sustainables, lots of leather, metal and wood.
all natural materials. these words came to me – AUTHENTIC. RAW. GENUINE. – and kinda wrecked me… because THAT is what our student ministry is about.
AUTHENTICITY – loving kids as they are. showing them an authentic faith. exposing them to God in real ways RAW ways. getting down to the bare facts of their lives. helping them through loving them in their original state. taking something rustic and real and making it beautiful through the love of Christ, by GENUINEly loving their socks off.
The metal on the tables is rusted and imperfect – like us, yet it serves a perfect function… giving students a place to come together, read, study, share, fellowship. the metal is like the nails that crucified our Christ.
the wood in the spool tables and some chairs, benches are rough hewn, showing the creativity of our Creator, as no piece is exactly alike. the unfabricated wood is God’s design, at it’s core and without man’s alteration. the wood is like the cross.
the leather is straight from God’s creatures. It is different in design, on every piece. The strength coupled with the flexibility of this natural material is perfect to withstand the inevitable beating of the natural lives of teenagers. it will be sat on, slept on, wept on, jumped on… and as leather always does, it will get more beautiful with age-as it does it’s job and absorbs the stories of those who experience it’s resilience. leather sandals would have shod our Lord’s feet as he spread the good news of the gospel.
FYI: Kudos to designers Holly Bieber and Kim Flatt. This is one highly pinnable place!