Written by Nate Wieland. Media by Maggie Schoepke.
A Christian seeks to recognize the ways that they have been blessed by God. Considering our tendency towards blindness, this is often easier said than done. It’s vastly important that we constantly be petitioning God that He give us eyes to see what He’s doing and hearts to follow Him wherever He may go. Recently, God has opened my eyes up to something that He’s doing here in Greenville, and how He intends for many people to play a part in this divine scheme.
The Masonic Lodge sits directly adjacent to Joe’s Pizza and is a building of untapped potential. It has a spacey first floor, complemented by the classic look of hardwood flooring and brick walls. Its second floor is divided up into many different rooms and office spaces and is yet to be finished. The third floor is in the same state of incompletion but is perhaps the most exciting in that it comes with a large room fit for any number of grand scale events you could imagine. The focus now rests particularly on the finished first floor, and how that space can best be put into service. With the endorsement of the generous owner, Don Jones, Rick McPeak has allowed for a group of students to think imaginatively about how best to use the space. Many ideas were bounced around, each addressing particular needs that were seen to be in need of filling in the Greenville community. After almost a month of brainstorming, exploring different business models, visiting successful entrepreneurs, and learning from experienced pastors, an idea was finally settled upon. Working out of McPeak’s emphasis on hospitality, the group soon realized that this space was versatile enough to be shared by any number of community members. They had the space, they had seven days out of the week, and they had a team that was devoted to seeing good work done through the building they had been blessed with. The group imagined dances, concerts, board game nights, business incubators, colloquiums, Q&A’s with famous musicians (Propaganda on February 28th), discipleship ministries, or even just a late night space to get away from the usual for a while.
After all of that, the question then became, how would they go about getting people trafficking through the building and beginning to see it as established space in the community? They thought through their options, then realized that the plan had already been set in motion before they even thought to conceive it. Rick McPeak had been planning to move Adam Bros into the Lodge. This would then create an atmosphere where people could come and be comfortable, relax, enjoy good coffee, and partake in the many events that would happen in the building.
All of this said, I’d like to wrap this back around to one of the many ways God is using this space for His purposes. Starting the Sunday after spring break, a small group/discipleship ministry called The Lodge Ministries will start working out of that space. The general idea is that on Sundays at 8 PM, people will gather for the purpose of coming together as a community, hearing the word, and responding to it collectively. Attendees will hear a short message, then break off into groups and dive further into what was said. In doing this, the hope is that we will gain a fuller sense of what it means to participate in the new humanity that God has made possible in Christ; a humanity that redefines how we relate to God and how we relate to others. Those who have been called into this new way of life are to practice radical inclusion in whatever context they find themselves. Here in Greenville, we hope to be a people that bridge the gap between college and community, in order that our oneness in Christ might be fully appreciated. For although we are different in many ways, our greatest common denominator is the work of our Savior on the cross; a work that may never be fully realized as long as this chasm between our brothers and sisters exists. May this ministry be one of bridge building, in order that we might do away with any and all walls, rifts, and divides that separate the body of Christ. If you feel that God is calling you to be a part of this, please contact me, Nate Wieland, so that we can see how you fit into the work that God is doing in Greenville.