Jerry Vines – “Many people in America today are building crowds, but are not willing to pay the price to build a church.”
Let’s contemplate for a moment builders and demolition experts. We have both kinds in every congregation, it should be said. Paul put it this way: “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder, I laid a foundation and somebody else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it” (1 Corinthians 3:10).
Building takes skill. It requires no qualifications to destroy.
While helping to build a new church building in Borger, TX, a bunch of men came with sledgehammers and demolished parts of the old building that needed to be removed before building began. I was among the crew. It required no special skill to demolish; but when the actual skilled labor began, I was not a part of that crew. I don’t have the ability to build.
Sometimes we look at a church critic in awe. How expert he must be! How knowledgeable! But it always takes more skill and patience to build!
A woman came to a stop at the stoplight, where her car engine died. After several attempts to get it started again, she had flooded it. The light turned green, and a man in the car behind her added to her anxiety by leaning on his horn. Finally the woman got out of the car and walked over to the man. A little surprised, he rolled his window down.
“Tell you what,” she said, “You go over there and start my car, and I will sit in yours and honk the horn.”
Or to put it differently, it takes more skill to fix a car than it does to blow the horn!
It takes care and patience to build a church. It takes time to teach God’s word. It takes effort to build character in our teenagers and the young Christians. It takes time to build leaders who are strong and faithful.
And, make no mistake, it is also our responsibility!
Paul emphasizes, again and again, that as Christians we are responsible for building the church up. “Now concerning food offered to idols: We know that all of us possess knowledge. This knowledge puffs up, but love builds up“(1 Corinthians 8:1).
So, what’s that in your hand, a trowel, or a stick of dynamite?