Back in September I had the privilege of preaching at Pilgrim Congregational Church in Harwich Port, Massachusetts. One of my former students is the pastor there and she invited me to preach in her church and give her parishioners the chance to meet the man behind the Southern accent on all her taped evaluations.
|When the steeple was repaired and hoisted back into place boaters all over that part of Cape Cod breathed a collective sigh of relief. |
As I reflected on that story I couldn’t help thinking about our renovation project here at FCC. I seriously doubt anybody ever uses our bell tower for smooth sailing into downtown Elgin, nor would anybody be unable to navigate the Fox River if part of our building was gone.
Yet, I believe folks will certainly notice a major change to our building, especially the exterior. Perhaps they might wonder what’s happening at that church on the corner. Perhaps they might even wonder what’s happening to the people who worship in that church on the corner.
But there’s another perspective. Many years ago (long before I came on the scene) our congregation made the decision to stay in downtown Elgin and “bloom where we are planted” as we minister to the community. Would our physical absence from this corner have been noticed? I think so. Is our physical presence making a difference now? Again, I think so.
So our renovation face-lift might have ripple effects in this town that we never anticipated. If a steeple can steer boats into the harbor, is it so far-fetched to think our building can steer a few lives toward hope and wholeness?
In 1 Corinthians 3:9 Paul put it this way: “We are God’s servants, working together. You are God’s field, God’s building.”