Hard to Believe
I know I just wrote an update earlier in the week but that was mostly information. Now I want to share some personal stuff.
I can’t believe the things I am now doing. When we started BCC 7 years ago, for the first many years, a building was not on the radar. I don’t mean the thought that God might one day direct us to build never crossed my mind, rather, I never entertained the thought or spent time on it. Didn’t even really pray about a building early on as I was praying about other issues and activities more pressing.
Today, Pastor Kenny and I are meeting with a banker. Lately, I’ve been praying about this stuff. It’s on the radar now. I’m not so sure how much I trust the banking profession, but I love and trust the banker we’re getting ready to eat egg rolls with. He’s a BCC’er!,
Last week we visited three contractors. We’ve been talking and praying about builders for awhile. We will go through a similar process to choose a builder like we did an architect. Evaluations, reference checks, and interviews. We learned some stuff when we went through this with architects that will help us this go around. It’s hard for me to believe we’ll choose a builder next month.
A few weeks ago I took the virtual tour of our building. I encourage you to take the virtual tour and pray while you do. To do this, from the IGWT homepage, click on the icon of the building that says “3D Walk-Through”. I did it for a long time.
I prayed in each room. Saw kids in the children’s wing in colorful, decorated rooms. I saw people drinking coffee and laughing. I saw organized storage space (we are so spread out and have so much jack in our homes it’s hard to be organized. I look forward to organized storage space). I saw a worship service going on (I was teaching. I’m just saying, that’s what I saw.) Parkers were in our parking lot that was not trashed with litter. The bathrooms were clean. The stage looked great and I thought it is nice to not have to remove the decorations each week. I thought to myself at one point, “Can you believe what you are thinking?” and it made me smile while all alone at my computer. I’ve seen God do lots of stuff that He showed me in the past. I think this makes Him smile too.
I love being part of the beginning of stuff. It’s exciting. I can’t believe we are getting closer to the biggest faith-step BCC has taken since it started. It’s hard to believe but I’ve seen God guide and provide… so I know it’s coming. Stay close and enjoy the ride.
It’s been a long time since the last update. I’m not too good at keeping up with this. But part of the deal is there has not been much going in regards to IGWT except for saving money. But… that is changing.
This year ends our 3 years of savings. On one hand, it seems like we’ve been saving for a long time, on the other, it doesn’t. I talk to bcc’ers all the time and ask them and get responses on both sides.
At the end of our third year of saving, we are going to start construction. That’s a big statement and big step. We are currently preparing to take this step. This is what is going on.
We’ve recruited a Building Team. Travis Loope is the Team Leader. The others are Claudia Young, Gina Williams, Andy Self, Mark Williams, and Larry Hopson. A variety of people with different strengths and we trust each one completely. Pastor Kenny and I are also on the team.
We had our first meeting last night. It was fun, exciting, and serious. The team’s first objective is to choose a builder. It’s narrowed down to 3. They all would do a wonderful job. We are seeking God to see if He leads us to one, and if not, will choose based on who we think best understands who we are and our values and would “fit” best. We expect to make this choice by next month.
So there is stuff happening. We greatly appreciate all who are praying for us. For now, the main prayer is guidance in choosing a builder. This is the biggest faith step we will take since launching in 2006.
We’ll update the church next month as well as we have a two week IGWT emphasis. You may want to check back here more often. Kenny and I plan to write more updates since stuff is happening.
It’s an exciting time of year as far as “In God We Trust” (IGWT) goes. Two years ago we started. At the end of 2010, a 4½ year old BCC began saving money specifically to build our first building. We now have over ½ million dollars given specifically for the building which is awesome. What makes this even greater is we have continued to save money in our general budget to the amount of almost ½ million dollars. When you add those together, we have close to a million. Wow!
As a pastor, I am really proud of us. Saving is hard and goes against our culture. And saving this kind of money is double-hard. It takes discipline, sacrifice, and commitment. Often times, those are not fun words. And yet, those who sacrifice and are committed achieve things others do not.
We have made great progress and are getting closer. We are getting closer financially. We are getting closer spiritually. And God has been showing me that our time is nearer.
