Buildings and Mission

The current focus of the Go and Grow project is the close examination of all the details: how do we arrange the parking spaces in the basement car park; can we align the walls of the new sanctuary to match the existing structures of the buildings; what coding do we need on the lift, etc etc. Almost every detail has a knock-on effect onto other aspects of the project, requiring simultaneous microscope and wide-angle perspectives to be taken into account.

Being hands-on involved in the Go and Grow project has been an interesting journey for me as a vicar. Of course I do have a background in property, having been a chartered surveyor a long time ago, but my calling now is to be a church leader. So there have been moments when I have felt a degree of frustration at being pulled back into a profession that I moved on from in a previous millennium, at the expense of what I believe God has purposed for me to be doing now. But as the lead pastor of St Bs I know that I have to be at the helm of this key project for the future of the church.

I take great encouragement from Moses, who as the principal spiritual leader of the Israelites, also fulfilled the role of building surveyor for the new tabernacle (Exodus 39:43). Surprisingly God seems to be interested in building materials, layout and style of furnishings of the Old Testament tabernacle. Moses is not recorded as feeling conflicted in his role as surveyor set against his overall leadership calling. The arrangements for the building were understood as part and parcel of what God was doing amongst His people.

We have much the same feeling about the Go and Grow project. Whilst I am very keen not to allow mere buildings to distract us from the main mission of the church, I also have to acknowledge that buildings are intrinsic to that very mission. It is not a case of either-or but rather the whole purposes of God being worked out. To that end I will continue to peer through both the microscope and the wide-angle lens.

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