On behalf of my wife Kelly, and our two kids, I want to invite you into our story. I grew up in Ohio and my parents divorced when I was two. I was shuffled back and forth between them and on days I was assigned to be with my dad, I would actually stay with other relatives because my dad worked nights. I called them grandpa and grandma, but they were barely related to me, they were my mom’s aunt and uncle.
As my parent’s lives became more chaotic, I needed my grandparents more. I moved in with them and they loved me and raised me. They never legally adopted me, they never got the tax benefits or got to come to the PTA meetings. But everyone who knew me, knew who they were and knew how special they were to me. I don’t know where I would be without them, they are my family.
As I became a teenager and became older and dumber, I became less and less close with my grandparents. Then I met Caleb and James. Caleb was in my grade and we played basketball together. He was like a brother who I never had. James was a youth pastor. He and I would work on his old farm house and talk about life, girls and God. He became the dad who wasn’t there right at that moment in my life. James helped trained me to be a youth pastor and helped me to get my first two ministry jobs, one in Powell, Ohio and the other in Atlanta, Georgia.
The long and short of our story is that Kelly and I are moving from Atlanta, Georgia to come home to Westerville, Ohio. We will be starting a church because we believe that the church is more than a building. The church is a family, who can love you through good times and tough times. The church can be a place where you don’t just talk about God, but you actually hear from God and experience God. The church can be more than an organization you are associated with, but a powerful, driving force of life change.
Why are we coming home? Not because people need to hear about God, but because people need to see God. People need to see God’s power in the lives of ordinary people. People need help to discover their purpose, belong in community and reveal God’s beautiful love to the world. I want to be a part of a community like that, a group of people who don’t just talk about God, but whose lives have been changed by God’s transforming love. When you see a life like that, it changes you, the way Caleb and James’ life changed mine. When someone lives out what is talked about in church and in the Bible, their lives display God’s love, beauty and power. The life of a person moved by God’s love becomes a canvas that reveals God’s love to a lost and broken world. I want to be a part of a community like that and if you do to, join us. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram and Like us on Facebook. Join our weekly email list to hear more about how you can be involved with what God is doing with Canvas Church. The church became my family, I pray that you allow Canvas to be yours.
Tim, Kelly, Asher and Lucy Walk