Invited. Aligning our Vision.

by John Mitchell, Owner’s Rep on Invited project

When the construction company began the work of renovating and constructing what is now the Commons and the Westview Room, they asked us what our goals were. We told them we wanted our building to embody a sense of invitation, to enable us to boldly extend the invitation Jesus makes to us, to others. We wanted to create a place that feels inviting, a place where you want to stay, and where you want to invite others. And we wanted the project and the people who were working here to feel invited as well.

What has made the work of Invited so powerful isn’t so much what we did, but what we got to do along the way. I think we cared for the construction workers incredibly well. We had Pizza Fridays and a Christmas meal, where we had the chance to pray over them. When Jake [Fiskewold, Project Superintendent with Anderson Construction] and his wife had a baby, we provided meals for a few weeks. We were being the Church to this team of workers who were partnering with us.

It’s easy to measure a project by the rooms renovated or the amount of square footage that is gained. But for me, in my role as the Owner’s Rep, I was able to have this bird’s eye view of how people are using this place differently. As I worked on the patio, I watched as moms and their kids ate in the Commons, small groups met and shared prayers together, and I witnessed people who simply came to CPC because it was the “third place” after home and work—a safe, inviting place, just as we hoped it would be. And then to see all our teens here on Wednesday nights and grandparents and grandkids playing together at the foosball table! We’ve also blessed grieving families with receptions in our Westview Room. It truly is our Invited campaign lived out—a change in how people are interacting and engaging with and in our space.

The landscaping outside of the Westview Room contains a stone outcropping, an Ebenzer. In Old Testament times, the Israelites were instructed to build a pile of stones to show where God had been faithful to them. Oftentimes they are twelve stones, one for each of the tribes of Israel. I felt that there have been two chapters in CPC’s legacy—one tied to [founding pastor] Roger Anderson and one to [senior pastor] John Crosby. So our Ebenezer has 24 stones, but it is built and designed so that more stones can be added. Because God’s faithfulness endures.

The vision we had for our new and renovated spaces has been 150% realized. But it’s beyond just a beautiful building—it starts and ends with the people of CPC and how we are living out the call to extend the invitation of Jesus to everyone.