One of my all time favorite sayings is “Those who plant trees love others besides themselves.” This old saying speaks to the fact that many times the person planting the tree does not live to see it grow to maturity. Coming generations will know the luxuriant shade and cool resting place provided by people often long forgotten or unknown to those blessed by their expense and effort.
Building places for worship and discipleship are even greater expressions of love for the coming generations. If you want to invest in the future and vitality of the work of God in a given location, you should try to provide adequate and beautiful space for that work to be done. A spiritual heritage inevitably involves providing structures that are conducive to the vitality of a given congregation. This must never be done apart from building people up in the faith. I know from experience that a faithful investment over a period of time yields a tremendous harvest not only in the location where the ministry is done, but quite literally around the world. Some may piously suggest that buildings do matter so much after all, but a careful reading of the Scriptures reveal otherwise. The first century church soon grew to the place where houses of worship sprang up around the world. I have stood in the ruins and in the halls of worship of some of those great structures and contemplated the message they still send forth of the deep impact of Jesus upon this world. God said through Haggai the prophet, “Build the house that I may take pleasure in it and be honored.” (Haggai 1:8)
I say “amen”.
Dan Wooldridge

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