For years, our senior team at Granger has focused for a week in January to plan, strategize, and set priorities for the coming year. We find a cabin or house somewhere away from the office, and spend 8-10 hours a day together praying and talking about God's plans for our future. And every year I am amazed at the amount of focus and unity those days bring to our team and ultimately to the entire church.
Years ago, we would hop on a plane to someplace far away to dream and unify around the vision, and occasionally even our spouses have been able to join us. The last couple of years we have saved money on flights and driven across the border into southern Michigan. The setting has never mattered much--because we spend most our time working. (I will admit, though, I tend to think better when it is 70-degrees rather than 5-degrees!)
The church budgets money for this trip, because the Board sees it as crucial for the direction and momentum of the church. However, we weren't even sure we'd be able to take a trip in 2011 as the economy continues to stumble here in northern Indiana.
Then, an amazing thing happened. A businessman who does not attend the church and who I have never met, offered us his (very) large home in Cabo, Mexico, for five days in January, at absolutely NO cost. Then, as if that weren't enough, he said he would also provide all the food for us. Basically, he was saying, "You get here, and I'll cover everything else!"
It gets even better: Just last week, three men in the church provided the money to cover the flights. That means the entire trip for our senior team and spouses to work and plan together in Mexico has been paid for 100%. Amazing, right?
As cool as it is, I really think this is just symbolic of what God is getting ready to do at Granger. It has been a tough few years in our region, but the momentum for our future as a community and as a church is beginning to build. I can't recall a time when I've sensed a greater anticipation about what is coming. I believe this is just the beginning, and we are going to begin to see God bless individuals, families, and our entire church--as we are faithful to Him.