Talking with the carpet installers, I started understanding the product we are receiving. Our old carpet was laid in and stretched to make a nice, tight fit. You might remember, a few years ago we had the carpet “restretched” to remove some bubbles and wrinkles that formed over time. The new carpet, on the other hand, is glued down. They first glue down the padding to the sub-floor and then they glue the carpet to the padding. This too will be stretched to a nice, tight fit. The difference however is that it will never bubble or wrinkle. It should remain in place for the life of the carpet. For the size of the room and the heavy use it receives, this is a superior application to the old way.
Thinking about the renovations at the church, I was encouraged by a story that Henry and Richard Blackaby tell in their book Spiritual Leadership. They reflect on a small church they knew that had experienced decline and loss of purpose over the years. The remaining members were discouraged and all but ready to give up. The church facility was so neglected that sections of it no longer met civic safety codes. Finding the church building was difficult for visitors, and pastors had complained for years that its poor location had greatly restricted church growth. After many years in spiritual limbo, it appeared there was little left for the church to do but to disband.
In an act of desperation, the church called a young pastor fresh out of seminary who refused to believe that God was finished with this church or that God was unable to use this church to impact the community for Christ. He encouraged the people to pray. God began working. New people began visiting and joining the church. Renovations were made to the building. A ministry staff was organized. A sense of excitement grew among the people that God was preparing their church for something special. The church’s reputation in the community changed. It became known as one of the most alive churches in the city!
I share this story not to compare us to them. In fact, I think there are many areas of life in our congregation. Rather, I share this story because I hope the renovation that is happening continues over into our ministry. I hope we regain a clear focus for what we are supposed to be doing in our community. Like the young pastor in Henry and Richard’s story, I believe God still wants to do great things through Blainsport Mennonite Church. Notice I said God will do something through us not that we will do something for God. Big difference. We are limited if we try to do something in our community for God. If God is doing the work through us, the possibilities and results are limitless.
Would you pray for our church? Would you pray that God will renovate our hearts, our impact in the community, and our usefulness for Him? This Sunday, Dave Wise is preaching a message entitled “The Renovations Aren't Complete.” No doubt, he will focus on our personal transformation and God’s desire to work through us for the good of everyone with whom we share life. I love how Pastor Craig Groeschel describes a fully renovated, culture-impacting, Christ-honoring church, “The local church is the hope of the world and we know we can accomplish inﬁnitely more together than apart.” Is it time for you to allow God to do some renovations in you so we can be a church that brings the hope of Christ to a world desperately in need of the Savior? I found this “Morning Prayer” commitment published by Global Leadership Summit that might help you take a simple daily step in partnering with the whole congregation as we allow God to work through us.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Eric grew up in the little town of Gibraltar, PA with his grandparents.