As they were new to our church and keen to help us, it was a unique opportunity to gain a fresh look at things so familiar to many of us that with we don’t even notice them.
They prepared two lists: one listing helpful and positive things, and one listing obstacles or stumbling blocks. In summary they observed that the warmth and genuineness of our people and our Sunday services and people was not reflected in the presentation and practicalities of our building and communication.
The obstacles included things such as entrance doors that are dark and difficult to open, toilets that are difficult to find and down a long uninviting alley, and old and out dated signage. These and other stumbling blocks work against people staying around as part of our church.
Our building was handed on to us. It is a special resource that had been cared for by many people over many years. We are the current stewards who will one day pass this resource on to the next generation. We have a duty and a responsibility to do that well.
This new family’s report was well received by the church meeting and the proposal that a project team look into the issues raised and come up with some solutions was agreed to.
There will be a cost, and we could easy fall into asking, “How much?” Yet, that is not the first thing that should come to mind. Rather than thinking of the expense, we should be thinking of the investment. If one unbeliever comes to know Christ through our effort in this way, how much is too much?
Jesus once told Peter to do something quite strange; go catch a fish to pay the Roman taxes. Jesus said, “…go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. (Matthew 17:27).” Many see a profound lesson in this story: coins are found in fish’s mouths. In other words, if you focus on fishing (evangelism), God will take care of the expenses.
As Hudson Taylor put it, “God’s work done God’s way will not lack God’s support.”
Stephen L Baxter