In the middle of 2009 I had an epiphany. For three days in a row, I had to walk to the other side of our building through our lower level. The lights were off. The classrooms in our Children's Center were dark. The hallway was quiet. Now understand--this is a multi-million dollar, creatively-themed, educational space that is filled with more than 800 kids every weekend. But as I asked around, I realized that it was rarely in use during week days. At the same time, we were in deep discussions about how to more effectively help parents disciple their kids--yet we were in a difficult recession with decreasing financial resources. That's when it hit me on my third trip down the darkened hallway: Why not use what God has already given us?
I suppose this could be real obvious to others, but for me the idea of using our Children's Center as the location of a high quality, faith-based preschool was a new thought. I shared it with Mark Beeson and he said "absolutely yes!" before I could even get my words out. He'd been thinking the same thing. And then, when we asked our congregation to tell us what dream they had for our church over the next 5- to 10-years...we were amazed by how many mentioned a desire to start a preschool on our campus.
That desire turned into action, and is almost a reality. Registration for the fall 2012 classes opens in just a few days. More details on GCC's Early Learning Center in the days to come.