I hope that you have all been having a wonderful summer. I have had a busy one so far, which is one of the reasons that I haven’t posted a blog in a loooonnngg time. I am maintaining the gardens at the local adult day centre, as well as volunteering my time to help with activities and kitchen duties. I have started a new job which is requiring a lot of research on the internet. I attend a weekly Bible study. AND – on my husband’s days off, we spend a lot of time hiking nature trails and taking photos. On top of all that, I am currently battling an increase in Chronic Fatigue and all I want to do is s-l-e-e-e-e-p.
I thought that I better touch base just in case you thought that I had moved to another planet. I wanted to write a really good lesson but my foggy brain just won’t co-operate so I will just make a short comment.
Recently, the church that I have started attending, has completed the long-awaited, much prayed about, new ministry centre. It’s a wonderful thing when the congregation and outreach/ministry programs have grown so much that the church needs a bigger facility. It is very exciting to see a church growing and on the move, especially when so many churches are struggling to keep their buildings open as congregations numbers dwindle.
Our new worship and ministry centre is huge and I can’t help but wonder what all the rooms are going to be used for – but I am looking forward to seeing them put to good use.
I attended the first service in our new facility and I greatly appreciated the opening remarks made by our pastor. He said that as wonderful and exciting as it is to have this brand spanking new facility, as great as it looks, as much money that was raised and as much help the fellowship gave towards the building, finishing and preparing of the centre – that as wonderful as all that stuff is – it is NOT about the building! And I said, “Amen to that!”
You see, it is not about the fancy surroundings. All the time, planning, prayer, money and effort that went into creating the new facility, will have all been for nothing if the facility is not used to bring people into the knowledge of the loving, saving grace of God, in Christ Jesus, towards us. The building will only be a sterile pile of cold steel beams and cement if it is not filled with people sharing the love of God towards each other. It will only be another “exclusive club” if the hands and hearts of hospitality are not stretched out to the community.
A new church can be in danger of becoming a prized possession if it is not wholly acknowledged that every piece of that building belongs to God and not to the people who planned, prayed, raised funds, and built it.
I have seen with my own eyes, the terrible devastation that can come upon a church family when the family starts becoming possessive over the areas that they “had a hand in”. You know – “I paid for these windows”, “I bought these chairs”, “I was the chairperson of the building committee” and on and on. Their attitude became one of “Well, I did this so I should have a say over such and such” – like what is being preached, what songs are sung etc. etc. All kinds of pettiness that led to frustration, anger, bitterness and strife. (And you know who is the orchestrator of all that don’t you?!) They completely forgot that all they had was what God gave them in the first place. The money they gave, wasn’t theirs, it was God’s. The time they spent should have been made as a sacrificial offering to God, not made in the hopes of gaining power, prestige, position and control. The building they constructed, should have been used to glorify God’s work, not man’s.
The tragic result was that the church became divided and over half the congregation left. It resulted in loss and death, rather than in life and growth. It brought shame and sorrow to God instead of the glory He deserves.
I am excited to see what wondrous works God will bring about in HIS new worship and ministry centre. I hope we will get out of His way and let Him “have at it”. I want to see His building used for His purposes to bring Him glory. We can only benefit from it!