For His Greater Glory…
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” That is a particularly important passage for us to grasp in light of the work of our “For His Greater Glory” committee. Since the committee began its work several weeks ago, it is fascinating to hear some of the bizarre statements and assumptions that have been made regarding the refurbishment of our sanctuary. And since God is not the author of confusion, allow me as your shepherd to make sure there is no confusion regarding the truth about these things and be proactive in clarifying these things, lest our adversary the devil sow seeds of discord and half-truth.
First, it has been said that upon completing the refurbishment, we are going to do away with our first service and make all services “contemporary.” That is completely false. Here is the truth… we are not about to do away with the first service stylistically or any other way. Frankly, I love both services and both have their place in our ministry and God has blessed them both. Our services are going to stay the same as they are. That is the truth. By the way we had over 1800 between the two this past Sunday.
Second, it has been reported that this refurbishment project is going to be a multi-million dollar effort. That is completely false. Here is the truth… based on prior projections and research, we have a budget projection under one million dollars. That is the truth.
Third, an architect will be retained because we are changing the structure of and rebuilding portions of our sanctuary. That is completely false. Here is the truth… we may or may not hire an architect. But if that occurs and that is a big if right now, it will only be for the purpose of making sure all the refurbishment elements are part of a cohesive plan, but not for the purpose of reconstructing the existing structure. In fact we’ve hired architects in the past for light renovations. For example, in 2001 we did minor refurbishments to the stage, choir loft and orchestra areas. We hired a local architect to help us design it properly and the amount of the refurbishment was less than $50,000. That is the truth.
Fourth, Pews, chairs or theater seats? The rumor has developed that there will be no option but theater seats or chairs, but no pews. That is completely false. Here is the truth… the committee is looking at a number of options, which include the options of all three as well as a fourth. But no decisions have been made and this church will decide at the appropriate time, whatever options are recommended. That is the truth.
Fifth, several have asked me, “Can we begin giving to a refurbishment fund?” Not quite yet. I bet you never thought you would hear me say that! Later, sometime well after the first of the year, when we know better what the figures are going to be, we’ll begin a fund for the refurbishment. In the mean time please continue, as Alison and I do, to give sacrificially to the existing building fund, as those monies will be part of helping us offset the sanctuary refurbishment costs.
I hope that helps clarify a bit of the confusion. Our committee is merely in the investigation phase of this journey and that is all they are doing right now. They’ll give reports along the way when there are developments. They are in the early stages of this process and there is no specific timeframe as of yet. So, in the mean time, you can help by praying for their wisdom and direction. Further as your shepherd, I encourage you to be careful about what you say (even well-intentioned things) and what you listen to and believe. Isn’t it just like the adversary to try and take what God intends for the Greater Glory of this, His House (Haggai 2:9), and try to create discord. Let it not be so among us.
Merry Christmas… and remember two things. (1) Emmanuel Has Come… adult Choir and Orchestra Christmas music presentation today at 4:00 PM. (2) Annual Christmas Eve Celebration this Thursday from 6-7:00 PM. I look forward to seeing you at both. And remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your pastor!!!!
For God’s Glory Alone,