This is dangerous to say as I know you will take it to heart… as it should be. I have already taken it to heart. But it is dangerous because what I am about to say is speculation.
I hope and believe that we will have an unbelievably great finish in our last year of giving to IGWT. If 2013 is as good as I think – and here comes the dangerous part – we should be in the position to start the building project. Again, that is my heart and where I think God is leading. There certainly has been no decision to do this. It’s simply my heart and where I think God is leading.
- Pastor Jeff
When are you going to start building the church?
This is a question I get several times a week. I of course respond to the question as graciously as I can and share with whoever ask we are saving money, and so forth. As I was spending some time reflecting on the Truth series and the memory verse from last week a thought hit me. This series we are in right now is building the church. This is one of the most important series that we have ever done at BCC. ”Everyone that hears these words of mine and puts them into practice”, Jesus said. Building the church is expanding the church, when we put His words into practice, that is actually what we are doing. We are building the church. Please, I beg you with every fiber in my being, study the truth and put it into practice. I can’t leave out the second part, “is like a wise man that builds his house on the rock”. We want our new building someday to have a great foundation so that it will stand for a long time. As each of us build our lives on the rock just think about the foundation that the true “church” will have. BCC, we are building the Church.
Over the last couple weeks the band has led us in this song called 10,000 Reasons. Yesterday during one of the worship services I just stop singing and listened. It was awesome to hear so many singing hard for God. I got the tingles running up my back as I stood there listening. This morning as I sit at my computer and think about yesterday and pray about the future of BCC I’m so grateful of what we have seen. More than what we have seen and experienced, I can’t wait for what is going to happen. One of the verses in the song says,
“The sun comes up it’s a new day dawning, It’s time to sing your song again, whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me sing until the evening comes.”
As we look forward to the fall series “Truth” starting there are new days dawning. As we look forward to annual “Hoe Down” in October there are new days dawning. As we look forward to “In God We Trust” in November there are new days dawning. There are greater things ahead for BCC, but let’s never forget to bring someone along with us. Be investing in and be inviting others to join us in the journey. Because:
“On that day when my strength is failing, the end draws near and my time has come, soon my soul will sing your praises unending, 10,000 years and then forever more.”
We have more than 10,000 reasons to Love God and Love People.
This weekend we have the opportunity to be on the property that God has blessed us with during the Easter Egg Hunt. It will be 2-4 on Saturday April 7th. It will be blast for everybody, the kids will have inflatables, crafts, and egg hunt. For us adult types we have added a new attraction this year, that is DUNK PASTOR JEFF. Yes that’s right you have the opportunity to throw things at your pastor and try to get him wet. It will be a blast!!!! As you and your family walk around on the property I want to encourage you to pray for what God has for His church on the land. Ask Him to continue to give the leadership direction, to guide us on decisions when it comes to In God We Trust. Then to get a little bit more personal ask God if you are doing your part? Have I been praying? Have I been giving? Have I been supportive? Then you may want think about and invision some of the little kids you see getting baptized in a building there. Maybe one of the older teens having the first wedding there. Ask God to use the building that is built to be a ministry hub for His Kingdoms work. I look forward to seeing you on Saturday.
We are still planning to build and making progress saving money. We continue to be on track and on God’s timeline although there is a part of me that wishes the time to begin building would arrive faster.
“When are we going to build?” continues to be one of the most frequently asked questions at bcc. That makes sense… it’s a huge question with lots at stake. It’s also an exciting question that leads to an exciting time.
I really have no better answer now than what I shared in the update on November 28, 2011. If you haven’t checked that out, please do. I have to go back from time to time and reread myself.
The only factor that has changed is we have saved more money. I will share the amount in tomorrow’s services so you’ll know exactly. This summer, pastor Kenny or I will give a more detailed update of where we are, paint the picture of where we are going, and ask new bcc’ers to join the rest of us and give toward the building.
What you don’t see happening every week though is a bunch of average people faithfully giving toward this dream. Every dollar given may seem like a slow path toward a lofty goal but it’s much more. Every dollar tells a story. The story is someone giving up something they want to invest in God’s Kingdom.
I recently saw a student give $30 and wondered to myself… Does this kid like Starbucks? Do they have an iTunes account or pay for their own gas. Part of me hopes they had to tell someone “no”. “No”, I don’t have the money to buy a café, latte, mocha, venti. “No” I can’t drive this time. “No” I don’t have the latest songs.
Can you imagine the smile this would put on God’s face knowing His kid gave up a coffee to invest in His Church? Gave up a song? And don’t worry… the reward for this person will be well worth their sacrifice.
I just hope all the people who ask “when are we going to build” are giving like the rest of us.
The best I got right now… “I don’t know”
Sorry. That’s the best I got right now. I know it’s not much. Like you, I wish I knew more. But when someone asks the most popular question, “When are we going to build?”… I must answer, I really don’t know. Oh, I’ve tried to figure it out. I prayed and talked to others and crunched numbers and made projections and met with bankers and builders. But to shoot straight, I don’t know.
As much as I don’t like not knowing, at least we are in good company. When someone asked Abraham where he was going after God told him to leave his home, Abe had to say “I don’t know.” Like Pastor Kenny said yesterday, when people asked Noah why he was building a huge boat in the middle of the desert, Noah must have said, “God told me to but I don’t know why.” When People asked Jesus when He was coming back Jesus flat out told them it was not for them to know the time or day. In fact, this is a bit weird but I thought I would throw it in anyway, Jesus said He did not even know and only God knows (Mt. 24:36).
There are many examples in the Bible of God leading His followers to do things and their not knowing why or not knowing details. And along with reminding myself that BCC is in good company with others who “did not know”, I also want to take a stab at why we don’t know.
What I do know is the Bible says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6). So I know we must have faith. Then when I read God’s definition of faith, I think I know why I don’t know.
Here is God’s definition of faith in several translations. Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1 (NCV)
Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.
Hebrews 11:1 (BBE)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the sign that the things not seen are true.
Hebrews 11:1 (AMP)
NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
It’s the beginning of November, 2011, and one year since we began our IGWT efforts to save money to build on the land. Last year at this time was a busy of a time at BCC as when we first launched. It was great though and when I think back, I have both feelings and thoughts of excitement and some with a bit of sadness.
The sadness that comes is typical of when something special happens and it is over. I am sure some of you know what I mean. Kind of the like the sadness after a vacation or after you worked so hard toward something and then… bam… it’s over. Oh, I know it’s not over by a long shot. But part of it is and I have learned to enjoy the process of where God is leading.
But more importantly, this time has amped me up again. The Hoe Down and worship service on the property a couple weeks ago was sweet. The Hoe Down was great but what really comes to mind is the unbelievable worship time. Watching the band lead worship songs from flatbed trailers was cool. Teaching underneath that huge, tent was cool. The looks on hundreds of your faces was cool. And when the students left the tent and walked down to where the building may one day be… that my friend was almost breathtaking.
Although I expect most of us will be around to see BCC use a building for ministry one day, it is enough that we adults do it for them – “them” being our kids, grandkids, and future generations. Faithful Christ-followers passed faith and the Gospel down to us somehow, someway. We must do the same.
Record Breaking Days
Over the last few days the temperature records have been falling like crazy. The current heat wave we are in is unbelievable to be in the first part of June. Earlier this week I was watching the news and one of the record high temps that were set was from 1938. Those made me think that standard, that bar so to speak, was raised a long time ago. Records are meant to be broken there are some that it takes years and some that it only takes minutes. The people, the weather, the teams that set a record usually have to have things positioned just right for to set those records. The weather needs everything in the atmosphere working just right, the teams have to have people making all the right plays to see those records being set or broken. BCC is no different I don’t know of any records that we have set but we are group of people that are working together and have set a high standard for what God can do. Next week Pastor Jeff is going to sharing some exciting information about our In God We Trust giving that I believe is unbelievable, record setting maybe, maybe not, God honoring yes. I want to encourage you to continue to give and seek God as we see God do some awesome things.
In God We Trust
In God We Trust is the next chapter in the life of BCC. This chapter begins our shift from a portable church to a permanent building. It includes raising the funds to support such change. We trusted in God to lead us this far. We will continue to trust in God for our future.