We begin the New Year with a transition in our ministry that is unprecedented in our 9 1/2 year history and that is the move to our own building. When we started the Tri-State Baptist Church in 2005, it was just my wife and daughters… we had no building, no salary and honestly, we had no people. While there were no guarantees, we trusted the faithfulness of God to honor His word and we can certainly testify that we have not been disappointed in the way the Lord has provided for this ministry.
So what does it all mean? Was this the goal that we had in mind in the beginning. The answer is unequivocally NO! The Building has never been the goal, but a tool that God will use in our ministry to further our ability to be an influence on our Tri-State Area. I have never viewed this building as the destination… just a step that we are taking as a ministry towards what God wants us to be.
Consider these thoughts please as to what this building will really mean to our church.
1) We Have a Greater Platform to speak from – we live in a town that has seen the little church that met in the VFW building for all these years… we had a small portable sign… in the early years we had just a few cars in the parking lot and as hard as we tried to make it look nice and honoring to the Lord… there were some people who just could not park next to a Howitzer cannon and come to church (go figure).
While most who read this understand that the church is not the building but the people… we live in New England, an area steeped in tradition where many perceive that you cannot be a church without a building. I have had many tell me that they could not come to church in a building that they used to drink in. This building gives our church a sense of “legitimacy” in the eyes of those who live around us. In a small town, everyone knows what is happening and we have seen many people stop at the new building just to “check it out”. I look forward to those who have promised to come to actually visit us.
2) We Have a Greater Opportunity to Minister – We are able soon to set our own agenda regarding guest speakers, special outreaches and special meetings without worrying about conflicting schedules. We have had a wonderful relationship with those we rent from and schedules have been very reasonable. But we look forward to those times when we would like to do something different.
We also now will have the ability to break down classroom size of our children’s ministries and teach them at a more age appropriate level. Our new nursery is amazing and will help parents feel comfortable the their child will be in a safe and comfortable environment. This new building opens up many new ministry positions… we will need additional workers to staff many positions and I look forward to seeing people step outside their comfort zone and allow God to use them.
3) Building Brings Glory to God – As I mentioned in point 1… the people here know that we started with nothing and now the Lord has blessed us with a building… some have asked if there is a “corporate office” somewhere that is paying for this building… and I am pleased to tell them that it is God’s people giving scripturally that is allowing this to be built. This is phase #1… Lord willing we will be starting our Christian school in the 2016/17 school year and look forward to seeing what the Lord will do.
I have to say, when we came here in January of 2005 (church started in April) it was with a vision to see God do something that we could not orchestrate… to see people come to know the Lord as Savior, be Baptized in obedience to the scriptures and join a bible believing/bible preaching church. For my family and I… it has been a wonderful experience.