God is just so amazingly Good! He has been especially astounding me lately. Then this morning I felt His presence and blessing so strongly upon our congregation. I get misty-eyed thinking about it now hours later. Our church has been buildingless for about 5 years. Sometime I will go into the details of how we found grace by leaving Grace and how we came to be called Faith. We have the land and some money. Most of us want to build a church. After much God-searching over the past few weeks our church elders have come to the conclusion that it truly is Impossible, Irresponsible, and Inappropriate for us to start building a church.... therefore we will start building a church! Amen! Closed fist thrown up in the air with loud, "Woo-Hoo!" Now I'll have to back up and offer a bit more background because that just sounds crazy.
Years ago our Pastor prayed, wisely, "Lord, please make it impossible for us to build a church." We want God, not us, to build His church, not our church. We set up a building commitee and started a building fund. Then things got a little scary (the inordinate cost of building, negative input at a fragile time, fear from our collective past of losing (being kicked out of) church buildings) and we've just been sitting in one place, buildingless, for a long time.
Partway through the "impossible, inappropriate, irresponsible" sermon, I was getting a little frustrated. It has been so painfully obvious to my family that we should start building and let God ... well LET God period. So when the three I's were introduced with scripture to back them, I found myself almost giving in with, "If our elders still can't see this, and now they are using scripture to prove this lack of faith as being justified, maybe we don't want to be part of this church afterall." I hate even writing that down. I LOVE my church! We've been through so much together. I love our pastor. I love each of our elders and their families. But God is my All In All. I can't be in a church that goes purposefully out of His will.
Then Pastor Bob posed a series of questions...
1)Do we need a church building? The answer was "Yes, we need a building of Faith."
2)Would God use a building to build our faith?
3)Does God intend to build faith by building Faith?
I remember nodding my head in agreement to all of the above. When it first occurred to me that we were going ahead with building, I remember glancing up from my notes (My hubby wasn't able to be there this morning and I wanted to be able to relay accurate information to him.) and meeting eyes with one of my best friends whose husband is an elder and dear friend. She was smiling with tears in her eyes. Later she told me she had been watching me write, and laughing at my facial expressions. I was a little irritated in the beginning. I found out my dear MIL was doing the same thing across the room from me. Taking notes, being irritated, thinking, "I guess this is it." For anyone who has been in a church split please know that I would never leave a church family because they didn't do something I wanted them to do... ie build a building. It just was so clearly God's Will that we build. I think that is why today was so sweet. God has been speaking. We've been praying and listening. God spoke some more... and we heard Him! I just love that! You could feel Him in that room with us. Pastor Bob mentioned this morning our first Sunday meeting after things went so wrong at our last church. Faith, which began with 5-families, had a massive population explosion one December day 4 1 /2 years ago. Most of us can remember clearly how Spirit-filled that room was. There was singing, tears, hugs, and just such a feeling of homecoming. Today felt quite similar. We are on the right track!