During my first year in this church, certain conversations kept recurring: "We're glad you're here, Pastor. We're excited about the ministry opportunities before us." (So far, so good.) Then: "This church is very active and growing, so we're just about out of space." (I can see that.) "We'll need to build soon . . . " (Uh-oh.)
" . . . for the preschool we're starting, our expanding Sunday school, a bigger sanctuary, and a gym. We really need a gym!"
To these expressions of enthusiasm, my standard response would be a noncommittal "When the time is right." I could clearly see what more square footage could do for our ministry, but I wasn't ready to trade my robe and commentaries for blueprints and a nail apron. (I confess, however, that I once caught myself dreaming of a day 50 years hence when a grandmother would say, "Yes, child, that's the magnificent building Pastor Berube led us to put up when I was your age.")
I'd heard stories from other pastors about out-of-control building ...1