Doug Creamer column: God’s house
Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 9, 2022
By Doug Creamer
We had a workday at church last Saturday. A group of people worked inside the church and another group of people worked outside. I always choose outside work because I love being outdoors. Well, I should clarify that. I don’t like being outside in the freezing cold or when we have high humidity, like many summer days around here.
The leaders of our church had decided that we would tear out all the landscaping from in front of our church. The shrubs have probably been there for 30 years and they needed to be replaced. We pulled them all out and got things ready for our new shrubs, which we are planting this weekend.
We had some liriope plants scattered along the front that I decided to dig out and plant in some other places. I let some of the younger backs dig and pull the old shrubs from their places. I helped out with some other things, including sweeping and blowing off the parking lot at the end. My body had a pretty good workout before I headed home, but nothing compared to what some of the younger guys experienced.
The church looks a little bare when you pull into the parking lot now. I asked the pastor on Sunday, “Did you notice that someone stole all our shrubs from in front of the church?” We have a clean slate ready for our new plantings. Now we need our members to show up this week to help with the planting and putting out the pine needles to complete the job.
There was plenty of work going on inside the church as well. I saw people making trips to the dumpster with all kinds of stuff. I know they were cleaning out closets and storage areas. It is amazing how much stuff can pile up around a building. I am sure the kitchen got a thorough cleaning. I imagine there was stuff from the refrigerator and freezer that needed to go, too. There are always lights and things that are broken that need to be repaired.
The crew working inside was working hard to spiff up the church so we can all enjoy it. It takes a team effort, all of us pulling together, to keep the church in good shape. Although it was hard work, we still had lots of laughter and plenty of fellowship while we all worked toward our common goal.
In case you haven’t noticed, I love my church family. We are a diverse group of people who are in love with Jesus. While we all like to have fun and laugh, we are also there for each other when the chips are down. Our pastor is committed to challenging each of us to grow spiritually and to find our place of service in the body of Christ.
Part of serving includes maintaining God’s house. I believe that God really cares about what our church looks like inside and out. I believe that Jesus comes and sits in our pews on Sunday morning. He looks around to see if we have made our church building a place where the lost and hurting can come and find him. Is the facility inviting and welcoming to all the broken people who need a savior?
Does the outside look attractive, not just for the members but for visitors and passersby? Does the building and place represent him well to the community? Would someone driving by think, “That place looks nice, I wonder what the people are like inside there?” We only get one chance to make a positive first impression. The way our church looks is important.
Easter is just around the corner and people will be visiting our churches. We need to be prepared for them to feel welcomed. Many people who have been away from church since the beginning of the pandemic may decide to return to church. What will they experience if they choose your church? How can you play a part of making them feel welcome? God really does care about how our church looks and feels because it represents him to the world.
I want to encourage you to think about how your church looks and feels to a visitor. God wants every person to come to heaven. The way that people connect to God is through his churches. Easter gives us the opportunity to reach out to the lost and hurting and give them a place where they can connect with Jesus. Let’s work together to make our churches places of hope where people feel welcomed and can connect with their savior.
Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.