By Patti W
I love celebrating God’s creation. I like to visit new places and witness God’s handiwork. It is filled with creativity and diversity. I love learning about amazing abilities animals possess and how God has made each one so unique. Take the starfish for instance. The average lifespan of a starfish is thirty-five years! I am sure it endures bumps, bruises, and difficulties during those thirty-five years. Though it has no brain and no blood, a starfish can regrow its limb if it loses one. It’s called regeneration. Our God is in the business of making things new, first by being made alive through faith in Christ for salvation, then the daily discovery from that life change.
Just as God created starfish with the ability to renew their limbs, God has created us with the ability to renew our minds and hearts through His Holy Spirit. Paul writes in Romans 12:1-2: “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.“ We are called to a renewal of our minds in order to distinguish and live according to God’s will. Our minds get marred by sin, selfishness, bitterness, and all kinds of evil. But by Christ’s sacrifice and power of the Holy Spirit inside of us, we are able to renew our thinking and our desires once again to the will of God – His good, acceptable and perfect will.
Project: Renewal is far more than a facilities face-lift. It’s more than a building renovation. It is a renewal of us, from the inside-out! Our desires need to constantly be “transformed” by the renewal of our minds. What is God’s will for you and me? What is His will for Rush Creek as a community? John Piper states, “We are perfectly useless as Christ-exalting Christians if all we do is conform to the world around us. And the key to not wasting our lives with this kind of success and prosperity, Paul says, is being transformed.” (from the article The Renewed Mind and How to Have It). Project: Renewal should not be about success or prosperity, rather about the transformation of hearts and lives. That’s what it means to me.
I am so excited to see God use our Worship Center changes to bring more renewal and regeneration as the lost are saved! The renovations of the stage and especially the acoustical fixes to the room will eliminate barriers for communicating God’s truth. The clarity of new speakers along with acoustical treatment on the walls will remove the distraction of the echo and bounce around of sound. This alone will make the room more inviting to guests, and more warm and enjoyable for us as a community as we gather for worship. The stage extension at the lower height will bring the pastor and worship leaders closer and lower to the congregation which will bring more of a connection between the two. Our community will have a wonderful place for concerts, graduations, weddings, conferences, and other gatherings. It will be a joy to offer our Worship Center with a large stage and great sound to area schools and organizations to hold events. We do none of these changes to gain success or prosperity as the world seeks, but only to lift up the name of Christ and to promote more community and engagement every time we meet together.
What exciting times for our church family! We get to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves. We have heard God’s calling for renewal. We trust Him to lead us into His perfect will for our church. If God can display to the universe His power of regeneration in a simple starfish, how much more to this community can He show the life-changed renewal of our hearts? Let’s allow God to use us to shine for Him – as the marred and broken starfish we may be, fully relying on Him for renewal and transformation!