When I walked into church 13 years ago, I did not anticipate staying here for that long. To be honest, I had no idea or no concept of what having a home church was. Because this is where my journey as a Christian began.
A common question I get asked when new people visit my church is “How long have you been attending this church?”. When I tell them the answer, the number of years seems to catch most by pleasant surprise.
On reflection when I ask that same question, it is when I realise the ‘longevity’ in my attendance. It seems to me sadly most Christians seem to get uprooted quite easily, changing churches for various reasons. Or even worse, stop attending church completely.
Whilst the 13 years may seem like a long time, I can honestly say it has passed with so many memories. This church is where I got baptised, seen friends raise their hands to accept Christ into their lives, seen others grow in age and in faith. And this building is where I believe my own faith cemented itself.
But today I am leaving our old building and stepping into our new one. It is still church but just in a different building. The human part of me was sad and reluctant to leave the old building. The spiritual part of me is happy and excited of what God is going to do in this new building because it has a larger capacity. I am reminded that if God was faithful with the small, then He will also be faithful with the big.
Like anything, being in the new building is requiring an adjustment in my life as ‘it does not feel like church yet’. Somewhere the naïve Christian me believed that church would always be in the ‘same building forever’. So, my inner mind is now challenged to change my thinking with this change of building.
I am reminded of two bible verses together when my mind gets challenged this way - “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12, verse 2) and “ to be made new in the attitude of your minds” (Ephesians 4, verse 23). Whilst physically it will take a while to get used to the new building, my mind does not need a while.
I can renew it now by reminding myself that church is not the building, but the people it is made up of. The people from the old building are the same people moving into the new building. We are the church, not the building. The building is merely the tool that brings us to gather.
As a church then, with this tool God has entrusted us, it is my prayer that we grow as a church. You might say that we have already grown into a larger building, am I now praying about an even larger building? No, I am praying not about a physical growth but a spiritual growth.
My prayer is that we as human beings, as Christians, as Christ followers; we grow ourselves. Because I believe if we grow ourselves spiritually, along with being planted in the house of God i.e. church, then we place ourselves in a position where God can reveal his directions for our lives.
I parallel this to general growth in life. Just as a human being, would we not desire continuous growth in our lives? For example, I would not want my financial position to be the same as what it was 13 years ago. I would hope that as years ago by, that I with God’s provision, my financial position today is better than what it was 13 years ago.
Hence, I pray for this type of spiritual growth for my church moving forward. Because standing here in the new church building, I see:
- The past (yesterday) – the faithfulness and sacrifices of those who saw the fruit of the old building;
- The present (today) – Holy Spirit in directing us the people in the church in this building;
- The promises (tomorrow) – for the people who have yet to come to know Christ.
Cindy Adwong lives and works in Auckland. Cindy’saim in life is to live life to the fullest daily. Cindy loves being effective and efficient in all I do. Cindy’shobbies include spending time with people, baking, cooking, travelling and just being alive, amongst numerous to name.