This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to go down to the capital building as I was invited by Tim Kapucian to be the ďPastor for the Day.Ē It really is a fun experience. I got to take my family on to the senate floor (something that no one else can do while the senate is in session.) My family got to be there as I opened the day with prayer and we got a personal tour of the building. The part I was most excited about going into and sharing with the younger two children, was the dome. (Last year I went down there and took the older two kids with me and they got to share in the experience). However, as the tour commenced we were informed that the dome was shut down for maintenance. Later in the morning we found out that the dome was leaking and that it was a rather costly repair; 9 million dollars. I was glad I was done eating when I heard that number I probably would have choked. My initial thought was how could they justify 9 million dollars when the economy hasnít fully bounced back. As I listed to the explanation of where the money came from and why it needed down, my anger was quickly subsided. If the dome isnít corrected, the rest of the building is going to suffer. If they let the leak continue, the integrity of the roof will be in jeopardy. And the integrity of the building will be compromised. This situation got me thinking. It got me thinking about taking care of my house, the church building, etc. But then, I really got to thinking about the implication for this church.
Every church has its problems. We are made up of people and people are notoriously not perfect. We have leaks. As a church we have leaks. We are not perfect. There are things that can be better. This is not to say that the roof is collapsing. This is not to say that the foundation is crumbling. We have minor problems. Minor problems are easy to over look, especially when we have more pressing needs to attend to. We have glaring issues of not having proper leadership. We have glaring issues such as not being large enough to fully support the local preacher. We can look at those things are start claiming that these things need to be fixed first. If we donít get them resolved then the little things will continue to be a problem.
Now, let us go back to that leaky dome. If the paint starts to peal, and mold begins to grow and foundations start to crack those are big issues. They could try to kill the mold over and over again. But so long as that dome leaks, it will continue to grow back. They could repaint every room, but if that dome leaks, the paint will continue to peal. If they repair the foundation, but allow water to continue to penetrate the walls via the leaky dome, those foundations will crack again. Sometimes we need to realize that what is causing the big problems is something smaller. What if the reason why we donít have elders and why this church canít afford to support the local preacher fully is related the same leaky dome? What if there is something wrong that we are ignoring because these other issues have grabbed out attention?
The reality is, when churches arenít growing there is usually one explanationÖ apathy. I know we often like to point fingers at a community for being apathetic. We say that the community just doesnít care. The community is irreligious. The community is too engrossed in sin, false doctrine, liberalism, and fill in the blank. But, what if the reason why we arenít growing is because we are apathetic. What if the reason we donít grow is that we arenít invested enough.
To fix the capitol dome it will cost 9 million dollars. And it will be worth every penny to fix the building. (I cannot begin to image the cost of building a new capital building). But to do it, they have to make the investment. They have to put their money into it.
The same holds true for us. We have to be invested in fixing the leaks in our church. Sure, it might cost us some cash (that is in the since of giving more to God). But it should cost us a whole lot more than a few dollars into a collection plate. It will cost us time, energy, effort, and ever friends. It is time we stopped being afraid of being called fanatical. It is time that we be more proud of wearing the name of Christ than the name of our favorite sports team. It is time that the world could notice who Godís people really are.
Grinnell church of Christ
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The Dome is Leaking
Volume 8 Issue 13