Forward by Faith…Ground Breaking
This past Sunday (April 8, 2018) the Seminary Baptist Church family celebrated the official ground breaking for a new facility. This ceremony was intended as a way of placing a mile marker along the journey of faith that has been taken throughout the past years to bring our church family to this point.
Let me give you a little background information. As far back as 2006 the church had begun to pray and discuss the possibility of building new facilities so that the church would have more room in which to expand it’s ministry and fulfill it’s mission. This led to the church appointing a committee (That’s what we Baptists do.) to study the possibilities concerning the new facilities. This committee was named the Growth Challenge Committee. This name was chosen to remind us that in order to grow, build, and continue to fulfill our mission would indeed be a challenge.
In 2008, after having considered many possibilities, the Growth Challenge Committee presented a report to the church to remain on the current location and to begin the process of an “On-site Relocation” project. Simply stated, this would encompass building new facilities on our current property in phases that would eventually replace our current facilities. The church adopted this plan in November 2008 and began making improvements to the current property, purchasing additional properties as they became available, and developing much needed parking to provide for future growth.
I was honored to come as Pastor of SBC in March 2012. Upon my arrival, one thing that I felt strongly about was that the Lord wanted to see us through completing the plan that He led the church to adopt prior to my arrival. The Lord led me to Haggai’s prophecy and challenged me to challenge His church with His words spoken there.
Haggai, the book, reveals to us the situation as follows: The Temple had been destroyed and was in ruins. God had called and made a way for His people to return to rebuild the Temple, but as they began they became distracted and lost heart in completing the task. Their focus had actually changed from looking to the things of God into looking at self. (Much like we struggle with in our lives today.) The prophecy opens with the lord speaking through Haggai stating that the people have said it is not time to rebuild the Temple. The God asks a burning question, “Is it a time for you to live in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” (Hag. 1:2-3)
Following this question He challenges them to consider their ways, then He instructs them, “Go up to the hills, bring down lumber, and build the house.” (Hag. 1:8) You can certainly imagine the feeling of guilt and shame that must have washed over the people of God when they heard this challenge. They had ceased the work because they were met with opposition, it was hard work and it was going to take sacrifice to accomplish. Basically, to rebuild was going to be a step of faith.
This was the challenge that God was giving us as SBC as well. He had called us to build new facilities, and every step of the way over the last decade there have been barriers to overcome. With each barrier came a new challenge to walk by faith and not by sight.
I am so thankful that as we heard God speaking to His people though Haggai that we picked up on a few of His promises that are found there: 1) He promised them that if they were faithful to build the house that He promised that He would be pleased and glorified; 2) He promised that His presence would be with them; 3) He promised that His provision would be made available to them for every need along the way.
These promises have caused us as Seminary Baptist Church to be willing to move Forward By Faith in this building project. We are doing so with the God’s Word through Haggai in our hearts and minds as we hear God saying to us, “The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former and in this place I will provide peace. (Hag. 2:9)
You may ask, why am I taking this room to tell you this story of my church family? I am doing so because I believe that God is calling each of us to obedience to His word. Maybe there is something that He has asked you to do recently and you have been met with much opposition. Maybe you have allowed this opposition to shift your focus away from God and onto self.
May I remind you that as He has promised to work with His people and the SBC family through this passage, that He will do the same for you? My prayer for you is that you will be willing to move forward in obedience to whatever God asks of you today, tomorrow and every day that He gives you breath in this life!