Who plus why equals what

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, May 11, 2016

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When Pastor Terry gave me a tour of Friendship Baptist Church, he did it with both pride and humility. He’s proud of his church and his God and humbled at the amazing ways God has provided.

When space began to become an issue for this growing church, they started thinking about how they could remodel and renovate their facilities. They had set a little bit of money aside for that purpose, but once they began seriously looking at all that it would take, it became apparent that it was going to cost more than they had.

Determined not to go into debt, they decided they would do it in phases. Then God showed up.

We’ve all heard stories of how someone in need received a miraculous check in the mail at just the right time. Most of us have gotten the email that tells us that some rich person in some far away country died and their widow has decided to send us their millions.

Well, that’s not how God showed up for Friendship Baptist Church!

God showed up in the form of donated labor and materials for the project. God showed up in people who were willing to stay up all night to keep certain aspects of the project on schedule. God showed up in inspiring ideas and creative solutions that nobody else had thought of before.

God even showed up in neighbors, who are not church members, but who allowed their property to be used for overflow parking because they believe in what the church is doing.

If you were to walk into the sanctuary of Friendship Baptist Church, you would see an uncarpeted section down the center aisle and extending across the width of the building in front of the pulpit area. That uncarpeted section is a refinished portion of the original hardwood floors that have been there for more than 100 years. It is a reminder of the church’s history and foundation on which God is building a church for today.

When someone walks down that aisle to make a public commitment to Jesus Christ, the hardwood floor doesn’t allow them to do it silently. That’s OK, because Jesus isn’t calling for silent followers.

I mentioned before that this church knows who they are. They also know why they are here. Because they know those things, they have a better idea of what they are going to do. That’s pretty good “church math.” Who plus why equals what.

Friendship Baptist Church matters to God. Your church does, too. Our lives matter so much to Him that He changes our WHO, gives us our WHY and shows us our WHAT.

Until Pastor Terry contacted me, I never imagined that I would be using this forum to tell church stories. Maybe God has shown up in a new way?

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association in Decatur.

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