The Business of the Church (Part 3)
Posted June 2 | Dr. Blair Waddell
This is part three of a series regarding the Church’s upcoming business meeting on June 4.
As a pastor, the last thing I ever wanted to tackle was a church building project. I have seen too many men who use church edifices as their legacies in the ministry. I have always preferred to be known as one who builds the kingdom of God, not church buildings. But we have come to a time in our church where we must face the prospect that this is a possibility.
At our last, business meeting you heard the elders put forth their three-fold goals regarding the issue of a new building; 1) wanting a thriving Sunday School, 2) getting out of the current portables as they have a short life expectancy, and 3) paying-off the remaining debt on the sanctuary. At the upcoming business meeting we will be voting on whether or not to proceed with the 50/50 plan which would essentially launch a building program. So let me address the goals in reverse order.
First, the 50/50 plan allows us to accelerate our payments on the sanctuary in addition to putting money aside to erect permanent education space. For every dollar given, $0.50 will be put towards on what remains on the sanctuary and $0.50 will go towards the new structure. Construction will not proceed until at least 50% of the funds needed for the new building have been raised. This will not only keep the church from adding to its debt, but reduce our current debt at an accelerated rate.
Second, we have been told by a building inspector that at the maximum, our portables have a life expectancy of four years. They have served us well in years we have had them, but their time has passed. It would be fool hardy to invest more of the Lord’s resources on temporary structures. The elders along with Mike Watson looked into other strategies for Sunday School space and none of them are viable options for more than a year. In fact, the inconvenience would greatly impede our ability to do discipleship in both the short term and the long term. The best plan is to proceed with erecting a permanent structure.
Third, we do want a thriving Sunday School. We have maxed out our space for several years now (which is a good problem to have). Our growing youth group, desperately requires a space that is more conducive to their needs. All one has to do is attend a Wednesday night K group to see how packed they are in the largest classroom space. And for years, we have desired meeting space to hold our church wide fellowships. The new structure would allow us to do this.
But I have even greater hopes for the new facility. I am praying now that it can have a greater impact for the kingdom than the three stated goals above. Our current building is not useful for much more than worship space. I personally like that fact as it designates that spot as sacred ground. Upon entering there is no mixed emotions that it might have been the same facility that served pizza the night before. It prepares our minds for ‘worship’ on the one true triune God. How would a facility that focuses on the ‘work’ of the one true triune God’s people benefit us as well? I envision a place where future missionaries are trained, a place where we can hold VBS for our children’s ministries, a place where we can hold marriage, parenting and other training conferences, a place where we could provide temporary shelter for storm and fire victims, a place where Providence Baptist Church can increase its foot print in the community.
It is my prayer that as we vote on this issue Wednesday night, that we will truly see what we are voting upon- an opportunity to invest in the kingdom of God and not a desire to keep up with the status quo of our sister churches. May your vote be for the glory of God.