Decisions, decisions, decisions! Every day I need to make decisions—everything from what to eat to what to wear. My husband, Chris, and I have moved over 20 times in 47 years. We had to make decisions about houses, jobs, finding a new church, a new car, and even new boats. The trick is balancing home, work, church, and relationships in light of eternity. I envision a weight measurement scale and placing our lives delicately into each side of the scale to make it balance.
When I read the “Parable of the Rich Fool,” Luke 12:13-21, each time I think, “Why didn’t he just sell or give away his excess stuff? Why would he want to store all that stuff for himself?” I believe my attitude is genetic, as my father didn’t want to have a bunch of stuff that he had to take care of. I enjoy throwing away and finding good homes for stuff and not having much left. ( I unknowingly deleted a bunch of e-mail that was already in the trash the other day.)
As a teen I remember that I wanted a few more clothes but didn’t have any money to buy them. After marriage I was on a strict budget until Chris got stock options and then I could have gone shopping and bought a bunch of clothes. But even now when I walk into a department store at the mall, with money, I suddenly get very tired. There are too many choices and what I picture that I want to wear doesn’t exist. I usually go home having bought nothing. So the reason I didn’t have very many clothes in the past wasn’t money. I would be happy to live like the people in the "olden" days who had one suit of clothes for Sunday and then only a couple of sets of clothes for work.
Now as I look at the problem of making decisions as to what should be done in our church --- one wants to build a complex of buildings on our land and put up stores to provide money for ministry, and another wants to plant a pea patch garden so we will have food to give away, if or when the economic recession deepens. We have some decisions to make to be good stewards of what God has provided. The church is celebrating 65 years of ministry this year. The aging building needs many repairs. We don’t have the money or manpower to do the repairs. I thought we should just wait until it falls down and then move. Chris warned we do need to do some repair work!
For the past few years our church has almost been a church plant. In a real church plant all the members would leave and then a new group would come in and start the church over. But God led us to be different. I have never heard of a church doing the things the way we do. We have only about 9 members left from the original church and are slowly adding to our number. We hired a part time pastor and a part time administrative assistant. We rent to other churches and rent the parking lot for a Park and Ride. I think we fit the description of the people in I Corinthians 1:27-28. Not many of us are anything special.
Because we are a small congregation we try to keep expenses down. For our 65th anniversary celebration this month we want to honor God but we want to do it on a shoestring. When discussing the cost of nametags and if we should even have any, one member gave us the information that we could get free nametags from Alcoholics Anonymous. Of course they would say “Hi! My name is ___ and I’m an alcoholic.” We roared in laughter at the vision of so many alcoholics at the celebration. Someone suggested we could say Christian alcoholic!
I’m off to the prayer group at church this morning and I will pray that God will help us to achieve a delicate balance and to be rich toward Him. Below find pictures of the church several years ago and now.