“It has been most truly said that these old buildings do not belong to us only. They belonged to our forefathers and they will belong to our descendants unless we play them false. They are not in any sense our property to do with them as we like, we are only trustees for those that come after us.”
I ran across this quote yesterday, and I love how it puts into words the true ministry behind the important work that a building and grounds committee or building maintenance committee does. We of all people know that keeping God’s house is no small task. If you are reading this post, you are most likely involved in things like maintenance budgets, clean up, lawn care, roof inspections and HVAC service. I would like to take a moment to thank you!
Preserving and protecting church buildings is a true passion of mine. I have a vivid memory from childhood. I was riding in the car with my family on a dark country road late in the night. Half asleep and sitting in the middle of the backseat, I peered ahead at the line in the road to keep from getting car sick. Suddenly, as we came out of a wooded area, a huge flame appeared directly ahead of us at the point where the road curved. In my sleepy state it seemed that if we kept on the course we were headed, this powerful fire would engulf the car. It was soon apparent that it was a large church on fire. I shouted, “look!” and then we were all very quiet as we approached the flames. My dad slowed the car, and seeing the fire fighters there, continued driving. We rode on in silence. We rounded the curve and I turned around in my seat to watch that burning church fade until it disappeared from view.
I had no words at the time, and very few now, to describe the feeling of seeing that big solid church building burning in the black night. The only way I can describe it is to say it hurt my spirit.
I think that the fact that that experience was such a jarring one points to the symbolic nature of a community’s church building. A church building connotes provision and generosity. It serves as a shelter for our spirits. And it stands up – quietly, solidly- for God.
So don’t underestimate the power of the work that you do! And when the money runs short, and the carpest wears thin, and the roof has a leak, press on. And let me again say thank you.
This article is brought to you by Steeple Chasers, Inc.