Within the suburbs of Willoughby on Kirtland Road, a church is being built. The new building, with its white and gray exterior, is surrounded by a school, homes, shops, and service stations, situating it ideally for a growing church in Lake County. This building will be established as the new home of Parkside’s first church plant, Shoreline Church, formerly Parkside Church Lake County.
A Growing Church and a Search for a New Home
Shoreline, started in 2011 under the leadership of Pastor Scott Kennedy, has been meeting for nearly seven years in the auditorium at Lakeland Community College. As the church grew, the leadership team prayerfully considered the timing of putting down permanent roots through the purchase of a building. Finding a good spot was essential, as they wanted it to be centrally located both within the city and the county. “[Throughout the years], opportunities would open up and then fall through. It was discouraging,” said Chris Durbin, associate pastor. “But God was faithful. We learned to trust Him, and He led us to the place He’s intended for us.”
In 2017, Shoreline identified a property in the heart of Lake County. Over the course of the last two years, they purchased the property and began the work of renovating the structure to better accommodate their needs. “Construction and renovations were a challenge that God has uniquely worked through by our partnership with Parkside,” said Durbin. “It’s a necessary partnership. We wouldn’t be where we are without them.” The work included tearing down part of the old church building, building new structures, as well as reconfiguring the parking lot and landscaping. "It is pretty surreal to see the two-year process finally come to a close," said Scott Kennedy. "Sometimes I would just go over to the church to pray and think on my own during the construction process, and I am so thankful we are at this point."
A New Name and Logo
It was fitting then, that during this renovation phase, the leadership decided on a new church name and logo. Shoreline’s new logo features a trail of rocks resembling the beach at Lake Erie. “A rocky shoreline represents broken pieces that are brought together to form something greater than themselves,” said Durbin. The name “Shoreline” was chosen because it represents the shores of Lake Erie and the Chagrin River which surround the church. It also holds a deeper meaning as Jesus preached along the shore. In the Bible, it’s one of the places where people gathered to grow both in fellowship and in their understanding of who God is and what He came to do. The shoreline of the Sea of Galilee was the place where people were equipped and sent out with the Good News.
More Than a Building
The heart of Shoreline’s purpose is “Glorifying God by helping people become committed followers of Jesus Christ.” According to Durbin, “It’s about going out, not just bringing in.” For them, this means that although they have a beautiful new building to call home, they will continue to meet people where they are, within their communities, and share the love of Christ with them wherever, and however, they can. And, while God has provided this new site, they are thankful for the understanding that the Church is the collection of God’s people, and is always more than just a building. “We’ve already made some good connections in the community and look forward to reaching out from our new home,” said Kennedy.
How Can You Pray?
Shoreline’s first service in the new building is this Sunday, July 28. Pray for that service, for all the logistical details of moving into, and getting used to, a new space. Pray that their presence on Kirtland Road would be a place that will allow them to flourish, to multiply their leadership, and create vibrant men’s, women’s, and youth ministries. Ultimately, please pray that they will be able to reach people in the surrounding neighborhoods and share the love of Christ with them in personal and intentional ways.
If you’re interested in making the trip to Shoreline to show your support, or, if you have friends or family who live in Lake County, they are hosting a Community Day on August 18. To learn more, visit cometoshoreline.com.