I’ll cut to the chase, we need help! We are starting a church in a new area where we have very few connections. Because of this, some of the launch team have moved here (over a year before the launch date) in order to meet people and start building a team who live in the Reno area. This is where you come in. If you live in or around Reno and are interested in helping us launch Desert Lake Church let us know. We want you! If you have a friend in the Reno area that may want to help us launch. We want them too! I guess what I am trying to say is; Will you help us make connections in the Reno area?
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), call me (775-453-0891) or hit me up on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/GabeGray)
View from the park last Sunday
So we moved here two months ago, it’s probably time to give an update. I will start with some things that I have learned about Reno since moving.
- People in Reno are friendly: I feel like I am greeted in some way by almost everyone I see. In the grocery store, walking down the street, at the park and even at the DMV people smile, wave or say hello.
- The weather is awesome (if you like warm sunny days): it really is about the same each day. It is warm and dry, and always a great time to go outside.
- There’s tons to do: From swimming, biking and hiking in and around the Lake Tahoe area to malls, parks, zoos and casinos everywhere. It seems we can always find something to do.
- There are lots of great Churches: we have had the pleasure of visiting quite a few great churches. Churches that run a few hundred to a few thousand, they are all on mission with Jesus Christ. They are reaching the community, teaching people and just being the hands and feet of Jesus.
I get more and more excited each week about starting Desert Lake Church. As I mentioned, there are lots of great churches and they are reaching lots of people. But, I have not found any churches with the style that we are hoping for with Desert Lake. Also for every three people that are going to church seven people are not, or for every one family who goes two don’t. However you want to describe it, about 70% of people are not going to church in this area. That is somewhere around 280,000 people that are not going to church in this community. There is a place for another church a church that will strive to reach the 70%. We hope that Desert Lake will be that church, we hope that thousands of people will come and meet Jesus through Desert Lake Church. We don’t hope for this because we want a big church or so we can say “look what we did”. We hope for this because we know Jesus changes everything. Because people are hurting and lost, because we want to make it hard to go to hell from Reno NV.
Our prayer is that we will reach thousands, even tens of thousands and that we will never say “look what we did” but instead “look what God is doing”.
We are super excited that two more people are joining the Launch Team for EastLake Reno. Our newest team members are Zach Hill and Jessica Demuysere. We’ve had two meetings with them this past week and from the first time we met with them they said they were in. Zach and Jessica will be married this Summer and will move across the country in September.
Zach has been a committed member of the Sound Team since his fourth week at Great Lakes Church. Jessica has served on the Kids Welcome Team, the Photography Team and as a Camera Operator at Great Lakes Church. Their understanding of the DNA that we are trying to create at EastLake and their willingness to help however they can is going to be a huge asset to the EastLake Team.
It is amazing to see this couple step up and obey God as He leads them two thousand miles out of their comfort zone.
Okay the wait is over, we are happy to tell you that Hoover and Mary Mercado and their two boys Andy and Marky will be moving to help us launch EastLake Church in Reno.
As Tyler said in his last blog, we are super excited to have them on board. For those of you who know them, you know why we’re excited. For those of you who don’t know them let me fill you in.
The Mercado’s have been with Great Lakes Church since the beginning and they have been serving ever since they started going. They have huge hearts for reaching people who don’t know Jesus and they know how to make it easy for people to find Him. Hoover has volunteered as a Greeter, is one of the leaders in the High School Group and recently started volunteering on the Tech Team at Great Lakes. He is there almost every Sunday, with a smile on his face happy to do whatever he can to help. Mary serves on the Kids Welcome team at Great Lakes, like Hoover she is there almost every Sunday ready to guide our first time guests through the chaos. These two are a huge asset to the EastLake Reno launch team; we are so excited to work with them as we reach the people of Reno.
Planting a church is a bitter sweet process; we were reminded of this last night at Great Lakes Church worship night.
It is bitter because we are leaving and because last night was our last Worship Night with Great Lakes Church. We are leaving behind friends. We are leaving behind people who welcomed us with open arms when we moved here and knew no one. We are leaving behind the people who brought us meals when we first moved in. We are leaving behind people who helped us unload a moving truck in 80+ degree weather. We are leaving behind people who just spent time with us when we knew no one. We really are leaving behind a second family. The people of Great Lakes Church took us in with open arms when they really didn’t even know us. We would love to thank each and every person who welcomed us, but the list would literally be hundreds of people. So, thank you Great Lakes Church, for being Gods arms and catching us when we took a leap of faith.
It is sweet because we are going. Seeing what God has done with Great Lakes Church and the hundreds of people who have come to Jesus and been baptized in the two short years since we have been here, is inspiring and amazing. In Reno 73% of people don’t go to church at all. We aren’t really sure why, but God chose us to show them another way. My dream and prayer is that God will use EastLake Church to reach the 73%. We aren’t sure who the 73% are, but they are people with faces and names. They are people just like the people at Great Lakes Church, they need Jesus too. As we move to Reno and partner with other churches around the country and in the city, along with individuals who will give finically and of their time, and even those who will move their lives to support this church.
So, thank you, Great Lakes Church, for being a part of our extended family.
Gabe and Katie
As Tyler mentioned in an earlier post, we are reading the book “Exponential”. In the book they talk about the power of someone telling you, “I see in you…” followed by an encouraging statement. Such as, “I see in you…. the ability to make a million dollars”. It gives you the passion and the drive to do something that was already within you… given they are telling you the truth.
As I was thinking about this idea, I realized that Jesus has said this to every Christian. Jesus said, “I see in you the ability to save the world”. In Acts 1:8 He says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This is His plan to save the world from sin, this is His plan to reach the entire world. His plan is YOU.
This is why I want to start a church. Jesus told me, “I see in you the ability to save the world”, and I believe Him. He is telling you the same thing. This doesn’t mean you have to start a church, but it does mean something. There is someone, probably more than one, that He has for you to reach out to and He sees in you the ability to reach them.