“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:3-6.
The building wasn’t even a church. An old gray metal building in need of a coat of paint stood on one of the busiest streets in the city. Inside it was old carpet, walls patched with paint of varying shades of grayish white and not enough fluorescent tubes for good light. One hallway led in and out of the gym, converted on Sunday’s to an auditorium.
The pastor, a man we had known many years before, came forward and greeted us warmly. Our preteen children saw a familiar face or two among the 80 or 90 people present. Everyone was friendly.
When the youth pastor announced “Mud Olympics” for the following week, our kids begged to attend and we readily agreed. The competition stretched into two weeks and by then there was a guest speaker we wanted to hear. We liked the pastor. He was and sincere. Love and warmth flowed from him.
We stayed, dealing with crowding as it grew. We put up with no kitchen facilities, the youth in a room fondly referred to as “the stinky clothes room” where the YWCA, from whom we rented our small space, stored donations.
Everyone came and went through one crowded hallway. Chairs were set up before the service and taken down after. There was no stage. A keyboard, guitar and tambourine served as a praise band.
Gradually we were able to buy the building and move walls around. There was never enough room and always a lot of work, but there was love. Visitors noted the warmth and joy of the congregation. Missions were important, though we had little to spare.
The key to making things work? God was present in the hearts and lives of the people. That ugly gray building was filled to overflowing with love.
Now on some of the most desired land in the city, that old building still stands, attractively painted with signs facing the busy street. Next to it is a fine new building with a state of the art auditorium.
Where has God called you to serve Him? Is it a mega-church or simply a small congregation hoping to grow?
Catch the vision. Make a difference. Allow God to carry the good work He has begun in you through to completion in the place He has called you to serve.
Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman & http://2MefromHim.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved. Do not use without express written permission of the author.