A Little Fixer Upper1
I've mentioned in sermons that my family and I live in a little fixer upper just across Katella/Willow into Long Beach, a few streets over from El Dorado Park. We love our neighborhood primarily because we have great neighbors, some of whom we get to worship with each Sunday!
We knew that when we bought it as a short sale in June of 2011. Paint is chipping. About half of the overhead lights don't work. The kitchen's original linoleum and cabinets are wearing out, which makes sense: they're over sixty years old! Both the sink and bathtub drip constantly (don't worry: we keep pitchers underneath them to capture the water for front yard flowerbeds!).
So, yeah, our house could use some work. But you know how life goes! Projects are postponed during seasons of busyness filled with school programs and changing diapers. "We'll get to that next weekend" becomes "Maybe someday!"
Now that we're out of the kids-coloring-on-the-walls-with-crayon phase (we hope and pray!), we're planning to do some work on our home this summer. Our reason for doing so isn't (entirely) selfish: We've found that since living there we're much less reticent to invite our neighbors inside, lest they witness the disrepair all around! So, instead, we keep them awkwardly standing on the porch. How's that for Welcoming Warmly!?
Perhaps, in some way, our church campus is similar to our home. Of course, our church is filled with engaged handymen and women who fix chipped paint and repair overhead lights on the fritz. But, like my family's home, some parts of our campus are in need of attention.
If you attended our Annual Congregational meeting, you may recall my report that Good Shepherd's leaders are engaging four initiatives for the future of our church: Leadership Development, Reaching the Next Generation, Campus Revitalization, and Church-Wide Discipleship. We wrote about the first two here and here.
"But," you may be asking yourself, "what does our aging campus have to do with our mission?" Good question. It's one that I and our Master Plan Development Team have thought through seriously.
It's been said that the root word "facility" means "to make happen." In other words, our facility facilitates ministry. Our facility, at it's best, sets the stage for us to "Invite all people to grow into a Christ-centered life in God's family."
Would you pray for our Master Plan Development Team? Perhaps right now, take a moment, and lift up our team, our Elders, and Studio 111, a Long Beach architectural firm with whom we have partnered to dream about the future of our church campus.
We want to be a church that welcomes warmly. It's better than leaving people out on the porch!