Building for the future
Thursday 20th August 2015
It's been a long and challenging journey and perhaps for some of us there have been those moments of doubt, when we wondered whether the work to extend and upgrade our church building would ever be finished. And yet these have also been times when we have come together to call on God in our desperation and so known the joy of seeing him answer prayers and remove obstacles. He has been faithful and good. So it is a cause for great celebration to see the carpets now fully fitted in the back part of the building and to see what an amazing space God has given to us. Of course there's still work to be done (the small matter of finding some furniture!) but we now have rooms that are able to be used on a regular basis – and several groups and projects are already lining up their plans for September and the start of the new “term”.
But the economy of God's kingdom is such that we receive his blessings so that in turn we might use these things to bless others. Our vision for the re-development of the building has always had at its heart a desire to enable us to serve better the wider community in Portswood and the city, to provide a place where others might be blessed through God's provision and, we pray, experience something of the transforming work of God in their lives.
We now have a new home for our children's activities on a Sunday morning and for the language classes on a Thursday morning but also are already seeing the real possibility of other uses for this space, growing out of conversations with the local council and other organizations in the city. There are many possibilities. We could simply rent the space to those who can make use of it or we could seek to be more proactive in establishing and building relationships in this space. The apostle Paul speaks of us being “Christ's ambassadors” (2 Cor 5:20) – his representatives, carrying his presence and his authority. How might we see God at work if some of us were able to be such ambassadors – being there, a welcoming presence, perhaps simply to make a cup of tea or coffee, to chat, to take an interest and maybe even to pray with those who are using the building? Small steps maybe – but God can take small things and fashion great and beautiful things from them.
A few months ago we were able to use these rooms, even in their unfinished state, for our 10 days of 24-hour prayer. This was a great way to make first use of this area – so encouraging for it to be drenched in prayer, praise and worship. As we complete the equipping of these rooms and celebrate the completion of the physical building, let's continue to be in prayer – that we would know God's wisdom and leading in the use of this space he has given us and that we would see Him at work in and through us and on into the lives of others.