Guest blog by John Richey
It takes money to do God’s work. You may have heard it said that the HeartStrong for Christ! campaign is about the giver, not the gift, and that is true. But it is also true that the giver needs to be open to God’s will and make the sacrifice and gift that God wants each of us to make. Whether it be the widow’s mite or King David’s treasure, God knows what is needed and how each one of us can help meet that need. Pray and be open to what He puts in your heart. Baptist Temple is part of God’s presence on earth. Our buildings help us to do God’s work in the lives of our congregation and community. They support many efforts, including worship services for four congregations, the thrift store, food pantry, ceramics, day care, vacation bible school, Fall Festival, and more. And with the proper facilities, there is even more that we can do for God and His people, such as adult education classes and job fairs. When Jesus did His miracles (feeding the hungry, healing the lame and blind, raising the dead) He met their physical needs. Next, He ministered to them and also to the people who witnessed the miracles, meeting their spiritual needs. Like Jesus, when we meet the physical needs of people, we open the door to talk about and then to meet their spiritual needs.
“Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. … “Why?” declares the Lord Almighty, “Because of My house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.” (Haggai 1:8-9)
Our buildings tell a story about our beliefs and commitment to God. Are they strong and impressive, or weak and run down? Our God is a mighty God, not weak and apologetic! Our buildings need to reflect His power and majesty, as shown by our trust in Him. Our buildings need repairs! We have four major connected buildings plus the Brunnemann and Fritz buildings across the street. The roofs and walls leak, more bathrooms are needed, the Baptistery leaks, the buildings and rooms need to be painted, doors and windows need to be replaced, better lighting and sound systems are needed, carpets need replacing, the organ needs repairs, air conditioners need repairs, ceiling tiles need to be replaced, we need improved access (walkways/sidewalks/ramps) to our buildings, and much more. Note the word “need.” Yes, as repairs are made, improvements will also be made, but these are not just a wish list of upgrades and improvements; our buildings truly need to be fixed. We are not trying to recreate the Notre Dame Cathedral; we just need the proper facilities to do God’s will and to meet the physical and spiritual needs of His people.
How much will these repairs cost? Of immediate importance is fixing leaks to prevent further damage. Current estimates show that fixing the roofs and walls may cost almost one-half million dollars ($500,000). The other repairs also need to be made, but can be delayed until additional money is available. Our regular budget can not meet these expenses. If we trust God to meet our eternal needs, then we must also trust Him to meet our daily needs. It is very important to continue our regular tithes and offerings, but each one of us needs to make additional, sacrificial giving to meet God’s plans for our buildings and what they can be used for. So that His Word can be heard here and His Name praised here, for His glory!
John Richey is pastor of Family Deaf Church, part of the family of churches and non-profit organizations working together to show God's love in practical ways to our community.