By Jordan McKenzie
As I write this blog, our church revitalization project is well underway. Furniture has been moved, other items have been packed up, and almost all of our pews have been taken out. We are now nearly ready for our asbestos mitigation that is set to begin next week in the sanctuary and surrounding areas of the church.
Due to all the work being done, last Sunday we had our worship service in the social hall. We will continue to worship in the social hall for the next four Sundays (join us each Sunday at 10:15!), until we move back into our refurbished sanctuary on November 19th for a special celebration service.
As we worshiped in the social hall this past Sunday, it just so happened that our worship was centered on the theme of intentional faith development. Given that theme, I couldn’t help but think about the parallel with our building project.
Our building project has been in the planning stages for quite some time. We have a truly wonderful building. It is not only large, but also beautiful. But like any building, after some time, it needs some TLC. So with the project we hope to make our church building safer, more inviting, and better-suited to meet the changing needs of community. In other words, we want to, quite literally, build a stronger foundation for our church.
In the same way, intentional faith development is also about building a stronger foundation. Like an old building, we have all taken on wear and tear from the daily struggles of life. Through our sins and the sins of others, we’ve all been hurt, frustrated, and damaged. We’re all broken and in need of some repairs.
Who can repair us and make us new? It is only God himself. Through Jesus, God makes us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). God is the potter, we are the clay (Isaiah 64: 8). And as we are made new, we become people who are more loving, forgiving, self-sacrificing, and humble. We likewise become people who are more just and generous with others. Like the work of renovating our church building, this work of God is a long process. Indeed, it is a lifelong process. Just as we may work on one area of the church, then another, and then another, improving each of them, we do the same with our lives, looking at many different areas which need to be improved. It may start with our attitude, our pride, how we treat others, or something else. But it is all the work of God through Christ. Through Christ, God is building something new in us and through us. Indeed, God is make us new.
So, as we continue in this church revitalization project, I invite you to think about how God may want to rebuild and repair you, one area of your life at a time. What areas has God already changed and made new? What areas does God still need to work on? Those are good questions to start with, because that’s what intentional faith development is about. It’s about intentionally growing to become all that we were created to be. May God grant each of us strength and perseverance each day as God makes us new. And may we become like a beautiful, brand-new building, restored on the inside and out.