A Dream Deferred for God’s Greater Purpose

A Dream Deferred for God’s Greater Purpose

Posted on September 12, 2017


The North Indy launch this weekend was a celebration of waiting, patience, and potential energy that had been building for months if not years. 

One of the biggest visions for the North Indy campus was diversity, in ages, races, ethnicities, and languages. This was already evident as the campus launched on Sunday, bringing first-timers and Grace veterans alike.

A few of our wonderful volunteers at North Indy

Sisters and neighbors Jane Harris and Ruth Hutton attended the North Indy launch after coming to the 146th Street campus for years. Ruth said she had been a member for 20 years, since the warehouse days. The women moved into neighboring condos after their husbands passed and shared excitement that they have a campus less than five minutes from home. Even on the first day, they wondered how to get involved.

“What do you think I’d be good at?” Jane asked her sister.

“Talking,” Ruth responded sarcastically, sending the women into laughter.

Just one row ahead sat Mallory Roach and Emma Hedrick, who go to Carmel High School but decided to check out the North Indy campus because it seems like a smaller community.

Mallory & Emma

“It seems like everyone will know everyone here,” Emma said.

Even on the first day, this proved true. Attendees greeted each other like family Sunday morning. Our big church offered a small church feel, as people wore sticky name tags and turned to greet the newcomers behind them. The hallway leading back to the gym was full of smiling faces, chatter, and laughter that spilled into the worship space itself – an old gym turned sanctuary.
The launch was a success, but in some ways, it didn’t match what we had dreamed for it.

The North Indy campus was supposed to launch at a building next door to the YMCA, but low funding and flood waters deferred that dream. This weekend proved (yet again) that even in a dream deferred, God appoints the perfect timing, and His larger dreams create a bigger story.

North Indy at the Y

YMCA leaders greeted the North Indy campus with an apology for not living out their Christian mission. The YMCA had been praying that God would send people to make churches within their community. They said Grace Church’s North Indy campus was an answer to that prayer. Our campus is the fifth church planted inside a YMCA in Indianapolis. YMCA churches in Minneapolis and Ohio were praying for Grace Church’s North Indy campus as it launched Sunday morning.

Long-time Attenders, Pat & Bob, Greeting People at North Indy

Our dream deferred turned one story into God’s greater purpose.

Rob Yonan’s first message at the North Indy campus prophetically called North Indy to imagine its destiny; what will we be known for? He called us to become a community that is wildly inclusive, diverse, and gritty – because if we give up too soon, we miss the beauty.

North Indy Pastor, Rob Yonan

John revealed that beauty to us in Revelations 7:9 – “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”

As we stand at the starting line of our dreams for North Indy, even when they are deferred, God reveals to us this beauty that He planned long ago. I have a feeling that just as Grace’s 146th Street campus looks back fondly on its warehouse days, Grace North Indy will feel the same about its YMCA days. We can’t wait to see what else He has in store as we continue to invest in this community.

Children's Ministry at North Indy

Prayer for North Indy

The North Indy campus was covered in prayer from near and afar, as a team of Grace attenders gathered to pray for North Indy four days before it launched. The prayer room was open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday night, people met to pray at 11:15 p.m. and prayed the entire night. About 16 people came and went throughout the four days of prayer. Harrison Bottorff, Director of Prayer and Discipleship at Grace, said the group was sustained by lots of coffee.

"When we pray, God moves," Harrison said.

The event was called Tabernacle, which is a mobile tent where people visited with God until they had a permanent worship space. A fitting name, as the YMCA is a tabernacle for the North Indy campus until it can move into its permanent space.

Harrison said the Prayer and Discipleship team is launching Hope Rooms every week, which will be an hour of focused prayer at every campus. The room's purpose is to bring healing and hope, and to see God respond to those prayers.