By: Garrett Best
Church buildings can be unproductive wastelands for ministers. There is constant daily activity at the building. You never know who is going to stop by or what random activity you’ll be asked to do. At Oliver Creek, especially since last year, our building has been extremely busy during the week. We began an outreach ministry to our city by offering classes to the homeschool community at a reduced price. So in addition to the regular weekly hustle and bustle of church life, during the 2014-2015 school year we’ve seen nearly 75 kids from 55 families passing through our building on a weekly basis participating in our homeschool ministry. Our building isn’t very spacious to begin with, and so at times, the constant traffic in and out of the building has made it difficult to read, study, and focus. Quite honestly, some of the time, I have tried to stay away from the building so I could make sure to get my work done. This is not the best place to be if you need focused, serious study time.
Sometimes, I long for the church building to be quiet. Well, my wish was finally granted this week. It was Spring Break for several Memphis area school districts which means it was also Spring Break for our homeschool ministry. As I type this post, I am the only person in the church building. It is dark and it is quiet. I have gotten more accomplished this week than most other weeks I’ve worked here.
As much as I thought I would love the quiet church building, this week has made me realize just how much I hate it. The quiet has actually been disquieting. I miss the interaction I have with those volunteers of our church who are dedicating their time to mission in our city. Their example and encouragement is what keeps me going during the week. They are the dedicated saints I am studying to teach and preach to on Sunday morning in the first place. I miss them. I am sad that I have taken that time with them at the building for granted. I miss the sound of the children passing through the building. I have realized that I can’t even remember what our quiet church building was like before our church embarked on this mission. The sound of the constant flow of children in and out of the building during the week is a reminder that God has given us a mission to bless our community through Jesus Christ. I miss it. It’s too quiet.
I’m glad it’s Friday. I’m glad the week of an empty, quiet building is almost over. I long to be with the worshiping community of saints on Sunday morning so that we can be re-energized and renewed by the Spirit to get back to the hustle and bustle of kingdom work at this church. My prayer for this church and every other church is that our buildings are filled daily with the sounds of a church building being used to to share the gospel of the kingdom to our communities.