The night the Faith Church congregation voted to build the community center on our Faith East campus I went home and wrote the following essay. I shared it with the pastors and deacons at the time, but I think it might be a blessing to a wider audience now as we see how the Lord is opening a door of opportunity for Faith Church with the Northend Community Center.
Why Does God Keep Moving the Decimal Point?
After the strong congregational vote to initiate a new community center and seminary ministry I began to wonder why God keeps moving the decimal point. Maybe you have noticed this also. There was a time when Faith struggled with only a few hundred dollars. We began to get that under control and God moved the decimal point. We started having to deal in a few thousand dollars. Before we could get completely comfortable with that, God moved the decimal point again. All of a sudden we were dealing with tens of thousands. We were amazed. But God doesn’t seem to know when to quit. He moved the decimal point once again and we were the stewards of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now, as incomprehensible as it may seem, it looks like God is going to move the decimal point even farther. We could be stewards of millions.
Rita and I sat down at the table after coming home from the evening service and marveled over what God has been and is doing with Faith. Besides watching the decimal point slide rapidly to the right something else has been a noticeable part of Faith’s history. We have always been willing to adjust our evangelical and disciplining ministries to match the culture in which we are living. It isn’t that we have been foolish; we just wanted to reach our community with the good news of Jesus Christ. Faith began with door-to-door visitation and witnessing. There was just a few of us and it worked for a while. But Satan is a formidable coach and he and his team kept heading off our offense. God’s team is always on offense, you know. We always have the ball. We went to a bus ministry and that worked for a while also. Then we added the counseling ministry and it has been and still is a fabulous way to evangelize and disciple people.
It makes one wonder. Is there a correlation between God continually moving the decimal point to the right and Faith’s willingness to adjust our offense? At every decision point it took faith. But you know something? The move to a community center and seminary requires less faith than some of the earlier initiatives we have taken. Relatively speaking, this initiative is less risky. We already have the income to support this move. Since Pastor Bill Goode became our senior pastor we have been equipped with a highly qualified staff. Besides, trusting God gets easier the more you do it.
Of course, we are learning that it isn’t about me and it isn’t about you. Neither is it about attendance numbers and it certainly isn’t about dollars. It’s all about pleasing our Lord and…Enjoying God’s Grace… (to the hilt).
Since writing this essay I think we have all become acutely aware that God has continued to “move the decimal point.” We also know it that it takes more than money to accomplish what God is doing through Faith Church. He has continued to bring people with dreams, gifts and abilities—both pastors and lay persons—to carry his programs forward.
I was recently tagged with the title “Dinosaur” (and I wear it proudly). Well, this old dinosaur’s heart swells with joy every time I see deacons, some as young as I “back in the day,” filled with the same zeal as me and my contemporaries. And what about our soon-to-be dinosaur pastors filled with wisdom, energy and vision?
And now there is a cadre of young pastors and interns who are driving our new ministries tirelessly and effectively? And there are all the volunteers, both men and women, boys and girls, who joyfully put their shoulders to the wheel. God has continued to bring the right people at the right time to do his work.
If I don’t stop my heart is going to explode. Praise God!