Tuesday, September 7, 2010
It's Not About The Building
Our church has been raising money for a building for a few years now. It has been an amazing process. When we found land that we felt like would be a good fit for us, our leadership brought the request to the body. We were not going to go into debt to buy the land. So we were presented with an opportunity... PRAY for the next however many days (can't remember the exact number) and when you know what God is calling you to give put your money in a self addressed envelope. Then put that envelope in another envelope with the amount of the gift on the outside of that envelope. All the envelopes would be gathered, the money would be counted and then if we got the amount needed... $8 million... we would buy the land. If we did not get it, then they would open the outside envelope and mail all the money back.
The night we gathered to find out if the Lord had provided the money and we would be buying the land... was amazing. We were lead in worship being reminded that no matter what the answer was, God was good and faithful. Then they told us we had the money... and pretty close to the exact right amount, I think there was a little to spare. It was AWESOME!
After buying the land, we moved our offices, began holding some weekly stuff on the property and starting raising money to build our existing sanctuary.
The entire process we have been consistently reminded that it is not about the building. The church is the people, the building is a structure where the church gathers. The building is for function, purpose, to provide for ministry opportunities... it is not about the building. It's about lives being changed, hearts being called to love God and the mission He has for them.
We are continuing on our quest to raise the rest of the money to finish the new worship center and to retro fit "the box" for the kids. We still need a lot of money. And sometimes the number overwhelms me when I think about the needs all over the world, including my own backyard!
BUT again I am reminded it is not about the building. God has used the people of Watermark to do UNBELIEVABLE things. Every week thousands of people gather to worship the Lord, to be reminded of our mission and then thousands of people go out... go out and serve Him.
There are over 600 hundred orphans being cared for in Africa, there are over 100 kids being mentored in West Dallas, there are 100's of marriages meeting in "the building" on Weds nights and being transformed to what God designed marriage to be, there are jr high and sr high kids being shepherded and called to fully follow the Lord that go to college campuses and make a difference... stand up and call others to biblical community. Because we have a place to gather... thousands and thousands of lives are being changed.
Now there is always discussion on how nice the building is and how much we have spent to make it what it is. And I have wrestled in my own heart on exactly what we have done. But at the end of the wrestling I come back to the same place. 1) I am to be obedient to search my heart and ask the Lord what He is calling to me to do with the money He has entrusted me with. 2) I trust our leadership. I have the privilege of knowing all the guys that are leading our charge to build. They are men who love the Lord and who are devoted to listening to Him and know the weight of responsibility they have in stewarding the Lord's money well. 3) I do not want to miss out on being a part of what God is doing. I want my PASSION to be in line with His, I want my PRESENCE smack in the middle of what He is doing and I was my POSSESSIONS to be fully released to what He intends them to be used for.
And so... our leaders are ramping up the communication on the building. And I have again gone before the Lord and wrestled through what He is asking me to do. It has been a good wrestle. He has faithfully given me a number, shone me why, and He has entrusted me with a lot. And I can see how He has lead me to this point. I am grateful, I am overwhelmed, I am excited, and honestly, I am a little nervous.
BUT I know it really ISN'T about the building, the rock, the chair, the tv... It's about the people who come into the buliding... the kids whose lives are being molded and called to a life of full devotion to Jesus. It's really about my heart and all the hearts that will get to hear who God is and who He wants to be in their lives. And then the hearts that we go and tell and bring to hear. And so on and so on... I want to be a part of that... and I'm so thankful I have been and get to continue to be.