Lots of things. Building things. Money things. Pastoral care things. Mercy ministry things. Missions things. The list can seem almost endless.
There is a lot of talk going on lately about a huge question. Should we build a building? Answer – we don’t know. I don’t know. Do I long for it? Absolutely. Do I think it is wise at this time? Again, I am not sure. We aren’t sure. There are too many unknowns.
Well why then do we have a building committee with subcommittees and why are we doing site clearing and why are we giving reports every third Sunday about building? Because we are believing God that He may indeed want us to move ahead in 2010 and we want to be ready if He gives us the green light.
But understand this. WE HAVE NOT DECIDED TO GO AHEAD WITH THE PROJECT! The costs incurred right now are minimal to position ourselves for the future. The heavy money gets spent when we break ground, do site work/excavation, pour a slab and erect walls. Nobody knows if God wants us to commit to that extent at this point.
As the elders said in our congregational meeting last March, we’re working off a bare bones budget and monitoring our income/expense flow very carefully throughout the summer with a view to making a decision this fall about God’s timing in pushing ahead with a building effort. We plan to discuss this fully with the flock at our next congregational meeting during the 9:30 hour on the last Sunday in August.
None of us wants to do anything stupid and all of us refuse to forge ahead without significant buy in from the congregation on the project.
So again, I say to you, pray with us for the wisdom of God as to how to proceed and when to proceed given this dreadful economy and our ongoing need for a place to call home. And pray especially for the discernment to tell the difference between what constitutes genuine faith, rank presumption, and/or blatant unbelief.
And may we examine our hearts to see that our stewardship of resources includes adequate giving to our local church, for as you no doubt know, to date we are behind by some $11,500 in our giving. That’s not a lot, relatively speaking, but it’s enough to get our attention as to what God might say to us about building if the deficit persists.
Just to let you know that I've read this post and really appreciate you sharing your heart about what matters the most in the life of our lil' church. Already agonizing in prayer over this.
I'm glad you're blogging Pastor Curt! Thank you for sharing what's going on in your head with us. If you want more Christian (some fully Reformed, mostly Calvinistic) rap let me know! I'll overload you with lyrical theology.
Wretched, who are you? And yes, bring the music stuff on! Thanks.
To be sure, we are in quite a quandry at OGC these days, as the contemplation stands regarding a building and finances.
In college, I had a professor that I regarded highly, not because when I asked him questions did he have great answers, but because of the fact that when considering an issue, event, historical or future–debate topic, forum, matter of the heart–he taught me seek to ask good questions. Believing that the answer would come in due time…the question was more important because of the investment required to frame an adequate question was, in itself, a useful exercise.
While I didn't intend for my debut as a follower/contributor of this blog to be so lengthy, here are a few questions to consider regarding the topic of the entry above:
1. Why is now the time for a building for OGC?
2. If we have 100 family units at OGC, and 10% participate in a meaningful way, and 10% more in moderate way, and 10% in a slight way…are those 30% willing to carry a debt load of approximately $15,000 per month in mortgage payments?
3. Who is willing to step up and lead a finance committee to prepare the sometimes mountainous presentations and applications for business financing that will be required, as well as the historical attendance, average gift per member report, 3-5 year financial plan for the church, and line up “personal guaranteeors” if required, for the financing to be approved?
4. Is a building so valuable to OGC that we would be willing to trim missions by 50%, have staff salary reductions, and be willing to sublet the building in order to make the mortgage payments if weekly giving doesn't suffice to carry debt load?
These are just a few to ponder…more to come…questions that is…answers? Not to sure…but hopefully a lively time for contemplation. You agree? ~OR~
This is a good place for your E-News articles as well as other thoughts. I hope you have saved all the others somewhere so others can read them, too. I forgot to tell you that I started a blog (finally) the same day you did.