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This Old Church
Tue, 16 Nov 2010
I love that old PBS series, "This Old House". I can watch for hours as they find amazing ways to take what others would overlook and turn it into a wonderful masterpiece of craftsmanship.
Well, yesterday during our staff meeting which is held in "This Old Church" which houses the ministry that my wife and I restarted back in 1996, I got to see a bunch of craftsman doing just that to this old inner-city church. The story is too long to tell in this blog but lets just say God hasn't given up yet on the old abandoned urban churches even if many denominations and church growth movements have.
I've been an urban pastor and minister all my adult life. I love the city. I love old churches. I love seeing them transformed from a warehouse into a carehouse, from a storefront to a sanctuary, from a drug house to God's house. So when I walked in yesterday to find electricians and insulation guys running about, it hit me that Crossroads had received the "energy efficient" grant we had been praying for.
Now here's the deal, we didn't get this $100,000 grant which came from a secular source to revamp and upgrade our facility just because there are three active alive congregations worshipping here each week. This grant came because over these past 15 years Crossroads has been a primary player in bringing compassion, assistance, help, hope, relief, and transformation to this urban at-risk community. That's the kind of solid reputation we've been able to build in this community, therefore the grant award to help "rebuild the house". I also found out yesterday from our Executive Director Jim that Crossroads also got a $20,000 grant from another local community foundation and he only asked for $10,000. How's that for a "double blessing?" (Some of you Holiness guys know what I'm talking about).
So, if you want to see God's mighty hand at work and how the community will stand by you, go find a neglected old inner-city church and fix it up and fill it up 24/7 with programs and ministries that relate to and lift up the local needy neighborhood. You will be amazed! And if you haven't been part of that amazing story, come join us on a CityConnexx mission trip and we'll show you first hand what a little elbow grease, hammer, paint and some prayers will do to build "His Old Church" (For you younger folks go look up the great hymn "The Church is One Foundation")
Don't forget, when you're "building your boat and trying to keep it afloat" there's no substitute for the best craftsman around. Talking about a Jewish carpenter and his good friend Noah.
CityConnexx is sponsored by Compassion International. A program of YPN