Our Past Doesn’t Need to Define Our Future
With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #32.
Our experience at this church was positive, and I’m excited for their future. There is more to it, however. Here is their backstory about overcoming past mistakes.
A couple years ago, this church stretched itself financially to construct a grand facility. But then the economy turned bad. They lost their building and many members in the process. (Church #22 bought their foreclosed property.)
For a time they met in the Seventh Day Adventist’s church, Church #31. We planned to visit them there, going to the same place twice in one weekend but for different churches.
The week before we could visit, however, they relocated. They moved into a small, older building. They paid cash for the place. It didn’t cost much. Either they couldn’t get a loan or didn’t want to. I suspect the latter.
The Sunday we visit is week number two in their new location. It’s their annual commitment Sunday. After the pitch for funds, members fill out their pledges. The service ends, and we head downstairs for a catered brunch and time of fellowship.
As we enjoy the food and meet people, they tally the pledges and announce the total. Enough funds are pledged to meet their full budget, which includes paying their beloved leader a full-time salary. They celebrate some more—and we with them.
I’m excited about their future. They have a committed core of dedicated people who have pledged to meet the financial goals of next year’s budget. They can also move forward without the burden of debt weighing them down and diverting donations from ministry to pay off a building loan.
[See my reflections about Church #31 and Church #33 or start with Church #1.]
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Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
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