By Carl Stagner
The Latin word spīrāre inspired the name of the Church of God in Westfield, Indiana, now known as NSpire Church. In the Hebrew and Greek, its meaning is understood as having to do with breath, life, wind, and the Spirit. Building up to IYC2018 (July 2–5), the church is preparing to work with IYC students by hosting an Indianapolis-area Impact Day project. As the church transitions out of a season of building and expanding, their partnership with the International Youth Convention is but an extension of who they already are. Leading into a new season of outreach, NSpire Church is breathing life into their community and will soon breathe life into the lives of teenagers attending IYC.
A year-and-a-half ago, we shared the story of how NSpire Church came to be. We rejoiced in the pieces that came together to bring about the successful merger of two churches—one, a Church of God congregation, and the other, a Missionary church. With Jesus as the subject, similar ministry methods and models, and a mutual love for the Lord and the community of Westfield, it was nothing short of a match made in heaven. Still, there were hiccups along the way, and neither pastor—Matt Gaylor or Brad Ruggles—would say it’s been easy. At points it’s been downright difficult, but God’s faithfulness has been a guiding light each step of the way—and with each swing of a hammer.
In the time since the NSpire Church was born, the congregation purchased a lumber yard complete with pole buildings. While certainly not the typical property a church might acquire, they saw potential and followed the Spirit’s leading. Beginning April 24, 2017, and concluding just in time for Easter 2018, the majority of the renovation of the pole buildings was completed by individuals in the congregation. Some of the work had to be taken care of by licensed professionals, such as the HVAC work, but the rest—including framing, digging trenches, siding, and drywall—were handled by the laypeople. Tuesday nights, Thursday nights, and Saturday mornings were dedicated to this cause until the home stretch, when they worked five days a week. It was exhausting work, but it only lasted a season in the church’s life, and it brought the guys closer together than they ever were before.
One fun tidbit: Madison Park Church of God in Anderson, Indiana, gave NSpire Church a couple hundred chairs that were being decommissioned. Both churches benefitted, and existing resources continue to be used for ministry! Because of hard work and partnership, the church put only a few hundred thousand dollars into their new home, as opposed to what could have been millions. For NSpire Church, it really is a matter of stewardship.
With an eye toward stewardship, they also dream of future possibilities their new space could afford them. Whether partnering with business owners to create an event center or establishing a restaurant where a portion of the proceeds would fund projects like Stripped Love or Habitat for Humanity, NSpire Church doesn’t see themselves as a supporter of the community, but simply a part of the community.
That’s why throughout the year, they’re giving life to their community. One of those annual events that has given name recognition and credibility is the annual Westfield Egg Drop at Easter. As a result of this and other outreach activities, they’ve been awarded Community Partner of the Year. As a result of these activities, IYC planners recognized them as a perfect partner for Impact Day, when students leave the comfort of their hotel and convention center to get their hands dirty for Jesus. Pastor Matt Gaylor used to be a member of the Church of God Youth Network Team (YNT), so he knows how to connect with teens for an event such as this. While the plans haven’t all been nailed down, the youth groups who choose NSpire Church for their Impact Day project can be sure they’ll be making a big difference for a ministry that’s always makes a big difference.
“With just a few hours that we have with the students,” Pastor Matt Gaylor explains, “we want to help them see that doing something seemingly small can make an impact. Just like our name NSpire, we’ll be breathing life into them as we breathe life into our city.”
Register for IYC2018 and sign your group up for Impact Day (Impact Indy) events at www.iyc2018.org. Registration rates increase after May 11!