On the hill I was talking to JJ
(A great man. Combines hilarity and a concern for people with this amazing drive to learn You should meet him.)
We were chatting and I asked him if he saw building houses as a parallel of the body of Christ. A builder builds a house. He makes sure it stands on its own. He takes pride in his work, puts all of his skills to work so that he can walk away from the house knowing it will bless the dwellers, that it will stay standing for hundreds of years. The builders build it for a specific purpose. With a specific flavour. In a specific direction and size.
The house dwellers come in and decorate it a certain way. Fill it with certain furniture and people. Yeah they can extend the house, and put in other bits and pieces. But the better it was built in the beginning, the easier it Is to make bigger.
The builder finishes the house and then moves on to build another. Some builders will build hundreds of houses in a decade. All of them quality. All of them different, depending on where and for who and why. Sometimes the builder will need to return to repair something. And then sometimes, someone else, who specializes in repairs will do the repairs.
Then I was thinking about the conversation. JJ went on to talk about how there are church planters in the world like this. They get really good at arriving at a new place, spreading the gospel, building a community that sustains itself and moving on. It spreads and builds and creates. Sometimes builders will build their own houses. They work extra hard on it because its their house, but they continue to build other peoples houses.
Some of us are builders who travel far distances, some of us stay local. Some of us are repairers that only have to work on the houses for a day, others have to completely rebuild a house whole section of a house – like after a fire. In the rebuilding process, the house will usually come out completely different. In the 2003 fires in Canberra, a friend of mines house burnt down. His uncle was an architect, interested in sustainable housing. So the new house looked SOOO different because of the environment of the time he rebuilt.
In my youth I would sometimes come to the conclusion that the best way to deal with some churches traditional entrenchment that doesn’t allow for growth is to burnt it down and rebuild. And sometimes I still think that, but I feel like some churches just need its builder to come back with his building authority and repair some things. Repaint some rooms. Put on a new extension.
Can you see it?
Can you see us letting an integral part of our congregations beginnings coming back and making some comments, or getting his hammer out and rebuilding parts of our walls? Or even bringing in a repairs