Thursday, August 7, 2008

To Build or Not to Build

Pin It That is the question.

Or is it?

Sitting in a church business meeting last night, this was essentially the question at hand. Somehow this became a battle. It seemed that most everyone agreed that building should be done, but of the 101 people in the room, there seemed to be about 112 opinions of how this should be done. This was not a pleasant hour and a half of my life, especially after the unpleasant hour and a half of my life I spent listening to the exact same back and forth last week. Some of the responses were heartfelt and emotional, some were "just the facts", and some were downright mean.

It seems that a big hindrance for a lot of people is the debt that will be required for the church to build this building. I get that. Totally get that. The thing is though, Romans 13:8 says "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law." From what I heard, the same people that are not happy about the idea of going into debt to build this building were the people whose comments came across as less than nice, and even hostile in a couple of instances. I don't get that. To me, going into debt to build a building is not nearly on the same plane as loving your fellow man.

During this meeting, the topic was "tabled" which basically means that it stops until it's brought up again in a business meeting. I'm not terribly familiar with Robert's Rule of Order, so one of y'all correct me if I'm wrong. I think this was an awful decision. 51 voted to table it, 50 to not table it. (As an aside, I didn't let my kids vote. I had two kids there; both are church members and eligible to vote. hm) To me, this decision means that we really did waste these business meetings and will have to go through it all again. Opinions aren't likely to change, but all of the numbers are. I think I would rather have seen a NO vote on the building rather than a tabled discussion.

I asked my husband in the car on the way home, through tears, "now what?" I don't know. We need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to work in all of us. Priority one will have to be forgiveness. I know there are people I need to forgive, and attitudes in me that need forgiveness. Prayerfully, this will happen to us all.

Lord, bring us unity. Bring us forgiveness, bring us peace, bring us unity.

I am committing myself to praying fervently for this, and praying for my pastor. I'm praying for his encouragement for the rest of this week, and for restored relationships. I'll be praying that for our whole church. If we can't love one another, the whole "to build or not to build" doesn't even matter.

Ephesians 4:31-32 - Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.


sweet jenn said...

wow, melanie. I agree with you 100%. The sadness is heartfelt throughout all my family and friends. It's really difficult to sit and watch all the plans that were made and all the things that were already voted on and pass seem meaningless and useless...very, very, very sad. The only thing that I rest in is that God is much bigger than all this. Ryan told me that night that his encouragement was that we still get to worship God, whether the building is built or not. I guess maybe that's what we have to rest in....God is always in control.

Princess said...

Well, let the kids vote!!!

Seriously though, my mom's church sort of went through this same dilemma. Their solution was made easier by my parents, who got tired of the endless stupid meetings and funded the building. Not really a feasible solution for most, I know. But ya know...I'm good with "my inheritance" going towards that. Really. His kids, not so much. Ask me how much I care ::laughs::

Good luck on all that though.