One of you asked me yesterday how long we have been in this “new” building. I put “new” in quotation marks, because the answer is 20 years. If your “new” car is 20 years old, it’s not very new. It’s pretty much the same with buildings, though let’s hope they last a little longer than our cars.
It got me to reminiscing about my very small part in the building of this church 20 years ago. 26 years ago we moved into our new church building in Burley, Idaho. About that same time I was approached by a member of this church, a dentist named Charles Hanson. He wanted to hear about how we had done it. He told me his church (this church, Nampa First UMC) was thinking about building. He was curious about any lessons we had learned. I do remember from our conversation that he was not entirely convinced Nampa First would be able to pull it off. It seemed like an impossible dream.
It did for us, too. I remember a period of time during which we knew we had to build and we also knew we couldn’t build. We needed to raise over a million dollars. We were a small church. It couldn’t be done. And yet it had to be done. Fortunately for us, and also for you, faith overcame fear. Both Burley UMC and Nampa First UMC are beautiful, functional, and debt-free tributes to what God can do.
Whenever we are thinking about attempting something new, it’s easy to talk ourselves out of it. It’s easy to come up with the reasons it cannot be done. And so often, way too often, we end up doing nothing. There’s a habit I would commend to you. I’m not saying I’m very good at this, but I’m absolutely convinced it’s the only way for people of faith to live. Underestimate the difficulties that lie ahead. Jump into the water, before you have time to talk yourself out of it. Err on the side of boldness.
Something magical seems to happen when our faith and God’s faithfulness come together. May this be true for you this week.