It’s nice to see one season end and another begin.
For almost as long as we’ve been a part of our church, facilities have been a challenge. At one point it looked like we were going to build a brand new facility on the edge of town, but God in his providence deemed otherwise. Instead, after much prayer and patience, weeks of negotiations, months of waiting and a couple of weeks renovating, we’ve purchased an existing church building—the one the original core group was commissioned out of, in fact!
And because of it, there’s a sense of relief in the air. One season is done and now we’re ready to move into the next one. Though from the congregation’s perspective, little is different aside from the location, there is a sense of excitement that there hasn’t been in a while. We’re praying for big things in a neighborhood and a city that desperately needs every church to witness faithfully. It’s going to be interesting to see how we respond to the task at hand.
It’s going to present new challenges (in a good way).
Throughout this process, our elders have repeatedly reminded the congregation that we’re trading one set of problems for another. We’ve got to figure out how to do life together in this new location. The congregation needs to figure out how to relate to one another now that there isn’t the rush to put everything away as quickly as possible. The relationships that were formed in that context will change—and it’s going to be interesting to see how.
We need to avoid looking back with a false perspective.
Our pastor reminded us of this very fact when he preached on Sunday morning. There’s always a temptation to either look back and think, “gee, wasn’t it great when…” as much as it’s tempting to look back on the past with disdain. Whether we’re talking about life in our church or life in general, we need to be careful about this. We should always be thankful about where we’ve come from, even as we try to be honest about the difficulties that existed. That we were able to preach the Bible faithfully for six years in our previous location, every single Sunday,2 is nothing short of miraculous—especially when everything we preach and teach is at odds with the prevailing social dogma. That we were able to build good relationships with the school’s staff is a gift from God. That during the last six years, we saw the church grow from around 450 to 1400 is unbelievable. Whether a church owns or rents a facility doesn’t really matter. What God chooses to do as Jesus is faithfully proclaimed is what’s important.