You are God’s house. Using the gift God gave me as a good architect, I designed blueprints; Apollos is putting up the walls. Let each carpenter who comes on the job take care to build on the foundation! Remember, there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ. Take particular care in picking out your building materials. Eventually there is going to be an inspection…
––1 Corinthians 3:9-13, The Message translation
These words have been on my mind a lot lately as I think about how to define success when it comes to building a church—and not a church building, for as Paul says in this passage, “You are God’s house.” You, the gathered believers, are the church that is being built.
So how should this church be developed? How should it be built? What should it look like 6 months from now, 2 years from now, and further on in time? The foundation has been laid––the good news about Jesus––but what structures, what rooms, should be built up from that base? What rooms should be excluded?
As a newly-founded church, we at Awaken are approaching our 2-year anniversary together, the end of the second year in a 5-year plan toward financial and organizational autonomy from our sponsoring church, Morrow Gospel. Each year, we as a church take on more of the monetary responsibility for what we enjoy together here, and each year, we take a further step toward structural integrity.
Now what do I mean by those words, structural integrity? I mean things that will contribute to the strength of our building. Things like a statement of faith, a church constitution, criteria for membership, leadership framework, and so on––materials for a construction built to last (and one that can be legally recognized as its own charitable body).
But how does a person know how to develop such things? Here’s where I’m so thankful for the ministry of 9 Marks, which specializes in equipping church leaders for this very task. Three times a year, this ministry hosts a limited number of pastors from around the world, and takes them through almost a week of intensive training. It all happens at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, in Washington, D.C., where I’m scheduled to fly this Thursday.
So as I go, would you please remember to pray?
- That God will watch over Renae as she single-parents our four boys, age 2-8, and that they themselves will do well in my absence. (I’ll be away for six days, a record for us.)
- For protection over my health and flights and all other contingencies.
- That I would ask the right questions and learn deeply.
The issues of church organization go back to the writings of the very first Christians, and indeed, to the words of Jesus himself, who said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” So pray, my friends, that our building of this church would not be merely our own, but guided and blessed by the master builder, Jesus.
Pastor Daren Redekopp
p.s. Awaken kids is in need of new toys! If you or someone you know might have trucks, dolls, board-games for ages 5 and older, or other new or gently-used toys that can fit in a large storage bin, please hit reply and let us know! We’re especially on the lookout for a newer toy kitchen set.
p.p.s Ever wonder what the Biblical definition of a woman is? Listen to the sermon from this past Sunday.