Let me be honest. Life change is very scary! Yet when there is no change there is no growth. Think about this for a moment… Every advancement in your life required change. We should not be surprised that Jesus calls His followers to embrace Biblical change. Our SDAP Offering this Sunday is one of those steps.
One of my tendencies, and maybe yours, is to elevate the “spiritual” aspects of life over the “physical” aspects of life. You know, the thinking that something that is “spiritual” matters and those things that are not matter less. Yet, let me challenge you that true discipleship integrates both the spiritual and the physical. Simply put, the two cannot be divided. Let me give you an example from Jesus’ teaching from His response to the expert in the law about the greatest commandments. “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37 ) Jesus is obviously quoting from the Old Testament, as we know it. And it is here that we see that the spiritual and the physical go hand in hand. He states that the first commandment is to love God. This is a love that permeates our whole being. It is a love that manifests itself through tangible actions. And then He identifies a second priority, to love your neighbor as oneself. It is interesting to mention that in response to the experts follow-up question on “Who is my neighbor?” in Luke 10:29-37, Jesus tells the story of the “Good Samaritan.” Jesus’ response reminds us that the physical and the spiritual for the follower of Jesus are to work together. Actually the power of genuine Christianity is demonstrated when these two are both present. It is the love that drives the physical and it is the physical that demonstrates the love.
For me it is easy to elevate the spiritual emphases of our church over the physical. This is especially true when it comes to developing our church property. But recently that Lord has laid on my heart the importance of this physical pursuit for the ministry He has given our congregation to do in our community. The building, as a Pastor friend once states, is a tool for doing ministry. It would be no different than any other ministry tool. Is it required, well no. But having the right tool makes the work easier.
This Sunday we will be dedicating the entire offering to the Building Fund to cover costs related to our Site Development Activity Permit. This permit will allow us to begin working on the actual site. The permit’s focus is on the infrastructure work required like clearing the property and grading the lot, installing the entrance and parking lot and the utilities. The estimated cost for the permit ranges from $12,000-$22, 000. These costs include the fee for the actual permits along with all the other pieces that need to be done and would include engineer costs. There are several items that have to be submitted with the permit and each costs. One example is we need to obtain an Access Permit to the road from the state. So if this dollar amount seems like a big target, it is, because we will not know the actual costs until it is all over.
So what is my point? I firmly believe, based on all that has transpired over the past years, that the physical facility is part of what God desires to do through Living Hope in Port Orchard. I want to encourage you to join me on the next stage of our adventure.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson