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« Twenty-five Ways To Have Even Better Church Services! | Main | Christianity Concentrate »

The Construction Business

home_construction.jpg I love new construction. The smell, feel and excitement of a new building going up always get my juices going. During the construction phase of our church’s building program, every day I drive to the church I am drawn to the worksite as masons, welders, plumbers, electricians and laborers toil away at the project. Sometimes I lend an uncalloused hand and ruin good clothes. I can’t resist.

But hanging around the stacks of block and piles of iron jolts my “preacher’s” thinking processes as well. Fresh insight into spiritual truths leaps out at me at every juncture, because my real job is building lives, not gymnasiums, classrooms, or even sanctuaries. I see connections between the two activities that others may not notice. Here are a few:

Don’t rush the planning. Time and money spent in drawing good plans pays for itself over and over. Because the Bible is our set of plans, we don’t have to redraw them. When building our lives, however, we must pay close attention to the Word of God. Architects do two things. First, they come up with the whole concept. Second, they put it all together and detail it so that the workmen know exactly how to construct the building. Human lives that are shaped into new images must begin with a concept, but the completion of the total project depends upon following the individual details as spelled out in the Bible.

Ultimately, you make the decisions. Sometimes, an owner stands around and looks at a phase of the project for along time. Should we build it this way or that way? Should we put the door here or there? What color should we paint this room? Suggestions, hopes, vague or subtle hints will not work. The serious builder must eventually make hard and fast decisions. Likewise, no one ever transforms into the person God wants him to be without a conscious decision to do so. God supplies the plans and the power, but the decision remains ours to make.

Get the best craftsmen you can find. Never jump into a construction project unless you have people who can do the job right. It doesn’t matter if you have the best plans money can buy. They are meaningless if the craftsmen ignore them or fail to read them. Neither can a person build a life unless he or she continually seeks out the help of godly, righteous and loving people and leaders.

Demolition comes first. Existing structures, trees, parking lots, curbs and any objects in the way must be removed. No life can be transformed unless a person is willing to divest himself of foreign objects that contradict the labors of the builder.

Foundations dictate the integrity of the total project. The foundation must rest on solid ground. It must be level, plumb and square. Even a fraction off at the benchmark results in major problems in the superstructure. Don’t hurry building the foundation for life. Take your time. Get it right. A false foundation causes promising, talented people to suffer collapse.

Be prepared for narrowing options. As work progresses on a building, fewer and fewer changes can be made. The builder must commit to a single placement of a wall, pipeline or doorway. Each person must understand that commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ effectively blocks off every other option. He alone is the Door. Yet, commitment to God represents the highest and best plan for any person. To go another direction is to destroy the will of God.

Finishing touches are essential. No self-respecting builder would erect a magnificent structure and leave it unpainted, untrimmed and cluttered with construction materials. Every new “creature in Christ Jesus” needs to complete the “new man” in beautiful attitudes, holiness unto the Lord, and a servant’s heart. Only then can the new Resident, the Holy Spirit be given the glory and majesty that befits His Name.

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